Over 100 academic leaders at top U.S. graduate schools recently released a series of recommendations to increase diversity and inclusion in international affairs education. Those recommendations include broadening curricula to address how diversity affects global affairs and how inclusion benefits societies; fostering diversity among faculty, students, and staff; and ensuring a culture of inclusion where people of different backgrounds and perspectives can succeed.
The call to action is the culmination of yearlong discussions by the University Leadership Council on Diversity and Inclusion in International Affairs, which is composed of academic leaders from 17 universities and led by Carla Koppell, a distinguished fellow at Georgetown University’s Institute for Women, Peace and Security and a former vice president at the United States Institute for 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,” says Koppell. “That’s why I created this Council: to help academic institutions prepare students to succeed in global affairs in the 21st century.”
According to New America, a centrist think tank focusing on a range of public policy issues, 50 percent of the graduate programs within the Association of Professional Schools of International Affairs do not offer courses focused on gender issues.
“Understanding diversity … is a matter of core competence for foreign affairs professionals,” says Reuben Brigety, dean of the Elliott School of International Affairs at The George Washington University.