The Mission 

Launched by the Department of State in 2013, Diplomacy Lab is a public-private partnership that enables the State Department to “course-source” research related to foreign policy challenges by harnessing the efforts of students and faculty experts at colleges and universities across the United States. Diplomacy Lab underscores the Department’s commitment to engage the American people in the work of the State Department, and the need to broaden the Department’s research base in response to a proliferation of complex global challenges. 

The Alliance 

Diplomacy Lab is a partnership between the Department and U.S. colleges and universities. Partner schools participating in Diplomacy Lab conduct research around various topics presented to them by the State Department in areas including women’s economic empowerment, sustainable development, human rights, countering violent extremism, global health, and energy security. Partner universities are responsible for recruiting student teams to undertake Diplomacy Lab projects and faculty members to guide the teams. Over the course of a semester, professors guide students in developing a final work product that accomplishes the goals outlined by the Department. Students have opportunities throughout the semester to discuss their research with State Department officials. 

The Pillars 

  1. ENGAGEMENT: By establishing partnerships between the Department and U.S. colleges and universities, the Diplomacy Lab provides students with a mechanism to participate in the work of the Department while allowing policymakers to tap into an underutilized reservoir of intellectual capacity; 
  2. EDUCATION: Students participating in Diplomacy Lab under the guidance of faculty experts explore real-world challenges identified by the State Department. The program gives the Department the opportunity to receive practical research related to their issues, while also contributing to the Secretary’s public diplomacy goals. 

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U.S. Department of State

The Lessons of 1989: Freedom and Our Future