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Art of Diplomacy Lecture Series

Since 2015, the Foreign Policy Institute (FPI) has held a series of speaking events with distinguished speakers and accompanying commentators from SAIS faculty or FPI Fellows. The events have been, and will continue to be, unique in that they are organized into a coherent series whereby attendees will gain an understanding of several different aspects of the diplomatic field from interviewers helping the speakers to draw out lessons learned from their careers.


Our objective is to increase SAIS students’ understanding of modern diplomacy as an art by exposing them to recent and current practitioners. We want to teach students how modern diplomacy is conducted, what the challenges that speakers have faced are, and how they used diplomacy tactics to approach them.

Science Diplomacy: From Fighting for Human Rights to Using Science as a Bridge for Peace

Date: April 18, 2019

Location: Washington, DC

Speaker: Zafra Lerman, President, Malta Conferences Foundation

Diplomacy and Diversity: A Female Diplomat in the Middle East

Date: April 3, 2019

Location: Washington, DC

Speaker: Ambassador Gina Abercrombie-Winstanley

Climate Negotiation on the Frontlines

Date: February 11, 2019

Location: Washington, DC

Speaker: Sue Biniaz, Senior Fellow, United Nations Foundation and Former Deputy Legal Adviser, U.S. State Department

Us vs. Them: The Failure of Globalism with Ian Bremmer

​Date: September 14, 2018

Location: Washington, DC

Speaker: Ian Bremmer, president and founder of Eurasia Group and GZERO Media​

Congressional Diplomacy: An Indirect Role in American Foreign Policy

  • Date: February 21, 2018
  • Location: Washington, DC
  • Speaker: Alex Gallo, Senior Associate, CSIS, and former Professional Staff Member, House Armed Services Committee

Reaching a Nuclear Deal: A Conversation on Sanctions and Negotiations

  • Date: November 2, 2017
  • Location: Washington, DC
  • Speaker: Prof. Adam J. Szubin, former Director of the Office of Foreign Assets Control, U.S. Department of the Treasury

"Art of Diplomacy Lecture Series" discussion with Ambassador Eric Edelman

  • Date: October 25, 2017
  • Location: Washington, DC
  • Speaker: Eric Edelman, former Ambassador to Finland and Turkey
  • Interviewer: Eliot Cohen, Robert E. Osgood Professor of Strategic Studies at Johns Hopkins SAIS

The State of American Diplomacy

  • Date: September 13, 2017
  • Location: Washington, DC
  • Speaker: Antony Blinken, former Deputy Secretary of State
  • Interviewer: Dean Vali Nasr

Diplomacy within the United Nations


  • Date:  December 8, 2016

  • Location: Bologna, Italy

  • Speaker: Michael Møller, Director-General of the United Nations Office at Geneva 

Journalism and Diplomacy

  • Date:  October 27, 2016
  • Location: Bologna, Italy
  • Speakers: FPI Senior Fellow James Mann and David C. Unger

Challenges in Environmental Diplomacy


  • Date:  April 18, 2016

  • Location: Washington, DC

  • Speaker: Deputy Assistant Secretary Daniel Reifsnyder

  • Interviewer: Dr. Lynn Wagner ('91, PhD '98)

Recovering Diplomatic Agility


  • Date:  March 8, 2016

  • Location: Washington, DC

  • Speaker: Ambassador Chas Freeman

  • Interviewer: Dr. Daniel Serwer

Conducting American Foreign Policy in the Middle East & South Asia


  • Date: November 17, 2015

  • Location: Washington, DC

  • Speaker: Dean Vali Nasr

  • Interviewer: Ambassador Shirin Tahir-kheli

Public Diplomacy’s role in U.S. Foreign Policy


  • Date: November 3, 2015

  • Location: Washington, DC

  • Speaker: Ambassador Stuart Holliday

  • Interviewer: Dr. Daniel Serwer

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