The academic year is about to close. Graduation is this coming weekend. The non-graduates have decamped, and the family and friends of SFS’s graduating classes of 2019 have started to arrive. This is a good time for ISD to reflect on these past two semesters, to highlight the work of our awesome student fellows, and to thank our associates, fellows, distinguished resident fellows, and others for their contributions to the Institute, the University and to the academic richness that is a hallmark of Georgetown. Three of our senior fellows – Linda Thomas-Greenfield, Jeff DeLaurentis and Mark Storella – added to this richness as directors of ISD’s certificate program capstone courses. As part of ISD’s mission to prepare the next generation of policy makers, to “learn from the past to prepare for the future,” we have also added several new case studies to our library.
And, finally, this past year, and especially this past semester, we have welcomed a number of diplomacy’s most distinguished practitioners to campus – an unparalleled opportunity for our students to hear from and learn from the best.
The White House has just released its budget proposal for FY2020 and, once again, the administration calls for deep slashes in State and USAID funding, over 20 percent. Word is that, as with previous budget submissions, this budget will be DOA on the Hill, which will again claw back most if not all funds. And, as is becoming an annual kabuki, a host of senior retired military combatant commanders, including ISD Board of Advisers member Admiral Bill Fallon, have sent a strong and unequivocal letter to Congress calling for a fully funded diplomatic service. We deeply appreciate these repeated affirmations of the critical role of US diplomacy from our friends on the Hill and our colleagues in the military who believe in this core tool of national foreign policy and its role in the defense of national interests and values.
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.
ISD's report on “Religious Intolerance and America’s Image and Policies Abroad," which draws from a working group and public forum held earlier this year, is now available. The full report includes a set of guiding principles for policymakers, non-governmental organizations, academic institutions, religious organizations, and other interested parties. These are tools, strategies, and encouragement for all Americans to continue to speak out against intolerance, bigotry, and hate crimes – and to broaden the dialogue and collaboration at home that will help protect American values and the ability to conduct global diplomacy.
ISD is pleased to welcome our 2018-2019 Associates and Fellows. These talented men and women from the senior and mid-career ranks of the State Department, US Army, and US Air Force have worked on pressing issues in every corner of the globe, from Armenia to Zaire. ISD Associates teach graduate and undergraduate classes, take an active and dynamic role as career mentors, and supervise research by students pursuing the ISD Certificate in Diplomatic Studies. Read more >>>