Towson University junior Lauren Cahalan is going global. Cahalan will be spending three busy days, April 11-13, with 150 undergraduates from the United States and a dozen foreign countries at the 57th Naval Academy Foreign Affairs Conference (NAFAC) in Annapolis. Since 1960 the Naval Academy has hosted NAFAC each year as it has grown to be one of the premier undergraduate conferences in the country, hosting speakers that have included in recent years a President and a Secretary of Defense. This year’s theme is “A New Era of Great Power Competition?”
NAFAC has been limited to 150 students to maintain an atmosphere of direct conversation and sustained interaction. Students are assigned to roundtables with a specific topic. Each student delegate prepares by writing a research paper related to that topic with full citations and presents that paper at the conference. Each receives extended discussion, dissection, and analysis. A top paper will be recognized with a prize, and some may be considered for publication.
Cahalan has been assigned to a roundtable with the question “Why Can’t We Be Friends: Great Power Cooperation and the Role of International Organizations and Agreements.” Extensive work last year developed for Cahalan a notable expertise on the International Monetary Fund that will stand her in good stead. So, too, will her background as a member of the Honors College with majors in Economics and Political Science and a minor in Business Administration.
NAFAC represents an extraordinary opportunity for students interested in international affairs, and it is a significant honor to be selected as a delegate. Dr. Robert Rook, Director of Interdisciplinary Programs in the College of Liberal Arts, has served as Towson University’s liaison to NAFAC and has worked with the student selected. Towson University can be proud of its participation in NAFAC, and it can be proud of being represented by Cahalan.