As part of the Ursinus program on Model United Nations and multilateral diplomacy, a group of Model UN delegates and students majoring in Politics & International relations visited the World Bank Group and International Monetary Fund (IMF) in Washington, D.C. In advance of the visit, the students had studied the role of these two Bretton Woods institutions within the sustainable development goals.
Mr. Raphael Anspach, senior communications officer at the IMF, briefed the students about the work of the Fund and recent developments in the strategic direction of IMF program designs. Students were able to ask a broad variety of questions about political influence in the IMF, loan conditionality and austerity, environmental and social concerns in IMF programs, and the Fund’s work in fragile country settings.
The group also toured exhibitions on the human capital index and the role of art in development at the World Bank. In addition, the students met with Dr. Eric Dunford, associate director of the Master in Data Science for Public Policy program at Georgetown University. Dr. Dunford discussed the potential and limits of using data science approaches and big data in the areas of violent political conflict and economic development. Recent alumni Mary Atta-Dakwa ’18 and Paul Cottam ’19, both graduates of the international relations major, joined the students. Atta-Dakwa is currently pursuing a Master’s degree in development economics and Cottam works at the British Embassy in Washington, D.C.
Ursinus students from any major can participate in Model United Nations. The program is coordinated by the faculty advisor, Dr. Johannes Karreth, an assistant professor of Politics and International Relations.