Category Archives: Site Administration

Site-related items.

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So You Want to Pay to Sit at a Desk and Think About Things

Effective at the end of this summer, I will be leaving my full-time position as a policy analyst at the Center for American Progress and entering Johns Hopkins-SAIS university to pursue a master’s degree in international relations, with a concentration in South Asia. Although I will maintain a strong focus on Pakistan and Afghanistan, I’m doing this in part to broaden my experience to include developments in India, as well as revisiting other parts of Asia I once upon a time knew something about. My news updates may expand to reflect this – I’m still weighing the balance between brevity and a more comprehensive daily review of South Asia news.

I will likely continue to work at CAP in a part-time capacity, and hopefully be able to continue to contribute in my small way within the DC policy community. But I’m also hoping this move will free up some space to share more thoughts here at the blog as I delve back into academic studies, and maybe explore other side projects. (If you would like to support a soon-to-be-penniless graduate student and commission analytical projects or offer other forms of part-time employment, feel free to get in touch.) We will see whether this notion is overly optimistic and I in fact end up spending all of my free time attempting to re-learn enough math to pass a macroeconomics course, or not.

Thanks for reading!

(Title credit: Kelsey Atherton.)

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No Document Dump This Evening

Crashing on a few side projects, sorry blog! I’ll try to make it up later.

No Document Dump This Week

I’m still playing vacation catch-up, so no blogging beyond the normal news briefs is likely. I should be back at it next week, though.

On Vacation

Happy Winter Solstice, readers. I’ll be back in January.

Upcoming Site Features

First, I’d like to thank the many people on Twitter and elsewhere who commented on or shared my recent piece on the exciting life of the research analyst. I’m glad to see it proved to be a popular topic, and hope it proves useful! It’s again just a product of my own experience (which so far has been at a single organization), so I’ll be happy to still hear from others about the analytical or technical tools they use.

Continuing on this vein, I am going to spend some time in the near future writing up a piece on how to analyze a budget document. Exciting stuff! But I really do think that this is one of the most valuable skills you can have (and one that’s also still comparatively rare). I’m not a professional on this but I have done it enough within the context of my issue areas that I think I may be able to come up with some general guidelines. Check back in this space in the next few days (or, if you’ve applied the lessons of the previous post, watch your Reader). If that works out well, I’m considering doing a “document of the week” feature, since I read a lot of those during the course of my day job.

The big new feature coming immediately to the site is a daily summary of the news on Afghanistan and Pakistan, which I have been doing for the past three and a half years as part of my job at CAP. It’s open to the public — you can sign up to receive it by e-mail here! — but doesn’t quite fit with the existing structure of CAP’s general public-facing websites, so I will be giving it a home on the web here. The updates come out Monday through Friday, with extra-long editions after weekends or holidays. I think it is a useful product and hope people following the issue will agree; I have a backlog of these going back to 2008, but will hold off on uploading any of those here unless I can figure out how to do it without blowing up the RSS feed. The first edition will appear tomorrow; if you come across articles or items I’ve missed, please don’t hesitate to share.

Beyond that I’m still experimenting with site content. Thanks for reading!

Once More Into the Blog

Fair warning to any potential readers: I’ve started blogs before; they tend to languish. I am happily employed at the Center for American Progress, where I have a busy day job writing about U.S. policy towards Afghanistan and Pakistan. (Just to reiterate: nothing I write here represents CAP’s view on anything, and it’s all done on my own time.)

Twitter has been my primary outlet for the past two years for quick thoughts and public discussions on a range of issues; assuming you didn’t find me through it in the first place, this site will probably work best as an annex to my stream of thoughts there. But on the occasion that I have thoughts that don’t fit best my professional outlets or within the confines of 140 characters — book reviews, travelogues, other stray observations outside my usual policy lane — I will try to find time to express them here.