The Future of Diplomacy Project is dedicated to promoting the study and understanding of diplomacy, negotiation and statecraft in international politics today. The Project aims to build Harvard Kennedy School’s ability to teach in this area, to support research in modern diplomatic practice and to build public understanding of diplomacy’s indispensable role in an increasingly complex and globalized world.

The Future of Diplomacy Project aims to redefine diplomacy in a modern context through the lens of leading practitioners who are engaging in innovative means of conflict prevention and resolution at the negotiation table and beyond. Fisher Family Fellows, who have held prominent positions in governments around the world, take up residence and share their experiences with students in a range of seminars and simulations. Recent Fisher Family Fellows include Tawakkol Karman, 2011 Nobel Peace laureate, and Celso Amorim, former Minister of Defense of Brazil.

In addition, the Project hosts a number of speaker series featuring international leaders and experts. Over the past few years the Future of Diplomacy Project has welcomed speakers including Jens Stoltenberg, Secretary-General of NATO; Natalie Jaresko, former Finance Minister of Ukraine; and Maleeha Lodi, Permanent Representative of Pakistan to the United Nations. The ambassadors of China, Japan, Pakistan, India and the United Kingdom to the United States have also participated. Furthermore, the Project’s Negotiator Series has featured former U.S. Ambassador to Afghanistan Ryan Crocker and former U.S. Special Envoy to Afghanistan and Pakistan Marc Grossman, and the Women in International Reporting series has included former CNN foreign affairs correspondent Jill Dougherty and Washington Post diplomatic correspondent Anne Gearan.

The Project’s latest initiative, the American Secretaries of State Project, brings former Secretaries of State to Harvard to deliberate their most challenging negotiations and share insights into diplomacy as a changing craft. The Project has already hosted James A. Baker III, Henry A. Kissinger and Madeleine K. Albright, and Colin L. Powell, Condoleezza Rice and Hillary Rodham Clinton have all participated. 

Finally, the Project supports original research in diplomacy, statecraft and peaceful conflict resolution. It has published three books—Liberating Kosovo: Coercive Diplomacy and U.S. Intervention (2012) by David L. Phillips, The Crisis with Russia (2014), edited by Faculty Director Nicholas Burns, and Diplomatic Counterinsurgency: Lessons from Bosnia and Herzegovina (2014) by Philippe Leroux-Martin—in addition to contributing to studies on frontline negotiation for NGOs and transformative leadership practices in foreign ministries across the globe. All publications are available on the Project’s website.

Through the wide range of its activities, the Project strives to prepare Harvard students for international challenges in the 21st century.

Fisher Family Fellows Program

The Fisher Family Fellows program brings leading practitioners and thinkers to Harvard to consider the evolving discipline of diplomacy in the context of 21st century challenges. Fellows are in residence at Harvard for several weeks or months, during which time they conduct seminars with experts and students and engage in critical reflection on issues of their expertise with the wider Harvard community. 

2017-2018 Fisher Family Fellows

Future of Diplomacy Project Senior Fellows

Future of Diplomacy Project Senior Fellows are exceptional leaders in the fields of government, academia, and journalism. As fellows, they share their expertise with students through study groups and workshops, and conduct research on topics related to modern diplomacy and international relations. 

Conversations in Diplomacy is the Future of Diplomacy Project's podcast series. Focusing on international affairs, interviews feature guests from a broad spectrum of professional backgrounds, including career diplomats, academics, ambassadors, journalists, and politicians from the United States and countries across the globe.

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