2011 Outstanding Young Alumni
Ph.D. student in international studies, University of Denver
Major: Business administration, with a concentration in international business
A global view
International relations work including, since 2005, forecasting the character of interactions
between nations took Jonathan Moyer to Asia, Europe and Africa before he was 30.
But what stoked his interest in international politics and economics was his first
taste of living abroad, as a Bluffton-supported student spending his junior year of
college in Spain. That was a huge turning point in my life, says Moyer. That s when
I hit my stride.
Engaging with the world
The time in Spain instilled a sense of obligation to the world, he recalls, and, after
a senior year when everything seemed to click, Moyer acted on that feeling, traveling
to Vietnam in fall 2002 to teach through Mennonite Central Committee (MCC).
In 2005, knowing he wanted to go to graduate school, Moyer returned to the United
States. That summer, he married his wife, Rachel whom he had met at MCC orientation
three years before and moved to Denver, where he started his master s degree program
at the University of Denver s Josef Korbel School of International Studies.
An international future
At the same time, Moyer began working with International Futures (IF), a quantitative
model designed to help policymakers think strategically about economic, social, political
and environmental systems. He is now among the five-member leadership team at the
Korbel School s Pardee Center for International Futures whose interest, he points
out, isn t in making predictions about probable outcomes in interstate relations.
We re not these crazy people who think we have a handle on the future, says Moyer,
the son of David 71 and Elaine 72 Moyer. There s definitely subjectivity involved
with this, and we embrace that.
For instance, for his doctoral dissertation which he expects to finish early next
year Moyer is modeling emerging pressures on state relations over the next 20 years.
Those pressures include climate change, the rise of China and India, peak oil and
gas production and changing demographics, especially the aging of Europe. In the latter
case, he explains, the growing proportion of old to young in the U.S. will pale in
comparison to many European countries, which could face massive pressures over budgets,
further debt crises and radical shifts in immigration policies as a result. But a
positive demographic change may be in the works for some of the world s least developed
countries, where aging of young populations could translate to less domestic upheaval
in coming years, Moyer says.
His work has taken him frequently to Europe and Africa, as well as across the U.S.
He has led research projects for the European Union; helped develop a long-term, low-carbon
strategy for Slovenia; and co-authored publications on development in Africa, technology
and carbon emissions, measures of state fragility and fair trade.
But for helping him figure out who I was in the world, he adds, Moyer remains grateful
to Bluffton. It provided me with a ton of tools.