Leaders of Top U.S. Graduate Programs Call for Update to Global Affairs Education


Deans recommend increased focus on diversity and inclusion

July 12, 2019 – Deans and directors of top U.S. graduate schools in international affairs and public policy released recommendations today to update graduate education and better prepare graduates to navigate today’s increasingly heterogenous world.

Academic leaders from universities including Columbia, Princeton, Texas A&M, Carnegie Mellon, University of Minnesota, the University of Washington, and Georgetown issued a statement calling for greater focus on diversity and inclusion in global affairs education.

Recommendations include fostering diversity among faculty, students, and staff; ensuring a culture of inclusion where people of different backgrounds and perspectives thrive; and broadening curricula to reflect and address how diversity affects international affairs and how inclusion benefits societies globally.

Further recommendations include explicit leadership – in word and deed – across the scholarly community to advance the focus on diversity in communities and coursework.

The document is the culmination of year-long discussions by the University Leadership Council on Diversity and Inclusion in International Affairs, which is comprised of academic administrators from 17 schools.

It is now open to sign-on from other academic leaders.

“The study of international and public affairs can flourish in an intellectual environment that recognizes the importance of diverse, inclusive and global perspectives,” said Merit E Janow, Dean, School of International and Public Affairs, Columbia University.

“Leaders must have the skills to excel in the diverse, inclusive, dynamic environments…and the inclination to foster diversity, inclusion and respect for all citizens in those communities where those things do not currently exist” said Mark A. Welsh, Dean, Bush School of Government and Public Service, Texas A&M University.

“Understanding diversity…is a matter of core competence for foreign affairs professionals,” adds Reuben Brigety, Dean, Elliott School of International Affairs George Washington University.

The University Leadership Council is led by Carla Koppell, distinguished fellow at the Georgetown Institute for Women Peace and Security, who was previously chief strategy officer for the U.S. Agency for International Development and a vice president with the U.S. Institute of Peace.

“Graduates are often ill-equipped to respond to and leverage the growing diversity of people and ideas, which threatens our ability to successfully manage global affairs,” said Koppell. “That’s why I created this Council: to help academic institutions prepare students to succeed in global affairs in the 21st century.”

Media Contact:

Sarah Rutherford, sdr56@georgetown.edu