Crossing borders

Xue Hanqin ’83LAW, ’95LAW / Photo courtesy of International Court of JusticeThe UN General Assembly this past summer elected China’s Xue Hanqin ’83LAW, ’95LAW to the International Court of Justice in The Hague, where she is only the second female judge in the court’s 64-year history. Xue previously served as China’s first ambassador to the Association of Southeast Asian Nations and as its ambassador to the Netherlands . . . Chun Yung-woo ’94SIPA / Photo: Kim Kyung Hoon / Reuters PicturesSouth Korean president Lee Myung-bak has named Chun Yung-woo ’94SIPA his top aide for foreign affairs and national security. Chun has also been South Korea’s deputy foreign minister and, before that, its chief nuclear negotiator . . . Lisa Anderson ’81GSAS, former dean of the School of International and Public Affairs, has been named the first female president of the American University in Cairo, where she had been provost.

B-schoolers on the case

For the third year in a row, Columbia MBA students won first place in the case-study category of the Turnaround Management Association’s student-paper competition in October. The winning case study, which analyzes financial struggles at the shoe company Crocs, was written by Ronald Schulhof ’10BUS, Molly Bennard ’10BUS, Julie Thaler ’10BUS, Kevin Sayles ’10BUS, and John Wolff ’10BUS . . . Another team of Columbia MBA students won the American Bankruptcy Institute’s annual corporate-restructuring competition in November. Students from 12 top MBA programs were given a week to solve a real-world case problem involving a timber company on the verge of bankruptcy; Columbia’s winning team convinced a mock board of directors that the company should refinance rather than try their chances in bankruptcy court. The team consisted of Kevin Van Dam ’11BUS, Patrick Carey ’11BUS, Stephen Kavulich ’11BUS, and Edward Martin ’11BUS.

Film noirs

Sara Ziff ’11GS / Photo: Rob BennettFormer fashion model Sara Ziff ’11GS directed and produced Picture Me, a documentary that alleges young female models are routinely sexually exploited. The film opened in New York in September . . . Ethan Downing ’10SCE is currently directing a short documentary about human smuggling in China, based on research he began in the School of Continuing Education’s master’s program in negotiation and conflict resolution. The film describes the activities of “snakeheads” who transport adults and children from China into the United States at a high cost, often leaving them to work off enormous debts in abusive conditions.

Greener guidance

Howard Slatkin ’00GSAPP was named the first director of sustainability at the New York City Department of City Planning in November. Previously, as deputy director of strategic planning, Slatkin oversaw the department’s green initiatives. Slatkin’s appointment was announced by City Planning Commissioner Amanda M. Burden ’92GSAPP . . . This past fall, Mark Mizrahi ’91SIPA became president and CEO of EnLink Geoenergy, a California-based developer and installer of geothermal heating and cooling systems.

Better-serving bankers

Rita Soni ’01SIPARita Soni ’01SIPA was named CEO of the NASSCOM Foundation, the social-development arm of the Indian software industry’s trade organization, in November. Soni previously worked at India’s Yes Bank, where she was in charge of loan programs that benefited socially and environmentally sensitive business ventures . . . Adhil Shetty ’05SIPA, the CEO of, was recognized this summer by the Indian magazine Business Today for running one of India’s “hottest start-ups.”, which Shetty cofounded with his brother and sister-in-law in 2007, allows customers to comparison shop for loans and insurance.

Great interpretations

Alex Zucker ’90SIPAAlex Zucker ’90SIPA recently won the 2010 National Translation Award from the American Literary Translators Association for bringing into English the young Czech writer Petra Hu˚lová’s celebrated first novel All This Belongs to Me . . . Abigail Deutsch ’09JRN won the Poetry Foundation’s 2010 Editors Prize for Reviewing for articles she published in the May and September issues of the organization’s prestigious magazine, Poetry. Deutsch has also published reviews in the Los Angeles Times, the Village Voice, n+1, and Bookforum.

Patient writer

Rachel Aviv ’09SOA has won a 2010 Rona Jaffe Foundation award for emerging female writers. The $25,000 prize will support Aviv’s research on a book about adolescents and young adults in the earliest stages of schizophrenia. Aviv will follow a small group of patients from a Maine psychiatric hospital for a year and write about their lives.

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