Lessons learned from CIREFCA in Guatemala

By Ishanee Chanda and Margaret Joyce

This piece is the first in a two-part series on facilitating voluntary return for Venezuelans to their home country.

Maracay, Aragua, Venezuela (Image: Jorge Salvador on Unsplash)

As Venezuela’s political and economic collapse continues unabated, so too do the resulting humanitarian and displacement crises. Despite repeated domestic and international calls for Nicolás Maduro’s ouster as president, he remains firmly in place. A way out of the crisis seems, for now, a long way off.

Yet a resolution to Venezuela’s political crisis need not be a precondition for sustainable solutions to the country’s displacement crisis. In humanitarian circles, voluntary repatriation, defined as the…


Challenges for life in the Anthropocene

Johanna Mendelson Forman

In this piece, the Stimson Center’s Johanna Mendelson Forman examines the need to tackle the links between food insecurity and conflict. The author participated in the Institute for the Study of Diplomacy’s New Global Commons Working Group on Food Security, which led to the report, “Peace Through Food: Ending the Hunger-Instability Nexus.

Women carry their village’s food aid from Australia in a cart, near a World Food Programme food distribution point at Epworth in Harare, Zimbabwe (Image: Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade on Flickr)

On September 21st, the United Nations observes International Day of Peace. This year’s theme is “recovering better for a more equitable and sustainable world.” Since 1981, the U.N. has observed a day of peace to highlight the challenges of eliminating war and creating a more…


As the new academic year begins, we caught up with our inaugural cohort of McHenry Fellows to learn about how they spent their summers.

Luka Ignac

Luka Ignac (Image: Luka Ignac)

This summer, I joined the Atlantic Council’s Europe Center team as a Young Global Professional. As a new member of the team, I had the opportunity to work on a series of initiatives and different issue areas, including: #BalkansForward; E.U.-U.S. digital policy cooperation; the Three Seas Initiative; U.K. and French security and defense initiatives; and the German federal elections. …


Caroline Donnal

This piece by U.S. Air Force Captain and Certificate in Diplomatic Studies student Caroline Donnal, originally appeared on the Atlantic Council website on September 2, 2021. The views expressed in this piece are solely those of the author and do not reflect policy or position of DOD or USG.

The Global War on Terror (GWOT) ribbon is a small red, yellow, white, and blue badge. Service members fasten it to neatly pressed “dress uniforms,” where it can easily blend with a myriad of other ribbons.

Shortly after commissioning into the Air Force in 2015, I received my GWOT…


Mary Sturgis

Mozambique’s capital, Maputo (Image: Julien Lagarde on Wikimedia)

What started as small village raids by disgruntled youth in Mozambique’s northern Cabo Delgado region in October 2017 has quickly escalated into beheadings, murders, and kidnappings of citizens by well-organized insurgent groups. In March, the conflict received global attention after al-Shabaab, an Islamist militia with links to ISIS, beheaded a group of children. The ensuing battle, which occurred in the oil rich city of Palma, caused 70,000 to flee their homes according to the UN refugee agency’s most recent estimate. This brought the number of displaced people from the province to 800,000. …


Alex Mederos

The following blog post draws on a report the author researched and published through the ISD Fellows in Diplomacy program. Read the full report.

Construction of new buildings (Image: Ivan Bandura on Unsplash)

A key component of the Trump administration’s approach to international development assistance was the Clear Choice framework. Clear Choice framed global development within great power competition with China and pushed recipients of U.S. aid to supplant Chinese assistance with that of the United States. …


Ambassador (ret.) Barbara Bodine

With the launch of ISD’s latest New Global Commons working group report on the nexus between food insecurity, instability, and conflict, ISD Director Ambassador Barbara Bodine lays out the challenges ahead.

Read the report:

Distribution of USAID food aid in Madagascar. (Image: USAID/ Malala Ramarohetra)

Death rides a pale horse, but he does not ride alone. With him ride war, pestilence … and famine. Famine — now in the catch-all garb of “food insecurity” — has long followed in the wake of war and plague (under the guise of “conflict,” “instability,” and “pandemics”) … and still does.

Against this backdrop, the World Food Program’s receipt of the…


How to predict conflict before it’s too late

Ishanee Chanda

A city at night as seen from the air (Image: Nastya Dulhiier on Unsplash)

The rise of artificial intelligence (AI) has proven both promising and perilous. AI is already commonly used in voice-powered personal assistants in our homes, in facial recognition software for our phones, and in recommender algorithms for platforms like Netflix that provide watch suggestions. Increasingly, business and private sector initiativesare using AI, and it is even making its way into contracts for government services. At the same time, AI is also being used to advance military technology and to surveil and identify ethnic minority populations, sounding alarm bells for ethicists and human rights advocates. These recent advancements in AI…


The United States should look beyond the nuclear program.

Heemin Yang

The Pyongyang, North Korea, skyline (Image: Roman Harak/Flickr)

At first glance, the North Korean nuclear problem resembles a drawn-out cycle of heightened tension followed by dramatic de-escalation. Its cyclical nature is well noted: North Korean brinkmanship — for instance, threats to leave the Nuclear Non-proliferation Treaty (NPT) or striking the U.S. territory of Guam — elicits a sharp response from the United States or South Korea. Escalation is then followed by reconciliation measures, like the Agreed Framework of 1994, or even a series of summits, only to repeat all over again.

However, the behavior of the North Korean regime is not cyclical in two significant ways…


Local lessons on a global issue

Emily Linn

A version of this piece appeared on July 27 on DT Global’s blog. DT Global is an international development organization that implements programs around the world in partnership with USAID, DFID, FCDO, and other public development stakeholders. The company recently conducted field research about Yemeni attitudes towards disinformation and media fragmentation, and possible U.S. responses.

Outside the offices of the now-closed Yemen Times, an English-language newspaper (Image: Nicholas Linn)

“In Yemen, the poor citizen finds himself under fire from two sides: from the war on one side and from the [fake] news on the other side,” a Yemeni woman told DT Global in a recent structured interview. Disinformation, fake news, and influence…

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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