Dani Belo Appointed to Canadian Global Affairs Institute

Dani Belo named to CGAIWebster University Assistant Professor of International Relations Dani Belo has been appointed to the Canadian Global Affairs Institute (CGAI) in Ottawa, Canada.

CGAI brings together diplomats, political leaders, public servants, and academics who have made extraordinary contributions to their field. Members of the Institute are established through invitation only. CGAI’s advisory committee includes previous prime ministers, government ministers, high-ranking military officers, and public servants. A key mission of the Institute is to amplify the impact of the diplomatic and academic communities on global policymaking.

“This is an incredible milestone in my career as a teacher and scholar of international relations and security studies,” Belo said of the appointment. “It is an indication that my work has been making a difference in the global policy community. I’m quite grateful and excited about what I and my colleagues can accomplish together, as well as the opportunities I will be able to create for my students.”

Belo, who is also a fellow at the Institute for Human Rights and Humanitarian Studies as well as a research fellow at The Norman Paterson School of International Affairs, was invited to join the premier Canadian Institute because of his research on unconventional security threats and “Gray Zone Conflicts.”

“The contemporary international environment is dominated by conflicts that take place between the states of absolute peace and war,” Belo explained. “I research how and why states choose to engage in this format of conflict using cyber warfare, support for non-state groups, and other means that have generally played a supporting role to military operations.”

He went on to say that such “unconventional means” of pursuing foreign policy goals are currently front and center in international affairs as they pose quite a significant risk to diplomatic conflict resolution and require innovative thinking about deterrence and threat mitigation.

In addition to his teaching, fellowships, and world-renowned research initiatives, Belo is also busy as the director of Webster’s new Global Policy Horizons Research Lab, a hub for current and prospective students, as well as faculty research in the field of national and international security.

The mission of the lab, Belo said, is to create peer-reviewed and policy-focused research that has an impact on global policymaking in areas such as international economics, human security, the environment, cyberspace, and unconventional security threats.

“Success in the field of international relations begins with curiosity for global challenges and the opportunities to work with passionate people who support you in the journey to create policy solutions for these challenges,” Belo said. “At Webster, we have a capable and passionate faculty who are committed to providing such support.” 

Belo added that his own passion has always stemmed from a place of inquiry and perplexed curiosity. 

“People have the means and incentive to forego wars and conflict, yet they choose to engage in them anyway,” Belo said. “Why is that? This paradox is what has driven me to research the unconventional Gray Zone ways of fighting that have dominated international affairs in the 21st century.”

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