The Institute for the Study of Diplomacy is an integral part of the Walsh School of Foreign Service and Georgetown University. A core mission of the Institute-the study of diplomacy-is to support the academic activities of the School and of its students to enhance and expand an understanding of the role and conduct of diplomacy as a part of national policy. The Institute seeks to fulfill its mission to prepare the next generation of policymakers and practitioners through rigorous study of the history, dynamics and skills involved in diplomacy, and active mentorship by drawing on the experience of practitioners in cooperation with the academic community.

The Institute engages students and faculty through a variety of activities:

The Certificate in Diplomatic Studies 

The certificate, open to all GSFS students, focuses on issues and concepts related to the formulation and conduct of diplomacy and seeks to prepare students to work effectively in an interdisciplinary, interagency and multilateral context.  It is not limited to those seeking careers in diplomacy, but students whose careers will require an understanding of the processes, players, issues and contexts within which strategy and policy are formulated and diplomacy is conducted. [learn more]

Courses are offered at both the undergraduate and graduate level, conducted by ISD staff and faculty members and practitioners-in-residence from both the United States and foreign government agencies directly engaged in diplomacy. ISD senior staff, fellows and associates bring to the classroom global experience in the practice of diplomacy as seen from a variety of agencies and governments, serving as a link between the academic and practitioners’ worlds. [learn more about ISD courses offered]

Scholarships, Travel Grants and Directed Research Programs

ISD directs a number of competitive scholarship programs for both undergraduates and graduate students that support significant research on critical policy issues and support the work of Yahoo! and other fellows, and provide necessary financial support to full-time students at SFS, including a travel grant program for students undertaking research beyond the Washington, D.C. metropolitan area. [learn more]

Diplomatic Skills and Capacities Training

Diplomacy is part art, part science and, as a profession, requires a number of core skills, including negotiation and mediation. ISD hosts a number of simulations and other capacities courses throughout the year which are open to all SFS students and is available to advise non-Georgetown entities on skills and capacity development. [learn more]

Working Groups

ISD hosts a series of working groups each year that bring together faculty, high-level practitioners, diplomats, experts from the academic and think-tank worlds and others to examine emerging issues of critical international importance. Looking at both  ‘black swans” (strategic surprises) and “black elephants” (unresolved core challenges), the working groups seek to anticipate what policymakers will face in the medium to long term and lay out possible scenarios for action. 

Events, Distinguished Practitioners Series and Annual Awards Lectures

Throughout the academic year, ISD hosts a number of lectures and informal discussion groups open to all students and the public that feature distinguished practitioners from a broad range of disciplines, both from within the government and from the NGO, think-tank and private sectors.  The Institute also hosts major annual award lectures that recognize exceptional service and achievement in diplomacy. [learn more]  

Case Studies

In cooperation with the Pew Research Center, ISD inaugurated the use of the case study method of instruction in international affairs. Since its inception, the program has developed nearly 250 cases on an exceptionally broad range of topics and events, some written by senior practitioners who were directly involved in the events they describe. These case studies support faculty and students who seek to bring real-world examples of diplomacy in action-its successes and its failures-into the classroom. [learn more