Despatches

December 2018 Despatches

February 5, 2019

“Our wisest leaders have always understood that American foreign policy must be shaped not solely on the basis of what we are against, but also what we are for. And our interests still dictate that we should be for a world in which democracy is defended and universal values are upheld.”
T.H. Madeleine Albright
February 12, 2018
2018 J. Raymond “Jit” Trainor Award and Lecture for
Excellence in the Conduct of Diplomacy

For 40 years ISD has worked to expand and enhance understanding of diplomacy’s critical role and core skills through the education of successor generations of those committed to global public service, rising leaders from all sectors, unique teaching tools, and as a convener of senior practitioners and noted scholars to address emerging challenges to the world order, peace and security, and the survival of the planet.

As our 40th anniversary year draws to a close and we prepare for our next 40, I want to share with you some of the voices of ISD – from our extraordinary cohort of senior practitioner Fellows who bring their experience and expertise to the Institute and the classroom each year; our Board of Advisers, whose support and active engagement has been critical; and from our students – the whole reason we are here. They speak more eloquently than I about the real value of ISD, why it has endured, and why it must continue to fulfill its mission.

I hope you can spare the time to read through what a wonderful, purposeful, and important year ISD has had. We count on your support and commitment to help us continue and expand this work – and we welcome your gift of any amount to our “Support Diplomacy“; Let’s make sure that 2019 is the start to great decades to come!
I am also pleased to share a round-up of some of our key events this year, from the launch of our celebratory year with the 2018 Trainor Awardee for Excellence in the Conduct of Diplomacy, T.H. Madeleine Albright, through our international forum this fall on “Diplomacy in an Era of Disruption and Discontinuity.” And I’d also like to share some of the discussions and reports, including Religious Intolerance and its Impact on America’s Policies and Images Abroad and The New Arctic: Navigating the Realities, Possibilities and Problems. This fall’s working groups tackled the intriguing issue of “The New Metropolitanism – The Rise of the City-State.” Look for the final report on the group’s discussions and findings early in the New Year.

And, finally, the year was not all work and no play! To mark our anniversary, ISD welcomed over 200 friends, Board members, former Associates and Fellows, and students to a blow-out gala dinner in the Benjamin Franklin Room on the 8th floor of the State Department. We were honored to have Deputy Secretary of State John Sullivan as our keynote speaker, introduced by our Board Chair, Ambassador Thomas Pickering. We were joined by a number of senior American diplomats, including Georgetown alum Under Secretary of State David Hale and a cohort of newly minted diplomats from the A-100 class. Great photos are below.

All best wishes for 2019. We appreciate your interest and support.

Barbara K. Bodine
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