Orga Cadet: Connecting Law and Policy

January 29, 2016
by Hunter Harris

With one foot in the world of policy and one in the world of law, Orga Cadet MPP 2016 sees every international affairs issue from two perspectives.

Instead of right or wrong, prudent or risky, he sees the policy side and the law side: Cadet is a dual degree candidate, pursuing his Master of Public Policy at Harvard Kennedy School (HKS). He spent the fall 2015 semester in Beijing, China, finishing his Juris Doctor degree through a study abroad program with Georgetown University. He is also a fellow in the Belfer Center's International and Global Affairs (BIGA) program. 

“I like that at law school I can dive deep into the details of the law and make these arguments and ask these types of questions,” Cadet says. “In policy school—at least the classes that I’ve chosen—the thinking is more high level, more abstract and theoretical in regards to conflict resolution and negotiation.”

Cadet’s parents were Haitian refugees, and he says his experience as a legal intern for the Haitian Embassy in D.C. was an important influence in his decision to come to the Kennedy School. “During my internship with the Haitian ambassador,” he says, “I learned that for actors in the international field, knowing what the law says is always half of the question. The other half is the ‘what should we do,’ and I think that’s what policy school helps to answer.”

The "what should we do" question is obviously an important one, and as an IGA student fellow, he’s working with Professor Stephen Walt to try to answer it. Walt is working on a book “about foreign policy dysfunction.” By analyzing past missteps, Cadet says they’ll reach clearer ideas of how to manage the biggest threats facing the United States today.

“I’ve learned so much from Professor Walt,” Cadet says, “...understanding how the U.S. acts in the ways that it does, and what makes it successful and what makes it not.”

This spring, Cadet has returned to Cambridge and the Belfer Center with a JD and a more informed perspective of the rise of China. “Being interested in conflict resolution and international law, it’s pretty obvious that understanding China better will be important for my career,” he says. “I wanted to see how China uses law as a means to solve problems, whether it’s domestically or in foreign policy.”

Tags: China China

Tags: Master in Public Policy Master in Public Policy

Orga Cadet MPP 2016

Orga Cadet MPP 2016 spent the Fall 2015 semester in Beijing, China. 

"For actors in the international field, knowing what the law says is always half of the question," Cadet says. "The other half is the ‘what should we do,’ and I think that’s what policy school helps to answer.”


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