• ISD in the Classroom

    Registration Open

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  • Yoani Sanchez

    2014-2015 Yahoo Fellow

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  • Meet the ISD Associates

    A World of Experience

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  • A Look Back: The First Ten Years

    Includes ISD at 25 Tributes

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Founded in 1978, the Institute for the Study of Diplomacy brings together diplomats and scholars to bridge theory and practice as they explore global problems and the changing worlds of diplomatic engagement.

ISD Associate, Robert Kemp, Writes on Counterinsurgency in Afghanistan

After the 2001 ouster of the Taliban from Afghanistan, the United States and its allies found themselves in a country devastated by a series of wars. This book looks at how, working with their Afghan counterparts, they engaged in a complex effort to rebuild security, development, and governance, all while fighting a low-intensity war.

Drawing on his experience on the ground, Robert Kemp gives us a firsthand, unfiltered view of how U.S. military and civilian officers coped with a confusing, constantly changing situation along the border with Pakistan. It looks at how they developed programs and methods, such as Provinial Reconstruction Teams, while learning to work with the Afghans––and each other.

“Robert Kemp's candid account of the joint efforts of American military officers and civilians to help local government officials and ordinary citizens in remote, often dangerous areas to reconstruct their war-torn country is a valuable contribution to our understanding of American achievements and failures in Afghanistan. It also usefully illustrates how 21st century challenges have greatly widened the range of activities our diplomats must pursue. ”
––HOWARD B. SCHAFFER, U.S. Ambassador (ret.)

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Power Beyond Force: A New Strategic Vision for America

The inaugural Distinguished Practitioners Discussion Series was presented by Gen. Wesley K. Clark US Army (Ret) before a group of students and invited guests on the Georgetown campus. Held on Thursday, October 30, General Clark discussed topics from his new book, Don’t Wait For the Next War: A Strategy for American Growth and Global Leadership.

As America emerges from more than a ­decade of costly wars, Clark proposed a new strategic vision to address five persistent, ­interrelated, international challenges—­terrorism, cyber security, financial instability, the rise of China, and global climate change. This event was presented by the Institute in cooperation with the Center for Security Studies.

The Role of American-style Education in the Middle East

The Institute for the Study of Diplomacy was honored to host Peter Dorman, President of the American University in Beirut (AUB), for a round table discussion on American-style education and the effects it has on culture, society, and politics in Lebanon and the Middle East more broadly. For 150 years, AUB has been seen as the "gold standard" of education in Lebanon. With an emphasis on liberal arts and not just professional skills, the students are developing more creative and critical thinking skills. Every year, hundreds of graduates are leaving AUB to go on to jobs in government, business, and medicine, and the values that they have learned at AUB are spreading through society and being widely embraced. This gives us reason to be cautiously optimistic about a more stable and democratic Middle East. The talk was moderated by Maura Connelly, a Senior State Department Fellow. She is a career member of the Senior Foreign Service.

Lecture: US Policy in the Middle East: Present Course, Future Direction

The Honorable Wendy R. Sherman, Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs, received the Trainor Award for Distinction in the Conduct of Diplomacy and presented a lecture on US Policy in the Middle East: Present Course, Future Direction. A videorecording and a text of the speech are available. [more]


The School of Foreign Service is pleased to announce the appointment of Ambassador (ret.) Barbara K. Bodine as Director of the Institute for the Study of Diplomacy and Distinguished Professor in the Practice of Diplomacy, effective July 1, 2014.

Ambassador Bodine’s 33-year Foreign Service career was spent primarily in the Middle East, with a focus on security and counterterrorism.   She served as U.S. Ambassador to Yemen from 1997 through much of2001, and also in Kuwait and Iraq.  In 1991, she received the Secretary of State’s Award for Valor for her work in occupied Kuwait.

After leaving the Foreign Service, Ambassador Bodine has been a Fellow at Harvard University and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and a Visiting Professor at the University of California, Santa Barbara.  Since 2007, she has been a Lecturer in Public and International Affairs and Director of the Scholars in the Nation’s Service Initiative at the Woodrow Wilson School of Princeton University. She is also a member of the Board of Directors of the American Academy of Diplomacy.

As Director of the School of Foreign Service’s Institute for the Study of Diplomacy, Ambassador Bodine will lead a program in research, teaching and public outreach on the nature and conduct of diplomacy, and as Distinguished Professor in the Practice of Diplomacy will teach students at both the graduate and undergraduate levels.

Ambassador Bodine says of her new role: “New international and domestic challenges, new actors and new tools demand a new way for scholars and policy-makers to think about and professionals to practice diplomacy. Georgetown’s School of Foreign Service and the Institute have been global leaders in the field of diplomacy since their founding and I am excited to be part of the effort to help shape the debate going forward.”

James Reardon-Anderson, the acting Dean of the School of Foreign Service, welcomed her, stating that “Ambassador Bodine's experience on the front-lines of diplomacy's most challenging issues will help her shape the Institute's mission in the 21st century.  We are delighted to have her join us.”