Diplomacy and foreign affairs

The Ford School's Weiser Diplomacy Center (WDC) has made the University of Michigan a leading, dynamic hub for engagement with the foreign policy community and a national leader in international policy education.

Established in 2018 with a transformative gift from U-M alumni Ron and Eileen Weiser, WDC brings to campus high-profile leaders in foreign affairs, including Hillary Clinton, Condoleezza Rice, Samantha Power, Susan Rice, Steve Biegun, Stephen Hadley, and Denis McDonough. We host professors of practice in international diplomacy, distinguished leaders who teach, mentor, and inspire our students. We develop and host simulations and other practical opportunities for students to grapple with issues such as environmental diplomacy and countering violent extremism. We support student-initiated projects, internships, and travel around the world.  

The next generation of creative, well-trained, committed diplomats and foreign affairs professionals is studying at the Ford School. We offer competitive fellowships to top graduate students, awarding up to $25,000 per year.

To address today’s global challenges, we need professionals who have a strong grounding in history and social science and who can apply that knowledge to complex practical problems.” 

John Ciorciari, director of the Weiser Diplomacy Center
Student experience

New international policy opportunity for students interested in the Gulf region

The new program offers an intensive eight-week fellowship for graduate students interested in the Gulf region.
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Alumni impact

Sean Jones (MPP '00) USAID Ethiopia Mission Director

"After twenty years, six countries on three continents, and leadership of three Presidential Initiatives, I am proud of my small part in helping companies and governments embrace the once-radical worldview that companies have an immense responsibility to all of their stakeholders, not just to their shareholders."
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Research & insights

Yusef Neggers study on informed voting in India

“While there’s moral aversion to having politicians with serious criminal charges in office, it does seem that there’s at least some economic rationale.”
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“Diplomacy is not just relationships between countries, it's about relationships between people . . . it can change the direction of a country, affecting tens of millions of people.”

Ron Weiser, former ambassador, founder of McKinley Inc., and a member of the U-M Board of Regents
Ron Weiser
Student experience

Connecting our students with diplomats

Students have opportunities to meet with and hear from the Ford School's visiting speakers and our U.S. State Department Diplomat in Residence through office hours and group meetings, and by serving as moderators for public events.

Here, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton meets with graduate students Maggie Barnard (MPP '21) and Jonatan Martinez (MPP '20), during her visit. Barnard is a Weiser Diplomacy Fellow.
Hillary Clinton and Maggie Barnard