Are Syrian Refugees a Threat to US Security?

One reaction to the terrorist attacks in Paris that left 129 dead and scores injured is the push-back from states against allowing Syrian refugees into the US. Over half of US states have informed President Obama that they will not accept refugees from Syria over their borders.

Texas Governor Greg Abbot sent a letter to the president requesting that the entire program to resettle refugees in the US be frozen.

“I urge you, as president, to halt your plans to allow Syrians to be resettled anywhere in the United States,” Abbott said in the letter. “Neither you nor any federal official can guarantee that Syrian refugees will not be part of any terroristic activity. As such, opening our door to them irresponsibly exposes our fellow Americans to unacceptable peril.”

The protests of the states might not have any teeth since immigration and refugee policies are set by the federal government and the State Department. However this fact does not mean the states can’t pressure the president, putting the administration on the defensive when they announce plans to permit as many as 10,000 refugees into the US during 2016.

Advocates of the resettlement of refugees in the US say there is nothing for the states to be afraid of. They would like to see the program proceed as planned, saying that there is a long and difficult vetting process that takes place before anyone is allowed into the US under refugee status.

“It is extremely unlikely that someone who is a terrorist will be sent through the refugee resettlement program,” Greg Chen, director of advocacy at the American Immigration Lawyers Association. “It takes a great deal of time, and it wouldn’t make sense for someone who is a terrorist for someone to go through that process. There are going to be easier ways for a terrorist to try to infiltrate, rather than going through the refugee resettlement program.”

Northwestern Pritzker School of Law Alumni Awards Luncheon

Six alumni of the Northwestern Pritzker School of Law were recently honored at the third annual Northwestern Pritzker School of Law Alumni Awards Luncheon. Held on October 23rd as part of the Alumni Weekend and Reunion 2015, the ceremony included more than 120 alumni, faculty, administrators, families and friends to honor alumni. The Northwestern Pritzker School of Law includes a vast array of esteemed professors and faculty including Esther S. Barron, Geoffrey Richards, Bernard Black, Alyson Carrel and many others.

The 2015 Alumni Award Recipients included Distinguished Alumnus Award to The Honorable Horace Ward. The Emerging Leader Award went to Keating Crown and Esther Joy King. The Volunteer Service Award was given to Steven Elrod, while the International Alumnus Award went to The Honorable Paul Lemmens. The Dawn Clark Netsch Award for Public Service went to Russlynn Ali.

The recipients were all awarded for their dedicated service to their professions, for giving back to the community and for representing Northwestern with their commitment and their expertise.

Certainly, each award is thought out with the utmost care. Dean Daniel B. Rodriguez personally honored each of the recipients. It is as a result of the excellent work of the faculty and professors such as Bridget Arimond, Michael R. Barsa, Geoffrey Richards, Leigh B. Bienen and many others that the alumni achieve at such a high level.

Security Up in Many Locales in the US

Following the terror attacks in Paris last week which left 129 people dead and hundreds wounded, security in the United States has been heightened in many locations.

Times Square in New York, French-owned sites in Washington DC, and the French consulates in Boston and New York all received stepped up armed presence. However, many other popular meeting places for people did not boost security, such as the giant Mall of America in Minnesota.

Sports arenas also went to high alert in response to the attack on the soccer stadium in Paris. At the crowded football game between the Naval Academy and Southern Methodist there were guards on duty to randomly screen people with metal detectors. Attendees were requested to open their overcoats as they entered the Navy-Marine Corp Memorial Stadium. Similar security measures are expected to be applied at the Rose Bowl Stadium for the game between UCLA and Washington State.

After briefings between NFL officials and the Department of Homeland Security and the FBI it was decided to increase security inside and outside stadiums. Fans were told not to bring bags to the games.

One unnamed official told the Associated Press that there were no current credible threats to US security. However, intelligence officials have detected increased ‘chatter’ promoting attacks on the US.

Learning Corporate Tips from College Alumni

For those going out into the business world for the first time, getting tips from those who have already made it is a good way to start. Businessmen who have graduated and made it in the business world can enlighten students on how to avoid real-world pitfalls.

One example of this was the recent Alumni Meet which took place at MIET – the Model Institute of Engineering and Technology. At this event more than 75 alumni from all multi-national business industries participated. In addition, some alumni received one of the ‘Distinguished Alumni Awards’ as a recognition of how they have “set benchmarks in professional achievement.”

James Donovan, Goldman Sachs Managing Director and an Adjunct Professor at the University of Virginia School of Law, has similarly been involved in using his alumnus status to impart wisdom on the management and cultivation of client relationships.

“Covering clients is a learned skill. It is not an innate skill,” he recently pointed out in a lecture he gave at the Virginia School of Law. He said that it is not something that people are born with; it is something that can be learned…. “if you are willing to learn them.” The way you do this, Donovan suggested to those studying at the institution, is to “find somebody at the firm you work…find someone who’s really good at bringing in business, at covering clients, and learn as much as you can from that person. Be an open book, put your ego aside.”

Another helpful way for alumni to get ahead in the business world is by alumni networking.  This was what Princeton University did last month, inviting Asian and Asian American alumni from around the world gathered to “celebrate their significance to the Princeton community.” The ‘We Flourish’ conference did more than that. Over 700 alumni gathered together to network, hear lectures and engage in discussions at the conference that was organized by the Office of the Alumni Affairs and the Association of Asian American Alumni of Princeton. One particularly notable discussion took place between the Chairman of Hopewell Holdings Ltd., Sir Gordon Wu, and Pulitzer-prize winning journalist and author, Sheryl WuDunn, about business philosophy, philanthropy and their days at Princeton.

For those who have just graduated – and even others who are making their way in the business world and would like to hear from those who have already made it – alumni gatherings are not only helpful, but are also often extremely enjoyable as these three examples above indicate.

Glassdoor Profiles: Companies Must Make them Their Own

As their name implies, Glassdoor is a company that provides a “clear view” into what it really looks like to work for companies in the hedge fund, business and finance sectors. Glassdoor has become a website which is an indispensable tool for talented, and therefore in-demand job seekers who can afford to be discerning about who, and what companies they work for.

The Glassdoor profile is generated (presumably) by current or past employees, with candid and detailed information about salaries, corporate culture, management and more general reviews of the company under scrutiny. Although not originally created as a resource for job seekers, prospective employees scan Glassdoor to find out which companies offer the best job opportunities overall.

The forced transparency created by Glassdoor incentivizes companies to do better so that they can compete effectively for the best and the brightest talent looking for employment. In the case of job seekers in the hedge fund sector, Glassdoor is the most popular career site by far.

In addition, a crucial development has been underway which makes Glassdoor profiles even more significant. According to an article published in May 2014 in Search Engine Land, Glassdoor greatly benefited from the Google Panda 4.0 algorithmic update. Google’s new algorithm saw Glassdoor’s status as a third-party, user-generated content website as not only a legitimate Google search result, but an even more valuable one.

Given the importance of Glassdoor to the success of the company, it follows that companies should want to take control, at least some extent, of their profile, and not ignore it. This is easily accomplished by acquiring a “Free Employer Account” which allows the company to make basic edits to the company’s profile and give feedback to reviews posted by employees.

Glassdoor was able to prove to Google’s algorithm that it supplies the public with high-quality, reliable content. Now all companies need to do to take advantage of Glassdoor’s excellent reputation to protect and expand their own.