Focus Areas

The Tower Center manages inter-related research and teaching programs on the foundational themes of public policy and international affairs with particular focus on National Security; International Political Economy; Japan and East Asia; and U.S. Economy & Politics.

National Security and Defense 

The National Security and Defense Program at the Tower Center serves to raise student and public awareness of national and international security affairs. The Tower Center gives students the opportunity to interact with policymakers, military officers, intelligence officials, and diplomats.  Along with the Tower Center National Security Symposium, we organize regular forums and seminars that give the public the chance to converse with leading scholars about cutting edge research in security studies, as well as with government officials and defense industry executives. 

Sun & Star Japan and East Asia

The Sun & Star Japan and East Asia Program aims to increase awareness of the economic, historical, political, and social trends of Japan and East Asia that affect the future of China, Japan, Korea, East Asia, and the world, including the United States.  Through the Sun & Star Symposia and lecture series featuring scholars, practitioners, journalists, and government officials, students and other participants learn about the challenges and opportunities in each country’s domestic politics and economics, the region’s relationship with the U.S. and the Asia-Pacific, and the international relations of the globalized world.

International Politics and Economics 

This program explores the interconnections between politics and economics by focusing on issues of

  • international trade and finance and its effect on the well-being and security of people in the U.S.;
  • the intensifying competition for resources (particularly energy, water, and human capital);
  • climate change;
  • international migration; andeconomic and political development in Latin America (especially Mexico), Asia (with a focus on Japan and China), the Middle East, and Africa with emphasis on the ethics of development.
  • U.S. Economy and Politics

    This program focuses on the way in which the changing economic and security environments affect America’s institutions and policies; the well-being of its people and traditional American liberties. It also examines the way America’s approaches to its political, economic, and cultural challenges at home affects its ability to promote U.S. interests abroad.

    Jno. E. Owens Memorial Foundation

    The Jno. E. Owens Memorial Foundation was established in 1953 by Mrs. Owens in memory of her husband, a prominent Texas banker. During his lifetime, Mr. Owens was intensely interested in international economics, and it was his wish to establish a foundation that would memorialize his lifelong interest in international relations. The broad objective of the Jno. E. Owens Memorial Lectureship Series is to enlarge public understanding of international economic forces in the philosophical context of free trade. 

    Tower Scholars Program

    The Tower Scholar Program is a selective, multidisciplinary minor in Public Policy and International Affairs that enables students from a variety of academic backgrounds to combine their academic interests with experience in the real world of public policy. The Highland Capital Management Tower Scholars learn from experienced policy practitioners and faculty about the policy-making process before putting their education into action in a directed research project on a policy area of their choice. Outside the classroom, students put policy in practice through on-campus events and private meetings with practitioners and policymakers. 

    Visit the Tower Scholars webpage