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Students enjoying the Quad outside the School of International Service building

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Rebecca Coughlin
Director, SIS Diversity & Inclusion Initiatives

School of International Service, Room 112

4400 Massachusetts Avenue NW Washington, DC 20016 United States

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Diversity matters at SIS

In the global context of the 21st Century, we believe a diverse population and an inclusive school climate are essential components for preparation to work in the field of international affairs. Today’s complex issues and challenges require innovative ideas and perspectives of people from different backgrounds, cultures, and places along with the skills to engage successfully with these differences.

As a top-ten school of international affairs, we believe we have both an opportunity and a responsibility to prepare a more diverse next generation of leaders who are well-equipped to see differences as a pathway to greater creativity, deeper learning and an expanded capacity for impact.

Words of advice to 2017 SIS graduates

We must all champion the moment, because if we do not, no one else will.

"[W]ith this education, we have been charged with tackling some of the world's greatest challenges. . . . To wage peace, we will need courage—courage to stand for justice, courage to protect the innocent, and courage to amplify the voices of those who historically, have been unheard."

Watch Curtis' full speech.

SIS Statement on Diversity and Inclusion

SIS is committed to creating a more diverse next generation of leaders in the field of international affairs. SIS pursues this mission through the following actions:

  • Actively recruiting students from historically underrepresented groups through the creation of strategic partnerships and pipelines
  • Utilizing the SIS Exploring Identities event series, to raise awareness about diversity and inclusion issues in the field of international affairs and to invite all members of the SIS community to collaborate creatively in pooling the community's resources to expand professional pathways of historically underrepresented students
  • Preparing all students to successfully engage with a wide variety of people, ideas, cultures, and traditions
  • Fostering a climate of relationship building and support to create an increasingly inclusive community among all who work and study at SIS
  • Utilizing the SIS Dean’s Advisory Council on Diversity and Inclusion to identify and implement actionable improvements in a specific area of diversity and inclusion for SIS each year

27 percent of SIS graduate students identify as domestic students of color

Historically Underrepresented

SIS recognizes certain groups have been underrepresented in graduate education and international affairs due to social and economic structures. These include, but are not limited to, domestic students of color, first generation college graduates, veterans, LGBTQ students, international students, religious minorities, and low-income students as well as women in regard to leadership roles.

20 percent of SIS graduate students come from outside the United States