At long last I'm free to publicly announce what some of you already know: this will be my last semester teaching at Williams College. This fall, I take up a new position at George Washington University, where I will have a joint appointment in the Political Science Department and the Elliott School of International Affairs. GW offers a near perfect combination for me. It's a first rate academic institution, with great strengths in International Relations and International Security. I'll be closely involved in a brand new Middle East Center launching next year. GW's School of Media and Public Affairs is strong in the area of public diplomacy (Alberto Fernandez will be in residence next year). And, of course, it's in Washington DC, which - housing market aside - is a phenomenally exciting place for the kind of work that I do.
I'll miss some things about Williams, where I've been for nine years. I've had some great colleagues, and will always remember the camaraderie around the G-level tier of Stetson (which isn't long for the world anyway, since Stetson will soon be demolished and replaced with a new building). I know that I'll never again enjoy a three minute commute between home, office, and child care. I deeply regret that my kids will never have the chance to take advantage of the amazing new child care facility which I spent many long hours helping design (though I will not in the least miss the absurdity I experienced during several years chairing the committee on child care). Most of all, I'll miss teaching the astonishingly gifted, engaged, and often brilliant Williams students... though it will be some consolation to see some of my former students at GW over the next few years!
What will this mean for Abu Aardvark? Other than temporary disruptions during moving, I expect to keep running the blog. But really, who knows... extra commuting time, new responsibilities, it all could take a toll. But that would be true with or without the move. This blog has been running at a fairly consistent pace for over four years now, which is a long time. But I'm committed to the kind of public contributions which Abu Aardvark lets me make, and I can't imagine not doing it at least in some form.
The bottom line is just that I'm absolutely thrilled about this change. It's the perfect move at the perfect time, both professionally and personally. I've got a lot of friends in the DC area, and to be perfectly honest I'm looking forward to being back in a city after nine years in the Berkshires... and the less snow I see, the better.