2023 Leaders in Graduate Education in International Affairs
Preparing Leaders Through a Program Grounded in Ethics and Commitment to Service
Earlier this academic year, a student in the Master of Science in Foreign Service (MSFS) approached the director of their program about the possibility of hosting a roundtable discussion on the critical issues facing Venezuela, namely its humanitarian crisis and negotiations with its dictator.
Second-year student Carlos Chacon organized the event as part of his role as a Donald F. McHenry Global Public Service Fellow. MSFS, with its extensive global alumni network, then invited the speakers, which included key players in the Venezuelan situation: MSFS graduate James Story, the US ambassador to Venezuela, and Georgetown Law alumnus Carlos Vecchio, Venezuelan ambassador to the US.
Chacon, who witnessed numerous atrocities while growing up in Venezuela, and other students talked one-on-one with the speakers at a lunch following the roundtable, further reinforcing “the synergy of what’s possible” through MSFS, says Professor George Shambaugh, director of the program.
Initiatives that intimately involve our students and combine theory, practice, and commitment to service are at the heart of our community. When our students take on issues they’re passionate about, those experiences epitomize and enrich every member of our community.“Initiatives that intimately involve our students and combine theory, practice, and commitment to service are at the heart of our community,” Shambaugh says. “When our students take on issues they’re passionate about, those experiences epitomize and enrich every member of our community.”
Commitment to service, which is embedded in all aspects of the program, reflects Georgetown’s Jesuit identity and focus on social justice. One of the graduation requirements for the students is demonstrating leadership, which is one of the program’s core values. Examples include a practicum or internship, a leadership training program at the Gettysburg battlefield, service trips to Puerto Rico and Mexico City, diplomatic tours in Japan and Israel, and participation in international conferences like COP27.
Shambaugh concludes with, “Learning how to build trust in an ethical way, especially when you’re an outsider managing difficult situations, is an invaluable lesson for our students as they prepare for careers in foreign service.”
Leveraging the Power of Technology to Advance Social Change through Global Human Development
Another McHenry Fellow, Juan Fernando Gómez, a second-year student in the Master in Global Human Development (GHD) program, has been mentored by several former ambassadors, inspiring him to engage confidently in critical conversations and approach global issues using empathy and systems thinking. As a World Bank intern, Gómez is working on the Human Capital Index, a global effort to accelerate better investments in people for greater equity and economic growth. Using the knowledge and skills he’s acquired in his master’s program, which prepares students to work in the development process in a variety of environments, Gómez hopes to land a job that enables him to use the power of technology for social good.
- 2023 Leaders in Graduate Education in International Affairs
- Johns Hopkins University School of Advanced International Studies
- Georgetown University, Walsh School of Foreign Service
- University of Denver, Josef Korbel School of International Studies
- University of Michigan, Gerald R. Ford School of Public Policy
- Thunderbird School of Global Management at Arizona State University
- George Mason University, Schar School of Policy and Government
- The Fletcher School at Tufts University