Launch of University Leadership Council on Diversity and Inclusion in International Affairs

Washington, DC, November 7, 2018 – Deans and directors of top U.S. graduate schools in international affairs and public policy convened at Georgetown University to share best practices for promoting diversity and inclusion in graduate studies programs.

It marked the first in a year-long series of discussions on strategies to integrate curricula; foster diversity among faculty, staff, and students; and cultivate an inclusive atmosphere in graduate schools.

“Diversity and inclusion are key to advancing peace and prosperity worldwide, but graduate international affairs curricula tend to focus inadequate attention to these topics,” said Carla Koppell, distinguished fellow at Georgetown University’s Institute for Women, Peace and Security. “As a result, they fail to adequately prepare students to confront today’s foreign policy challenges effectively.”

Deans and directors from over a dozen private and public schools around the nation have joined a University Leadership Council on Diversity and Inclusion in International Affairs that will meet throughout the 2018-2019 academic year. It is led by Koppell, who previously served as a vice president at the United States Institute for Peace.

The Council will consider how to advance the diversity and inclusion agenda by examining strategies and tactics that have been successful, as well as those that have disappointed, at their respective institutions. The Council’s deliberations and related research will likely culminate in a public statement and journal article.

“University students are increasingly interested in learning how diversity is an important factor in security, development, and diplomacy,” said Ambassador Melanne Verveer, executive director of Georgetown University’s Institute for Women, Peace and Security. “It is a critical time for university leaders to emphasize inclusivity—both to answer student interest and to promote better foreign policy outcomes.”

Participants in the University Leadership Council include representatives of the following institutions: Arizona State University, Columbia University, Dartmouth College, George Washington University, Georgetown University, Harvard University, Morehouse College, National War College, New York University, Princeton University, Tufts University, University of Denver, University of Minnesota, University of Pittsburgh, University of Texas-Austin, and University of Washington.

Georgetown University’s Institute for Women, Peace and Security seeks to promote a more stable, peaceful, and just world by focusing on the important role women play in preventing conflict and building peace, growing economies, and addressing global threats like climate change and violent extremism.