In July, the Anwar Gargash Diplomatic Academy (AGDA), based in Abu Dhabi, and the Johns Hopkins University School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS) announced a first-of-its-kind partnership to train the next generation of young leaders in international relations to tackle pressing global challenges.
AGDA will jumpstart the Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan professorship at the Henry A Kissinger Centre for Global Affairs. Focused on Middle East policy, the designated Zayed Professor will serve as the program’s principal scholar and lead joint programs between both academic centers
Beyond the Distinguished Professorship, the new partnership will consist of intellectual and academic exchanges, executive training courses, along with joint certificate and degree programs. These innovative programs will focus on international relations and solving global challenges such as climate change, healthcare and nonproliferation. They will also largely focus on promoting the UAE’s core values of tolerance, inclusion and open dialogue.
The announcement drew leaders from the UAE and US, including UAE Ambassador to the US and Minister of State, Yousef Al Otaiba; Ambassador Lana Nusseibeh, the UAE’s permanent representative to the United Nations, Assistant Minister of Political Affairs and board member of ADGA; Bernardino León, Director General of ADGA; and Ronald Daniels, President of Johns Hopkins University.
In recognition of the new initiative, Dr. 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.”
Ambassador Nusseibeh added, “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 skill set required to solve challenges these students are bound to face one day at their overseas posts. This partnership reflects the forward-thinking ingenuity of two creative academic schools and the results will be felt for generations to come.
Originally known as the Emirates Diplomatic Academy (EDA), AGDA was launched in Abu Dhabi back in 2014 to support the UAE Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation (MoFAIC). Since then, it has played a pivotal role in the ministry’s mission to educate, train and prepare the next generation of UAE government leaders.
Outside of SAIS, the academy is currently working with Harvard’s Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs to launch the first-ever Future Diplomats Peace Game. As it continues to grow, the institute is set on becoming the top foreign policy, training and research centre in the entire Middle East region.