ID in Action

From traveling the world to bringing world leaders to campus, students in the MA in International Development program are at the center of global development issues. They’re active in their communities, engaged and informed citizens, and dedicated to providing opportunities to the world’s most vulnerable. Hands-on opportunities are available for students to enhance their academic experience and practical training, as well as advance as a community builder and leader through on-campus organizations.

Get Involved

A look at some of the ways you can get involved during your time on campus.

International Development Program Student Association

The mission of the International Development Program Student Association (IDPSA) is to support, inspire, and foster the growth of innovative and progressive future international development practitioners who seek to advance people-centered development by linking critical inquiry with community action. Every graduate student enrolled in IDP is a member of the IDPSA and can participate in its activities. It is led by the IDPSA Executive Board who are elected by the IDP student body.

Contact the IDPSA at

Irene Tinker Lecture

The Irene Tinker Lecture Series, sponsored by the American University International Development Program and the International Center for Research on Women (ICRW), is dedicated to Irene Tinker, distinguished scholar and author. This lecture series honors Tinker's lifelong contributions to the field of women in international development, including her role in founding ICRW. Each year, the lecture series features an eminent scholar-activist doing groundbreaking work on emerging issues affecting the lives and well-being of women and men throughout the developing world.

Speakers have included: Natalie Hahn, President and Founder of the Malaika Foundation; Caren Grown, Senior Gender Adviser, United States Agency for International Development; Mahnaz Afkhami, President, Women's Learning Partnership; Lourdes Arizpe, Professor, National Autonomous University of Mexico; Mary Robinson, former President of Ireland; Gita Sen, Professor, Indian Institute of Management; and Irene Tinker, Professor Emerita, University of California-Berkeley, among others.

ID Spring Public Lecture

Every spring, the International Development Program holds a public lecture and invites leaders and innovators in the development field to speak on the latest topics and trends in the field. Students have the opportunity to hear and learn from these global leaders in an intimate setting.

The most recent ID Spring Public Lecture, "Prospects for the Bottom Billion in the Coming Decade: The International Development Program 40th Anniversary Lecture," was delivered by Sir Paul Collier, professor of economics and public policy at the Blavatnik School of Government; a professorial fellow of St Antony's College; director, International Growth Centre; and co-director of the Centre for the Study of African Economies, Oxford.

AU International Development Alumni Association

The AU International Development Program Alumni Board (IDAB) was founded in 2003 to strengthen the IDP community and promote ongoing links among alumni as well as between alumni, students, and faculty. It aims to do this by expanding the alumni network, encouraging professional exchanges, building ties between alumni and current IDP students to promote alumni interaction and enhance graduate study in IDP, and raising funds in support of the program and its students. Following in the IDP tradition, the Alumni Board aims to perpetuate in our community an ethical approach to development work that seeks to understand, defend, and promote the interests of disadvantaged people everywhere.

Graduate Student Council

The SIS Graduate Student Council (GSC) is committed to providing professional development, advocating for graduate students, and building a school-wide community. GSC provides opportunities to graduate students to plan and participate in social and professional development events, serve on school committees, advocate for themselves and their peers, and generally have their voices heard in the SIS administration. With a team of senators representing the various programs at the School of International Service and a dedicated Executive Council, the GSC strives to be a leader both inside and outside American University. Contact the GSC at