And how to escape our institutional malaise

Zed Tarar

This piece is part of a series on Leadership by members of the broader ISD community. In this post, current FSO Zed Tarar calls for the Foreign Service to look to the streaming giant Netflix as a model for innovation and institutional culture.

A desk in front of a window with a computer displaying Netflix, a lamp, and a mug
A desk in front of a window with a computer displaying Netflix, a lamp, and a mug
An office space ready for Netflix (Image: Clay Banks/Unsplash)

“‘Dirty Dick’ edges Europe off map: Holbrooke’s tantrums and swashbuckling tactics have led to a triumph for U.S. diplomacy,” blazed The Guardian’s headline on November 24, 1995, declaring an end to the years’ long bloody conflict in Yugoslavia. The newspaper credited career diplomat Richard Holbrooke, known for his brash style and propensity to speak truth…


The United States should put businesses — small and large — at the core of its economic diplomacy.

Puru Trivedi and Maggi Chambers

Then Secretary of State John Kerry delivers a speech focused on U.S. and Pacific regional trade policy at the Boeing Co.’s 737 Airplane Factory in Renton, Washington, on May 19, 2015 (Image: State Department/Flickr)

Diplomacy: Historically viewed as an exclusive circle which only invited diplomats and global elites to the conversation.

In the past, business and academia typically stood on the sidelines as government officials told them what to expect or engaged them only under desperate circumstances.

In today’s global economy, this practice is no longer feasible. The international exchange of ideas and information involves complexities — from disinformation to blockchain technologies — that few reckoned with even a decade ago. Diplomacy today includes all of us and requires specific participation from the business community.

Economic diplomacy is not…


Empowerment, engagement, and adaptation

Major Kasie Helland

This piece is part of a series on Leadership by members of the broader ISD community. In this post, ISD Non-resident Air Force Fellow, Major Kasie Helland, reflects on effective leadership across organizations during the COVID-19 pandemic.

A remote-work set up (Image: Grovemade/Unsplash)

2020 certainly brought unanticipated challenges for leaders, obstacles most never believed they would encounter.

Over the past year, I have had the opportunity to observe various leadership teams within the Department of Defense, Department of State, and Georgetown University weave their way and lead teams through the COVID-19 pandemic. While it seems as though very little has been constant, good…


Summarizing, concluding, and assessing

In 2000, the Institute for the Study of Diplomacy published a guide for professors looking to bring the case study method to their classroom, called “The ABCs of Case Teaching.” Prepared by Vicki L. Golich, Mark Boyer, Patrice Franko, and Steve Lamy — all pioneers in the case study field — the guide presented a comprehensive assessment of how professors can systematically deploy the case study method in their classroom.

At the end of this spring semester, and in the sixth part of our series spotlighting the book’s key insights, we look at how to wrap up a case discussion…


A student perspective on ISD’s latest negotiation simulation

Abbas Kalan

World leaders attend the UN-sponsored Libya Summit in Berlin, Germany, on January 19, 2020. GU-Q students had the opportunity to engage in a multilateral negotiation simulation on Libya in March 2021. (Image: State Department/Flickr)

The Libyan civil war is one of the most vexing and complicated issues in international politics today. In an attempt to understand the issue better, I had the pleasure to participate in ISD’s international negotiation simulation on Libya at the Georgetown Qatar campus in March this year.

Although I have engaged in many experiences relating to diplomacy in the past — with the UK Parliament, Model United Nations, alongside debating courses and competitions — the Libya simulation was very valuable and unique. Participants were divided into one of the following country teams: United States, Turkey, Russia, United Arab…


The strategy should include the appointment of an “ambassador at large” for technology issues.

Jonas Heering

Binary code with blue squares
Binary code with blue squares
The U.S. approach to tech and digital diplomacy needs a new strategy. (Image: Britannica)

Earlier this year, Denmark became one of the first countries in the world to release a tech diplomacy strategy.

The strategy comes at a time when governments across the world are clashing with “Big Tech.” On the one hand, democratic governments are seeking to mitigate the threat that digital technologies pose to the fabric of their societies, as the EU’s announcement of its Digital Services Act (DSA) and Digital Markets Act (DMA) demonstrates. On the other, authoritarian governments like Russia and China are further cracking down on tech companies and using digital surveillance tools to limit opposition voices…


Key themes in ISD’s new project on food security

Kelly McFarland, Jonas Heering, and Eleanor Shiori Hughes

As part of our New Global Commons Working Group series on emerging diplomatic challenges, funded by the Carnegie Corporation of New York’s Bridging the Gap Initiative, ISD is hosting a working group this spring on the nexus between food insecurity, instability, and conflict.

Our forward-looking group of experts from government, academia, NGOs, and think tanks is discussing threats to food security, how food insecurity drives instability and conflict, how this risks becoming a larger geopolitical stress point in coming years, and how we can try to overcome these challenges. …


Thorough preparation is key to a successful case study class session.

In 2000, the Institute for the Study of Diplomacy published a guide for professors looking to bring the case study method to their classroom, called “The ABCs of Case Teaching.” Prepared by Vicki L. Golich, Mark Boyer, Patrice Franko, and Steve Lamy — all pioneers in the case study field — the guide presented a comprehensive assessment of how professors can systematically deploy the case study method in their classroom.

In the fifth part of our series spotlighting the book’s key insights, we look at why preparation is so important.

Two people writing on a piece of paper and two laptops on the table.
Two people writing on a piece of paper and two laptops on the table.
Two students prepare for a class. (Image: Pixabay)

Teaching with case studies is different from other forms of…


4 key components of food security

A farmer tends to his crops (Image: wilsan u/Unsplash)

As part of our New Global Commons Working Group series on emerging diplomatic challenges, funded by the Carnegie Corporation of New York’s Bridging the Gap Initiative, ISD is hosting a working group this spring on the nexus between food insecurity, instability, and conflict.

Our forward-looking group of experts from government, academia, NGOs, and think tanks is discussing threats to food security, how food insecurity drives instability and conflict, how this problem may become a more significant geopolitical stress point in coming years, and how we can try to overcome these challenges. …


Case discussions take time. Written exercises can help your students succeed.

In 2000, the Institute for the Study of Diplomacy published a guide for professors looking to bring the case study method to their classroom, called “The ABCs of Case Teaching.” Prepared by Vicki L. Golich, Mark Boyer, Patrice Franko, and Steve Lamy — all pioneers in the case study field — the guide presented a comprehensive assessment of how professors can systematically deploy the case study method in their classroom.

In the fourth part of our series spotlighting the book’s key insights, we look at how to save the case when time doesn’t seem to be on your side.

A group discussion. Instructors often fail to leave enough time for in-depth case discussion. (Image: Antenna/Unsplash)

Oftentimes…

Institute for the Study of Diplomacy

Georgetown University's Institute for the Study of Diplomacy brings together diplomats, other practitioners, scholars, and students to explore global challenges

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