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Joel Oestreich

Date: September 5, 2012

Interview by: Kailey Kluge, IAS 2015

Joel Oestreich, PhD is the Director of the International Area Studies Program in the College of Arts and Sciences. Having recently completed a Fulbright fellowship in India, Oestreich returns to the U.S. ready to apply his research in his roles as scholar, professor and Director of IAS.

Oestreich's research is on human rights and international organizations, with a specific focus on the United Nations. Accordingly, he spent his Fulbright fellowship in India researching the outcomes of United Nations agencies who take a rights-based approach to development. "The rights-based approach sees economic and human rights development as one interrelated issue," Oestreich explained, "It postulates that people whose rights are respected will be more economically productive." Oestreich was based in New Delhi, home to the United Nations headquarters in India, but spent much of his time traveling to different regions of India—including Orissa, Chhattisgarh, Madhya Pradesh, and Rajasthan— to investigate the implementation of rights-based development programs.

In addition to his own academic research, Oestreich also conducted a bit of research for his students. As Director of the IAS Program, he is responsible for tailoring the program fit the students' needs, whether that means hiring the best faculty to teach a unique course, or traveling to different countries to find the best student programs. Most recently, the IAS Program has been focusing on getting students more involved in professional development. "A lot of IAS students want to work in international development, diplomacy, or the United Nations. When I was in India, I met a lot of people in these interesting professions and asked—how did you get your job?"

Armed with new insight, Oestreich returns to Drexel with a book in the works and expanded knowledge, experience and excitement to share with students. As a recent Fulbright fellow, he wants to better advise students applying for Fulbright awards, and has high hopes to see more students winning them.

Please visit for more information:

On Joel Oestreich, PhD: Joel Oestreich's, PhD faculty profile
On the Fulbright Fellowship and how to apply: Drexel Fellowships Office
On Drexel's International Area Studies Program: International Area Studies homepage

If you know a student or faculty member who would make a great Dragon Focus, please contact the Office of International Programs:

Office of International Programs
3141 Chestnut Street
Randell Hall, Suite 235
Philadelphia, PA 19104