UMass Boston

Special Projects

John Joseph Moakley Chair of Peace and Reconciliation

Padraig O’Malley is the John Joseph Moakley Distinguished Professor of Peace and Reconciliation and a celebrated facilitator/convener and author on topics related to divided societies, O’Malley has played major roles in breaking the gridlock and promoting peace in South Africa, Northern Ireland, and more recently the Middle East. John Joseph Moakley (1927-2001) was born in nearby South Boston and is fondly remembered as a compassionate and capable public servant.  His early political career included positions as a state representative, a state senator, and a Boston city councilor before going on to fill the congressional seat once held by Speaker John W. McCormack. Moakley proudly represented the Massachusetts’ 9th District for nearly 30 years.

Africa Scholars Forum (ASF)

The Africa Scholars Forum at UMass Boston is a university-wide academic platform for the teaching, research, and programming of Africa convened by an informal network of Africanists at UMass Boston. The forum serves many functions, including building a more formal educational presence around African studies, providing a collaborative hub for work on Africa at UMass Boston, and facilitating among Africanist faculty shared resources and existing initiatives in African studies in a convened, organized, institutional space.

Upcoming event:

Africa Day 2024 Conference - Democratic Backsliding in West Africa: Contradictions, Challenges, and Difference (Paper submission form)

Massachusetts Election Debate Series

UMass Boston's John. W. McCormack Graduate School of Policy and Global Studies, WBUR radio, and The Boston Globe host a series of live political debates featuring primary candidates running for seats from several offices to better serve the residents across cities and towns of Massachusetts.

Robert C. Wood Visiting Professorship in Public and Urban Affairs

The Robert C. Wood Visiting Professorship in Public and Urban Affairs was established in 1998 at the now John W. McCormack Graduate School of Policy and Global Studies. Conceived as a vehicle for bringing distinguished public leaders to lecture and engage on topics such as race, education, and government efficiency, the professorship links the scholarly pursuits of the McCormack Graduate School with practical problems and policies of the larger society. The selection of each year’s speaker is tailored to objectives developed by the McCormack Graduate School in consultation with the honoree, faculty, staff, and others.

Policy Across Disciplines Program @UMass Boston 

The Policy Across Disciplines Program is a two-college collaboration between The McCormack School and the College of Liberal Arta (CLA).  The program will support faculty research and scholarship as well as student success in liberal arts and policy studies at UMass Boston. Speaker Series: the speaker series will host scholars and practitioners – individual talks or in panel discussions - from cross disciplinary backgrounds and disciplines who have expertise on a range of topics that have implications for some of the most pressing policy issues of our time. 

McCormack Speaks @ WUMB Radio

The McCormack Graduate School of Policy and Global Studies and WUMB Radio at UMass Boston are pleased to announce a new public affairs radio program called McCormack Speaks @ WUMB Radio. The program presents a series of conversations on a range of topics, including town management, public health and COVID, US-Africa relations, the controversy surrounding Critical Race Theory, democracy, and freedom in Ukraine and Russia, and public service and policy careers.  McCormack Speaks @ WUMB is co-sponsored by the Dean's Office Student Success (DOSS) Program and also features the McCormack Institutes of International and Public Service (MIIPS) Brown Bag Series. Tune in LIVE on Sundays at 7:30 AM on WUMB Radio 91.9 FM in Boston, Worcester, and Falmouth, or stream live from For listening frequencies outside of greater Boston and across New Hampshire, check here.