Interview with Professor Don Hellmann
For this issue’s edition of Expert Insights, members of the Editorial Board had the pleasure of interviewing Professor Don Hellmann, who is the Director of the Institute for International Policy at UW and holds a joint appointment in the Jackson School and the Department of Political Science. Hellmann is a specialist in Pacific Rim relations and devotes particular attention to Japanese political economy and international relations. It’s not often that you meet someone who fielded job offers from Nancy Kissinger or whose dissertation notes may yet play a role in ending the continuing state of war between Japan and Russia unresolved since World War II. Hellmann’s passionate narration of his personal and professional history was a crucial reminder to us that professors are more than just scholars or teachers — they are fascinating people with diverse and often astonishing experiences. Indeed, the notes we have from our conversation with Mr. Hellmann prove that the personal anecdotes and lessons faculty members offer can be even more thought-provoking and memorable than what’s discussed in the classroom. In this interview, Hellmann tells the Journal how he became involved in international relations, discusses his vision for the senior capstone project of Task Force and shares a few of his latest research aspirations. His work inspired us to visit more of our favorite faculty members during office hours, and we hope it does the same for you.