A dynamic hub for international policy education

May 3, 2023

To address our most pressing global challenges, we need professionals with the knowledge and skills to analyze complex problems, build policy coalitions, and advocate effectively"

John Ciorciari

The Ford School's two internationally-focused research centers have made the University of Michigan a dynamic hub for engagement with the foreign policy community and a national leader in international policy education.

State & Hill asked Associate Dean John Ciorciari, who directs the Weiser Diplomacy Center and International Policy Center and leads the international policy concentration for MPP students, for his thoughts on the Ford School's approach.

"Our programs aim to equip students with a strong grounding in applied history and social science. We host leading practitioners to teach courses in foreign policy, and we partner with the U.S. State Department; U.S. Army War College; and leading think tanks, foundations, and NGOs to give students opportunities for hands-on learning and research on urgent global issues."

John Ciorciari is widely recognized as a leading scholar of international relations in the Indo-Pacific region, fragile states, international law and security, and global governance. Through case studies, secondary sources, and first-hand experience, his research sheds light on complex political conditions in the Global South.

Since January 2020



Students participated in one or more experiential learning activities: Diplomacy Lab, travel courses, simulations, and more

International policy engagement grows here

International diplomacy opportunities
Top: IEDP Chile students Bottom: Students from Jonathan Hanson's Winter 2023 PubPol 480 Global Engagement Seminar

A new gift from U-M Regent Ronald Weiser extends support for the Weiser Family Fund for Student International Policy Engagement, bringing the total gift fund to more than $2 million. Established in 2016, the fund has helped the Ford School create a new undergraduate travel course, establish student-initiated international research projects, and support undergraduate and graduate students' pursuit of international internships.

Regent Weiser visited the Ford School in December and heard directly from students about their international policy engagement experiences. "My only response was that this important work needed to continue," he says. "I'm thrilled to see the impact Ford School students are making on communities around the world."

View additional photos from international travel.

2022-2023 Visiting Faculty:

  • Stephen Biegun brings over three decades of international affairs experience in government and the private sector, including as Deputy Secretary of State (2019-2021).
  • Former Ambassador Daniel Shields served as U.S. Ambassador to Brunei from 2011-14. In 2009, he led Embassy Singapore in supporting then-President Obama's participation in the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation meetings. 
  • Former Ambassador Mark Pekala served as Deputy Chief of Mission in Paris and Tallinn, Deputy Assistant Secretary in the State Department's Bureau of European and Eurasian Affairs, and Senior Director for Russian Affairs on the National Security Council staff. 
  • Kseniya Yurtayeva is an expert in criminal law and criminology visiting from Kharkiv National University of Internal Affairs in Ukraine.

More in State & Hill

Below, find the full, formatted spring 2023 edition of State & HillClick here to return to the spring 2023 S&H homepage.

More news from the Ford School