SPP Announces 2017-18 George Soros Visiting Chairs

May 22, 2017

"The George Soros Visiting Chair program has been invaluable to the School providing our students with the opportunity to hear from experienced practitioners and distinguished scholars,” commented School of Public Policy (SPP) Acting Dean Julia Buxton. In addition to teaching a two-credit elective course, George Soros Visiting Chairs also give a public lecture and advise students on their research projects. The program was established to celebrate the 80th birthday of George Soros, the founder of CEU and of SPP, and the Honorary Chairman of the CEU Board of Trustees. The program is funded by generous donations from Soros’ friends and family. 

SPP will be hosting two George Soros Visiting Chairs in 2017-18: University of Manchester Professor Judith Aldridge (fall 2017) and John Ryle (spring 2018), co-founder of the Rift Valley Institute and Legrand Ramsey Professor of Anthropology at Bard College in the United States.

Aldridge has done extensive research on drug use, drug policy, and drug markets. Her recent work focuses on online drug cryptomarkets (also known as “darknet” drug markets) where drug sellers and buyers are able, as she notes, “to transact anonymously yet in plain sight of law enforcement.” Aldridge has authored or co-authored more than 70 publications (including three books) and has acted in an expert capacity to the Council of Europe, the European Monitoring Centre for Drugs and Drug Addiction (EMCDDA), and the European Commission.

In addition to his affiliations with Bard College and the Rift Valley Institute, John Ryle is also a research associate of the School of Oriental and African Studies in London and a board member of the Human Rights Watch Africa Division. Ryle has done important research in Eastern and Central Africa and is the author of Warriors of the White Nile (1984) and co-editor of The Sudan Handbook (2011). He is a writer, editor, and film-maker and has contributed to many leading publications including the London Review of Books, the New York Review of Books, and Granta.