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Course Descriptions

Summer 2014 Skills Institutes


(SIS 633)

Dr. J.P. Singh, Adjunct Professor, School of International Service, American University (Summer Only)

June 28-29, 2014

The objective of this course is to 'humanize' the problem of development by exploring the myriad ways in which cultural factors can be understood in international development. After exploring contending views of culture, it emphasizes the micro anthropological view and shows how it may be used toward a better understanding of development obstacles and project implementation. Several role play exercises will be held in class.


Fall 2014 Skills Institutes


(SIS 633-007)

Ray Leki, Adjunct Professorial Lecturer, School of International Service, American University and Director, Transition Center of the Foreign Service Institute, U.S. Department of State

September 13-14, 2014

The basics of personal security, the dynamics of safety and security across cultures, and the phenomena of coping with business security threats on an office and organizational level will be covered. Participants will take away a personal security strategy and an awareness of the dynamics of coping with personal and organizational crises in international settings.



(SIS 633-002)

Michelle LeBaron, Director, Program on Dispute Resolution, University of British Columbia

September 27-28, 2014

In today's organizations, a range of creative, holistic approaches are needed to prevent, understand, and transform conflict. Holistic approaches meet difference with dialogue, integrating intuition with analysis to inform collaborative processes. In this intensive course, participants will learn ways to work across cultural and worldview differences by drawing on a range of creative tools such as using art, the power of storytelling, and improve techniques and approaches. This course builds on previous skills institutes offered this fall, and is designed to further explore the unique combination of skills necessary for effective intercultural training. Guest facilitators will enrich this institute by providing training on various techniques. 



(SIS 633-005)

Josh Joseph, Adjunct Professorial Lecturer, School of International Service, American University

October 4-5, 2014

It's one thing to write a proposal, design a study or develop a program. It's another to make it viable, with a real chance of getting funded and ultimately working. And while there are no guarantees, the process doesn't have to be hit or miss. This interactive two-day skills institute covers four key steps in developing a workable theory of change, combined with hands-on practice for each step and plenty of group feedback along the way. The theory-of-change process can be used to help clarify what any initiative is trying to accomplish, identify critical barriers to change and surface assumptions about what's likely to work, what isn't and why.



(SIS 633-003)

Bram Groen, Professor, School of International Service, American University

October 18-19, 2014

This course is an intensive practicum for individuals engaged in or aspiring to a leadership role in a global, cross-cultural setting. The practicum addresses important cross-cultural aspects of global leadership and related subjects such as diversity management, teamwork, decision making, and negotiations. Drawing from "real-life" international work situations and challenges, participants will be exposed to case studies and small-group activities designed to articulate and reconcile cross-cultural business/organizational dilemmas.


(SIS 633-004)

Robert Kelley, Professor, School of International Service, American University

November 15-16, 2014

In times of international crisis, public diplomats often serve as first responders bearing two vital responsibilities: to reactively inform concerned publics of facts on the ground and to proactively shape public perceptions so that events may be seen in a certain light. This course introduces students to the high-stakes environment of managing crises under the intense scrutiny of international audiences. Under the guidance of experienced facilitators using simulations based on real events, it develops appreciation for the advantages and challenges of dealing with a multiplicity of actors with access to information in real time, and the increased frequency of private-public collaborations in crisis management.