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ANNUAL CONFERENCE ON INTERCULTURAL RELATIONS | IMI

Ray Leki

SESSION

Integrated Diplomacy, Defense & Development: A Retrospective

Presenter(s): Ray S. Leki, Author of Travel Wise: How to Be Safe, Saavy and Secure Abroad, and Adjunct Professorial Lecturer, School of International Service, American University

Description: The events of the last decade created a need to integrate diplomatic, military, and development assistance efforts within the U.S. government. Working together has become a necessity; exposing military personnel, development workers, implementing partners and officials involved in diplomacy from a wide variety of agencies to one another. That collaboration did not come easily, as it tested the organizational cultures, assumptions, values, thought processes and behaviors of three rough groupings all representing the same national culture and strategic mission while immersed in very different national cultures. The presenter, a witness and participant in those intercultural exchanges will provide an overview of the challenges faced and engage participants in a reality-based case study involving cultural clashes that needed to be negotiated. He will also involve participants in both some reflection and projections on the future of integrated diplomacy.

Level: Intermediate and Advanced

Delivery: Skills Workshop

Track: Diplomacy

Ray Leki
Director, Transition Center, Foreign Service Institute, United States Department of State

Ray S. Leki is a career member of the Senior Executive Service of the United States government at the Department of State, Foreign Service Institute. He is also an adjunct professor of intercultural management at American University, and an author. At the Foreign Service Institute, he is the director of the Transition Center, where he oversees preparation and support for employees and family members entering, transitioning globally, and leaving the U.S. foreign affairs community. His work in government began as a Peace Corps Volunteer in Nepal in 1979, and continued with a series of Peace Corps staff assignments in Washington, Nepal, Pakistan, and Poland, before joining the Department of State in 1991.

Ray teaches several Skills Institutes at American University’s School of International Service, Intercultural Management Institute. They include international personal and organizational security, intercultural facilitation and training, multicultural negotiation, and spirituality and conflict transformation.

Ray published Travel Wise: How to Be Safe, Savvy and Secure Abroad through Intercultural Press/Nicholas Brealey Publishing in 2008. The book shares his thoughts, experiences, and techniques in preparing sojourners for international success through integrating cross-cultural competence, emotional intelligence, interpersonal skills, and security awareness with careful identification and analysis of motives and motivation. Travel Wise is used by businesses, study abroad programs, NGO and government employees and agencies to protect people and ensure mission success.

At the U.S. Department of State, he has been a leader in dealing with far-flung diplomatic communities experiencing crisis and trauma. Recent interventions included work in Iraq, Afghanistan, Yemen, Jordan, and Ciudad Juarez, Mexico. He has focused his organizational efforts on creating smarter, more resilient, and more effective expatriates. 

Current interests include leadership and crisis management across cultures, and crisis aftermath psychology. He studied chemistry at Southern Illinois University and has his master’s from Georgetown University’s McDonough School of Business.