Meet Michele Acuto, who has used his combined master’s in International Affairs and Diplomacy as well as his PhD in Politics and International Relations to be a true global citizen of the world.
Michele Acuto says he decided to pursue graduate studies when he was working at the Institute of European Affairs in Dublin, and realised a master’s degree was a “core asset” for anyone, like himself, looking at a public sector career in international affairs or diplomacy.
Two master’s degrees and a PhD later, Michele has a new career, as a researcher and educator.
He is currently a Fellow at the Oxford Programme for the Future of Cities and also at the University of Southern California’s Center on Public Diplomacy.
“I’m currently carrying out research on the influence of major cities for global governance and international politics, with a specific focus on the relation between global processes and everyday urban challenges, and on the growing importance of mayors in world politics,” he says.
“My main appointment is with the University of Oxford, but I also have a project on climate leadership and cities I have developed jointly with the University of Southern California.”
Michele completed his combined Master of International Affairs/Master of Diplomacy and PhD at ANU, where he says he successfully “tested” whether academia was the right fit for his career interests and lifestyle.
He says his time at the University also helped him secure his position at Oxford.
“Certainly, it did. ANU is generally well-regarded in most of the disciplines I work in, certainly in international relations, but also for its Asia Pacific and China research expertise. The academic staff in IR have a global reputation, and the Asia Pacific College of Diplomacy has a key advantage of focusing on the practice of international relations beyond theory.”
Michele still believes that a postgraduate degree is an asset to researchers and practitioners in international relations and diplomacy, and says that he often advises his students at Oxford to study at ANU.
“I regularly recommend ANU to those students who display a particular interest in Asia, as well as to those who are in search of a postgraduate education of an alternative format to the Oxbridge model or the American system.
“I particularly recommend doctoral education in Australia because of both the excellent research facilities and funding available there, as well as the growing concentration of top IR scholars.”