Abu Dhabi: Anwar Gargash Diplomatic Academy (AGDA) and Johns Hopkins University School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS), headquartered in Washington, DC., on Thursday announced a first-of-its-kind partnership to train the next generation of young leaders in international relations, to tackle pressing global challenges — including climate change, public health and nuclear proliferation.
The new partnership will feature a wide array of innovative programmes, encouraging academic and intellectual collaboration between the two diplomatic training centres. At the centrepiece of the initiative, the two schools will establish and jointly fund in perpetuity the Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan Distinguished Professorship, at the Henry A. Kissinger Center for Global Affairs in SAIS.
The Zayed Professor
As a tenured faculty member at the Kissinger Center and at AGDA, the Zayed Professor will serve as a distinguished scholar and teacher and act as a key liaison for both institutions’ faculties. The Zayed Professor will advance joint programming between the two schools. The post will also have a powerful ability to attract other scholars and leading practitioners to participate in the intellectual life and communities, at both AGDA and SAIS. The initiative will launch with executive training courses and faculty, as well as student exchanges and then expand to include joint certificate and joint degree programmes.
The professorship with its focus on the Middle East, aims to ensure that future leaders, in both public and private sectors, have in-depth understanding of dynamics and developments in a region that continues to be of critical importance to policy makers around the world.
High-level delegates, diplomats and academics from around the world joined the announcement of the initiative, including, Dr Anwar Gargash, Diplomatic Advisor to the President and Deputy Chairman of AGDA’s Board of Trustees; Yousef Al Otaiba, UAE Ambassador to the United States; Ambassador Lana Nusseibeh, UAE Permanent Representative to the United Nations, Assistant Minister for Political Affairs at the UAE’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation (MoFAIC) and board member of AGDA, Bernardino Len, director general of AGDA; Ronald J. Daniels, J.D., LL.M., president of Johns Hopkins University; Dr Sunil Kumar, provost, Johns Hopkins University; Dr Kent Calder, interim dean, Johns Hopkins University SAIS, and Eliot Cohen, Robert E. Osgood Professor, at Johns Hopkins University SAIS.
‘Global problem solvers’
In remarks at the announcement, Dr Anwar Gargash said: “Increasingly complex global challenges require thoughtful and sophisticated global problem solvers. This deep and lasting partnership will help train and prepare the next generation of diplomats and foreign policy practitioners from the UAE and other countries to meet these challenges.”
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Ambassador Lana Nusseibeh said: “Developing newfound relationships and opening lines of communication is a requirement for any successful diplomat working in the international arena. Fostering these ties in an academic setting between the next generation of leaders at SAIS and AGDA will only enhance the diplomatic skillset required to solve challenges that these students are bound to face one day at their overseas posts.”
First established as the Emirates Diplomatic Academy (EDA) in 2014, the academic and research centre was renamed as Anwar Gargash Diplomatic Academy in 2021, honouring the statesman’s profound contributions to UAE diplomacy and public service.