Our Intellectual Momentum


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The Freeman Spogli Institute for International Studies is located in Encina Hall. Photo: Rod Searcey

This is part two of six in which Director Michael McFaul talks about his vision for the Freeman Spogli Institute for International Studies, the accomplishments he's most proud of so far, and why he keeps returning to the Farm.

When a student connects with us, they realize right away what a dynamic environment it is here in Encina Hall. There is so much happening and you see it as you go from floor to floor. You can attend an event on cybersecurity in the morning, a lunchtime seminar on Russia’s economy, and an evening talk about Middle East politics. There is an invigorating energy moving throughout each floor.

Encina Hall is an energizing space where we convene events for student and faculty, but also welcome the broader community. People will line up around the building an hour ahead of an event just to make sure they get a good seat. We are proud to be the hosts for such a broad and diverse community, and are able to offer one of the most beautiful and historic event spaces on campus. We’ve welcomed some incredible guests recently, including Hillary Clinton, Mateo Renzi, Susan Rice and Ash Carter, to name a few, not to mention the events featuring our own experts.

And we just completed a newly constructed courtyard where we can gather the community in a special outdoor and idyllic setting. We’re glad you’re here, even if you’re standing in the back or watching the livestream of an event in the overflow rooms. It’s humbling to see all the people who are drawn to the intellectual momentum here.

Read part three in this series, Research Is At Our Core, or return to the Meet the Director page.