The Institute of World Politics

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The Institute of World Politics' headquarters in Washington, D.C.

The Institute of World Politics (IWP) is a graduate school of national security and international affairs. It was founded in 1990 and is located in the Dupont Circle neighborhood of Washington, D.C.

According to its mission statement, the school develops leaders in the intelligence, national security, and diplomatic communities, while teaching the ethical exercise of statecraft. The curriculum emphasizes various elements of statecraft, including: counterintelligence; counterpropaganda; economic statecraft and warfare; information operations; political warfare; and public diplomacy.[1]

The faculty consists primarily of senior scholar-practitioners from the intelligence, national security, and diplomatic communities.

IWP offers three Master of Arts degrees in: Statecraft and National Security Affairs; Statecraft and World Politics; and Strategic Intelligence Studies. The school also offers Certificates of Graduate Study and continuing education courses.

The Institute holds the private library of former CIA Director William Casey[2] and the American Security Council Foundation Library.[3]

Founding and history[edit]

IWP was founded in 1990 by John Lenczowski, the former Director of European and Soviet Affairs at the United States National Security Council during the Reagan administration.[4] Lenczowski’s stated purpose for establishing the Institute was to develop a graduate school and curriculum that integrates “all the instruments of statecraft,” teaching students to apply them across the spectrum of conflict while remaining grounded in American founding principles and the rule of international law.[5] Other senior staffers from Reagan’s National Security Council helped form the core of the Institute’s original faculty.[6]

From 1991–2005, IWP maintained an affiliation with Boston University.[7][8] This affiliation ended in 2006 as IWP attained independent and full accreditation by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education.[9]

In 2008, IWP became one of 17 academic institutions that is qualified by the U.S. Army to host Senior Service Fellows.[10]


The Institute of World Politics offers three Master's degree programs (M.A. in Statecraft and National Security Affairs, M.A. in Statecraft and International Affairs, and M.A. in Strategic Intelligence Studies) and several Certificates of Graduate Study. It houses the Kosciuszko Chair of Polish Studies, the Center for Culture and Security, and the Center for Human Rights and International Affairs. IWP also offers Frontiers, a ten-week program in American strategy and statecraft for national security and business professionals.[11]

Notable people[edit]


Research fellows[edit]

Guest lecturers[edit]

The institute sponsors lectures presented by noted authorities. Past lecturers have included:[13]


The 300 member student body at IWP is composed of approximately 65% recent graduates planning to pursue careers in national security, foreign policy, or intelligence; and about 35% mid-career professionals in those fields seeking additional knowledge and credentials. Students have come to IWP from across the United States as well as approximately 60 countries, the United States armed forces, and United States Government. Though many IWP students and professors hold security clearances, holding a security clearance is not a prerequisite for studying at IWP, as all classroom discussions, coursework, and research takes place at an unclassified level. A majority of IWP graduates gain employment in national security, foreign affairs, and intelligence agencies.


The Institute is a 501(c)(3) non-profit, tax-exempt educational institution, relying on private charitable donations and tuition. Tuition accounts for approximately 65% of annual operating expenses.[14]


External links[edit]

Coordinates: 38°54′38″N 77°02′10″W / 38.9105°N 77.0362°W / 38.9105; -77.0362