The Anwar Gargash Diplomatic Academy (AGDA) and the Johns Hopkins University School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS) headquartered in Washington, DC., today announced a first-of-its-kind partnership to train the next generation of young leaders in international relations, to tackle pressing global challenges, including climate change, public health, and nuclear proliferation.
The new partnership will feature a wide array of innovative programmes, encouraging academic and intellectual collaboration between the two diplomatic training centers. At the centerpiece of the initiative, the two schools will establish and jointly fund in perpetuity the Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan Distinguished Professorship, at the Henry A. Kissinger Center for Global Affairs in SAIS.
As a tenured faculty member at the Kissinger Center and at AGDA, the Zayed Professor will serve as a distinguished scholar and teacher, and act as a key liaison for both institutions’ faculties. The Zayed Professor will advance joint programming between the two schools. The post will also have a powerful ability to attract other scholars and leading practitioners to participate in the intellectual life and communities, at both AGDA and SAIS. The initiative will launch with executive training courses and faculty, as well as student exchanges and then expand to include joint certificate and joint degree programmes.
The professorship with its focus on the Middle East, aims to ensure that future leaders, in both the public and private sectors, have in-depth understanding of dynamics and developments in a region that continues to be of critical importance to policy makers around the world.
High-level delegates, diplomats and academics from around the world joined the announcement of the initiative, including, Dr. Anwar Gargash, Diplomatic Advisor to the President and Deputy Chairman of AGDA’s Board of Trustees; Yousef Al Otaiba, UAE Ambassador to the United States, Minister of State; Ambassador Lana Nusseibeh, UAE Permanent Representative to the United Nations, Assistant Minister for Political Affairs at the UAE’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation (MoFAIC) and Board Member of AGDA, Bernardino León, Director General of AGDA; Ronald J. Daniels, J.D., LL.M., President of Johns Hopkins University; Dr. Sunil Kumar, Provost, Johns Hopkins University; Dr. Kent Calder, Interim Dean, Johns Hopkins University SAIS, and Eliot Cohen, Robert E. Osgood Professor, at Johns Hopkins University SAIS.
In remarks at the announcement, Dr. Anwar Gargash said: "Increasingly complex global challenges require thoughtful and sophisticated global problem solvers. This deep and lasting partnership will help train and prepare the next generation of diplomats and foreign policy practitioners from the UAE and other countries to meet these challenges."
"The new partnership with the Anwar Gargash Diplomatic Academy represents a historic opportunity for the SAIS community, very much in our global tradition," says SAIS interim dean Kent Calder. "We look forward to broad and multi-faceted dialogue, as well as cooperation in nurturing future leaders."
Ambassador Lana Nusseibeh said: "Developing newfound relationships and opening lines of communication is a requirement for any successful diplomat working in the international arena. Fostering these ties in an academic setting between the next generation of leaders at SAIS and AGDA will only enhance the diplomatic skillset required to solve challenges these students are bound to face one day at their overseas posts. This partnership reflects the forward-thinking ingenuity of two creative academic schools and the results will be felt for generations to come."
Bernardino León said: "This announcement reflects a collaborative effort between SAIS leadership and AGDA to create an academic partnership benefiting our students today and the international community tomorrow."
"At AGDA, we are training problem solvers to promote global stability and foster international peace. This education will only be enhanced by learning from SAIS professors and studying alongside SAIS students in a spirit of academic partnership and cooperation," he added.
First established as the Emirates Diplomatic Academy (EDA) in 2014, the academic and research center was renamed the Anwar Gargash Diplomatic Academy in 2021, honouring the statesman’s profound contributions to UAE diplomacy and public service. In the first phase of its existence, the Academy prioritised the creation of a world-class programme to train the next generation of UAE diplomats and other public servants and introduced a research programme that underpins AGDA’s broader mission.
In the upcoming period, AGDA will continue to expand its scope to offer a growing number of academic programmes that are open to women and men from the Middle East and the wider world. These multidisciplinary programmes will offer wide-ranging perspectives and professional connections to enable the Academy’s students to contribute to solving some of the region’s most pressing challenges.
In pursuing this long-term vision, AGDA is collaborating with a global network of academic institutions and individuals. Some of these current partnerships are well established, such as the synergy with Harvard University’s Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, to deliver four editions of the Future Diplomats Peace Game.
Founded more than 75 years ago, SAIS is considered one of the preeminent schools of international relations, with campus locations in Italy, China and Washington, D.C. The school's interdisciplinary curriculum is strongly rooted in the study of international economics, international relations, and regional studies.