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Political Scientist Ayse Kaya Receives Fellowship from Council on Foreign Relations

Ayse Kaya

Professor of Political Science Ayse Kaya, who has expertise in global economics and climate change governance, is the recipient of a highly selective fellowship from the Council on Foreign Relations.

The honor, the International Affairs Fellowship for Tenured International Relations Scholars for 2023-2024, affirms and promises to expand the real-world relevance of Kaya’s research and teaching. She will spend the next year with a federal government agency, in Congress, or with an international organization with a focus on climate finance.

Kaya is one of just five fellows from across the disciplines to be honored this year.

“I was pleasantly surprised to receive the honor, because it’s very prestigious and competitive,” says Kaya, who teaches globalization, global economic governance, and international politics at the College. She also co-founded and leads the Global Studies Program. “It’s something I’ve always wanted to do, but didn’t think was possible.

“The chance to serve an organization, to learn from people there and to hopefully share some of my expertise, will be pretty special,” she adds. 

The fellowship is designed to “close the gap between research and practice, enriching both the teaching and scholarship” of recipients by empowering them with practical experience in foreign policymaking. Fellows get a glimpse into the inner workings of government and the opportunity to network in the field of peace and security.

“The chance to develop this more policy-informed perspective will be great,” says Kaya. “A growing number of Swarthmore students come to me for advice because they want to work for think tanks, and this will better position me for that role as an advisor. 

“It will also enrich my teaching and research by giving me a novel perspective,” she adds.

Fellows are selected based on their scholarly qualifications, professional accomplishments, and their proposal to address a relevant U.S. foreign policy topic. Kaya will focus on climate finance, building upon her research and teaching on global environmental governance and climate talks she attended with Swarthmore students.

“This fellowship feels like a recognition of the amount of effort I put into not just my teaching, but also my policy-relevant academic research,” says Kaya, who expects the experience to both sharpen her insights in her field and help her write for a wider audience. “I feel grateful about that.” 

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