Key Executives Abroad

An immersive learning experience for Key students in Brussels, Belgium. Key MPA, Key Certificate students and alum are all eligible to participate!

Key Executives Abroad: Brussels, Belgium, June 16-21, 2019

Group of students in Brussels

If you’re a graduate student or practicing federal executive, the Brussels experience is for you!

Through the course Politics, Policymaking, and Public Administration (PUAD 627) students have an opportunity to study abroad in Brussels, Belgium for a one-week intensive course.

The program is designed to expose federal leaders to a comparative, experiential exploration of the politics, policymaking, and public administration challenges faced by public service leaders in the United States and European Union (EU). As public servants are challenged with decisions having a global impact, this program is designed to provide a greater understanding of the processes and influences guiding those decisions both home and abroad.

While in Brussels, participants learn from high-ranking officials from the EU Parliament, Commission and Council, and from staff members of various governance entities. In addition, leaders will spend a day with representatives from NATO discussing current controversies in the NATO community.

For more information, please contact Key's MPA Advisor, Charlene Ploetz, at cploetz@american.edu. 

Student in Brussels

What to Expect

The first two days of the course at AU, provides a review of the structure of US governance; and from that standard base of understanding the relationship between the different stake holders, law makers and policymakers is explored. This prepares students for the second part of the course in Brussels.

In Brussels, students learn from high-ranking officials from the EU Parliament, Commission and Council, and from staff members of various governance entities. In addition, students will spend a day with representatives from NATO, discussing current controversies in the NATO community.

An evening in Brussels

The Brussels Experience with Key

Federal leaders are challenged with decisions having a global impact. This program is designed to provide a greater understanding of the processes, influences, and impact guiding those decisions both home and abroad.  The focus is on best practices and lessons that can be learned from the seasoned executives leading the European Union, and an interactive learning experience highlights the similarities and differences between the American political, governance and public administration process and the political, governance and public administration process in the European Union. Both systems are examined to understand how policies and legislation are adopted, implemented, and enforced with the goal of identifying what is the same, what is different, and why the respective systems have developed as they have.  Specific advantages to attendees include:

  • An in-residence opportunity to spend 6 days with federal executives from other agencies to examine and compare the processes, external forces, and internal mechanisms challenging leaders in the federal government.
  • Exploration of the impact of political parties, culture, administrative barriers, race, interests, and capitalism on the implementation of public policy in the European Union.
  • One-on-one time with senior leaders of the European Union Parliament, Commission and Council to explore and contrast institutional, economic, and political forces driving policy implementation from the 'federal' level.
  • Exposure to the best practices used by European Union leaders in delivering Euro-wide policies and programs.
  • Meetings with senior officials at NATO and the US Embassy to understand the leadership challenges faced on an international stage.

-Russell R. on his experience in Brussels as a student with Key in the Summer of 2012

Key students have the opportunity to learn more about European government and engage in cultural exchange while in Brussels.

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