During today’s town hall with college students and congressional interns, Secretary Kerry announced Diplomacy Lab, a new program that will help the U.S. State Department partner with America’s best universities to solve the world’s toughest challenges.
Diplomacy Lab grew out of our conversations with university leaders who told us that today’s students want to do more than write papers for the sake of writing papers. And professors want research to do more than shape academic debate. At the same time, we recognized that we have a challenge at the State Department: our “to do” list is getting bigger and bigger, but our budget is not. And, particularly when it comes to research and innovation, the challenges we face can’t be solved by diplomats alone. Diplomacy Lab is helping to address these issues and enable students and faculty from across the country to contribute to the work of the State Department.
- Students at The College of William & Mary worked with the Office of Global Criminal Justice to find new and more effective ways to hold war criminals accountable;
- And students at the University of Virginia helped the Office of Global Women’s Issues to shape gender policy in Afghanistan.
- Students at the University of Oklahoma are working with our Office of Criminal Justice and Assistance Partnerships to understand how countries with Sharia Law can implement legal reforms that protect human rights;
- And students at Florida International University are helping us combat violence in prisons around the world.
This is just the beginning and the possibilities are extraordinary. America’s universities are the envy of every country on this planet -- we’re excited to leverage the creativity, ideas, and commitment of students and faculty across the country as we work to address the challenges confronting our world today.