COVID-19 Update

Johns Hopkins SAIS is actively monitoring the global COVID-19 outbreak, with particular focus on the health and well-being of the university community. CLICK HERE for additional resources and virtual events.

Skip navigation

Celebrating the Class of 2016


May 19, 2016

The Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS) celebrated its 72nd commencement with the Class of 2016 on May 19.

Dean Vali Nasr commended graduates, hailing from 50 different countries, for their hard work and leadership in global issues. He asked the graduates to “remember to help each other,” noting “The world is more complex, more interconnected, and more vulnerable to traditional challenges than ever before. Tackling these complex global challenges will require intellect and commitment, but also collaboration, strong relationships, and empathy."

Ambassador Wendy Sherman, former Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs and lead U.S. negotiator for the Iran nuclear deal delivered the keynote address and advised graduates to take risks in their professional and personal lives. Sherman noted her career shift from idealistic social worker to diplomat negotiating a nuclear nonproliferation agreement as an example of how unpredictable—yet meaningful—life can be.  

Graduates Elizabeth Knowles Parker-Magyar and Jenna Spinks were presented with the Christian A. Herter Award for outstanding academic achievement, and Lorena Americano Valente and Sheimaliz Glover received the William C. Foster Award for distinguished service to the school. The Max M. Fisher Prize for Excellence in Teaching was presented to International Economics associate practitioner-in-residence Mark White.

A commencement ceremony was held at SAIS Europe on May 14 with 27 students graduating in the MA, MAIA and MIPP programs. The ceremony featured a keynote address from alumna Christina Balis, Principal of Avascent Europe. Professor Mark Gilbert was awarded the Johns Hopkins Alumni Association Excellence in Teaching Award.

For full coverage of the 2016 Commencement, visit the event video, photo album, and social media summary.