American Academy of Diplomacy

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The American Academy of Diplomacy is a private, non-profit, non-partisan, elected organization whose active membership is limited to men and women who have held positions of high responsibility in crafting and implementing American foreign policy. They have served the United States as chiefs of mission in major embassies abroad, and/or equivalent high-level foreign policy positions in Washington.

Founded in 1983, the Academy focuses the expertise of its members on the pursuit of excellence in the practice of American diplomacy.

In its early years, the Academy provided the U.S. Senate Foreign Relations Committee with commentary on the qualifications of those nominated by the President as ambassadors, but today it only does so in exceptional circumstances, such as if the Board of Directors feels strongly about a nominee's lack of qualifications to be ambassador.[1]

The academy is financially supported by its members, and by grants from foundations and corporate contributors.


Thomas R. Pickering, Chairman
Avis Bohlen, Vice-Chairman
Ronald E. Neumann, President
Nicholas A. Veliotes, Treasurer
Molly Williamson, Secretary

Board of Directors[edit]

Barbara Bodine, Thomas D. Boyatt, Timothy M. Carney, Wendy Chamberlin, William Courtney, Ruth A. Davis, Jeffrey Davidow, Harriet Elam-Thomas, Nancy Ely-Raphel, Jim Gadsden, David Greenlee, William Harrop, Carol Lancaster, Samuel Lewis, John E. McLaughlin, Langhorne A. Motley, W. Robert Pearson, Steve Pifer, Charles Ries, Edward M. Rowell, Teresita Schaffer, Sally Shelton Colby, George Staples, Molly Williamson Johnny Young

Program Director[edit]

Aimee Stoltz

Former Chairmen[edit]

Joseph J. Sisco, Max M. Kampelman, Lawrence S. Eagleburger, Frank C. Carlucci, Sol M. Linowitz, Elliot Richardson

Former Presidents[edit]

Bruce Laingen, Brandon Grove, David H. Popper, David D. Newsom


The Academy, in collaboration with Johns Hopkins University's Paul H. Nitze School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS), awards the Philip Merrill Fellowship for a winning essay on the practice of American diplomacy. The fellowship provides one half of SAIS tuition for each of two years of study. The last year for this award was 2013.
  • The Leonard Marks Foundation Award for Creative Writing on American Foreign Policy
Participants in this contest submit essays on specific challenges to American diplomacy, and propose policy recommendations to address them. The Academy selects three winners at differing award levels. The last year for this award was 2009.


The Academy hosts an annual awards luncheon at the Department of State to recognize an individual or group who has made exemplary contributions to the field of American diplomacy.
  • The Arthur Ross Award for Distinguished Reporting and Analysis of Foreign Affairs
Since 2004, the Academy has presented the Arthur Ross Award to journalists who have produced the most compelling and insightful pieces concerning American diplomatic efforts.
  • The Douglas Dillon Award for Distinguished Writing on American Diplomacy
Since 1995, the Academy has awarded an annual prize for a book of distinction on the practice of American diplomacy. This award honors those who broaden public understanding of the need for excellence in American diplomacy.


  • Arthur Ross Discussions of American Diplomacy
  • Diplomacy and Education: Teaching Resources
  • Diplomatic Professional Education and Training Project
  • Foreign Affairs Budget Project
  • Joseph J. Sisco Memorial Forum
  • Diplomacy and Democracy


  • Diplomacy in a Time of Scarcity (2012) [2]
  • The Diplomatic Pouch Academy Newsletter [3]
  • First lin of Defence: Ambassadors, Embassies, and American Interests Abroad [4]
  • COALITIONS: Building and Maintenance [5]
  • Commercial Diplomacy and the National Interest [6]
  • Task Force Report [7]


External links[edit]