The Institute for the Study of Diplomacy at the School of Foreign Service has found a new director in Paula Newberg, a scholar with extensive experience working in the development of democracy in nations in crisis and transition.

The ISD was founded in 1978 as a resource for students to explore the world of diplomats and other foreign affairs professionals and their work. The institute teaches courses, holds lectures and discussions, and organizes conferences, research activities and publications to help students better understand the foreign policy process. Newberg began her new position at the beginning of this year.

The ISD has an “eye in two directions” according to Newberg, one focused on the foreign policy committees and the other focused on using all of the university’s possible resources for research and teaching opportunities.

Newberg replaces Casimir Yost, now a visiting professor in the Master of Science in Foreign Service program and a senior research fellow in the ISD, who stepped down as director last year after serving for 14 years.

“ISD has been an invaluable resource for both the university and the diplomatic community, and we are thrilled to embark on the next stage in the institute’s development with Paula Newberg at the helm,” Robert Gallucci, dean of the SFS, said in a university press release.

Newberg said that the ISD is not only for students in the SFS and hopes that students with any interest in foreign affairs or diplomacy will also take advantage of programs at the ISD.

Newberg added that the ISD is a “resource for the city and to the university . [that] serves as a window for the university onto the diplomatic world and for the diplomatic world onto the university.”

“Each director comes with a different background, and I assume that many of these issues will be infused into the programming choices we will make,” she said, referring to her strong interest in development and humanitarian efforts.

Newberg has had a very wide range of experience working in foreign affairs in multilateral and nongovernmental organizations in Asia, Europe, Africa and the Middle East. She served as the special adviser to the United Nations and the United Nations Foundation for several years, as well as a senior associate at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, leading its South Asia Roundtable and co-founding its Democracy Project. One of her many assignments was working in Afghanistan during and after Taliban rule.

Newberg also has teaching experience at the School of International and Public Affairs at Columbia University and as a guest scholar at the Brookings Institution, an independent research and policy institution.

“I have been back and forth between universities and working in multilateral and nongovernmental organizations and this position [as director of the ISD] allows me to maintain all of these interests,” Newberg said. “I have been in D.C. several times between my posts abroad and it is a comfortable place to be back to.”

Newberg continues to serve as an adviser and consultant to both American and foreign-based nongovernmental organizations. She received her bachelor’s degree in philosophy and literature from Oberlin College and her master’s and doctorate in political science from the University of Chicago.

“Take advantage of every opportunity available and soak up whatever you can in everything you can,” she advises students. “Come out of the university with a firm grasp on how to think and speak to become active, engaged citizens.”

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