Norman Paterson School of International Affairs

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Norman Paterson School of International Affairs
Norman Paterson School Logo.jpg
Established 1965
Type Public
Academic affiliation Carleton University
Director Dane Rowlands
Location Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
Website NPSIA Website

The Norman Paterson School of International Affairs, commonly referred to as NPSIA (nip-SEE-yuh), is a professional school of international affairs at Carleton University and founded in 1965. The school is housed in the River Building, on Carleton's campus in Ottawa, Canada. Students, alumni and faculty of NPSIA are referred to as NPSIAns (NIP-see-yins).

NPSIA is Canada's oldest school of international affairs, founded during what is commonly considered a golden age of Canadian diplomacy. The school offers an interdisciplinary approach to the study of global issues, divided into six fields. NPSIA is the only full Canadian member of the Association of Professional Schools of International Affairs, a group of the world's top schools in international affairs.

NPSIA is well regarded within the international affairs community, and admission to the school is highly selective. In 2007, a poll of Canadian academics, intended to determine the best professional masters programs in international affairs, ranked NPSIA at No. 2, tied with Georgetown University, and ahead of programs at universities like Harvard and Columbia.[1][2]

Graduate Programs[edit]

International affairs is not a major available to undergraduate students. The school offers three different Masters level programs, and one PhD level program.

Master of Arts[edit]

The Master of Arts in International Affairs is NPSIA's most popular degree program, with about 100 students graduating with the degree each year. The program offers an interdisciplinary approach to the study of international affairs, and many of the classes are focused on policy. NPSIA's MA program is organized around six fields:

To graduate, NPSIA M.A. students must complete 5.0 full credits, including one economics course, at least one cluster course and the introductory methods course. Students must also demonstrate an intermediate knowledge of a major second language. For instance, in French, students must meet the B1 level according to the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages.


The relatively new PhD program at NPSIA requires that students complete at least 10 full credits, which includes the 4.5 credits worth of dissertation work. The PhD program has three fields of study:

  • International Conflict Management and Resolution
  • International Development Policy
  • International Economic Policy

Joint and dual degrees[edit]

NPSIA offers an M.A./JD degree in conjunction with the University of Ottawa's Faculty of Law. Students must apply to both the JD and the M.A. programs separately and gain admission to each program to be admitted into the joint program. M.A./JD students do one year at UOttawa before completing their second year at NPSIA.

The school has also partnered with Carleton's Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering to offer the Master of Infrastructure Protection and International Security (MIPIS). This degree combines infrastructure engineering with international affairs to address issues at the nexus of national security and engineering.

Research units and publications[edit]

As a hub of international affairs-related research, NPSIA houses a number of different research centres. Each is a unique body tasked with producing research on a specific topic or collection of related topics. Many NPSIA professors are actively involved in these research centres. NPSIA is affiliated with the following research centres:

  • The Canadian Centre of intelligence and Security Studies (CCISS)[3]
  • The Canadian Centre for Treaty Compliance (CCTC)[4]
  • Centre for Security and Defence Studies (CSDS)[5]
  • Centre for Trade Policy and Law (CTPL)[6]

In addition to these research units, the school is home to two academic journals. The first, the Canadian Foreign Policy Journal, is a peer-reviewed journal traditionally published three times per year. Founded in 1992, the journal offers analysis of foreign policy issues from a Canadian perspective, and many NPSIA faculty members have been published in the journal.[7] The second journal that NPSIA houses is the Paterson Review of International Affairs, a student-managed journal that publishes the best articles submitted by graduate students in international relations, political science and related fields. Formally called E-merge, the journal publishes once a year and is edited by a staff of NPSIA students.[8] NPSIA is also well known for publishing Canada Among Nations, a biannual survey of Canadian foreign policy and Canada's involvement in the international community. The text has come to be incorporated in many university courses and is widely read by policy makers.[9]

Notable Alumni[edit]

Canadian Government and Politics[edit]

  • Peter Boehm, Associate Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs
  • Margaret Biggs, Former President of the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA)
  • Jim Judd, Director of the Canadian Security Intelligence Service (2004-2009)
  • Robert Young, Executive Director General for Counter-terrorism, Canadian Security Intelligence Service (CSIS)
  • John Dunn, Deputy Director General, External Review and Liaison, Canadian Security Intelligence Service (CSIS)
  • David McLaughlin, Chief of Staff to Prime Minister Brian Mulroney
  • Niki Ashton, Member of Parliament for Churchill, Manitoba
  • Perry Calderwood, High Commissioner in the Federal Republic of Nigeria and Permanent Observer to the Economic Community of West African States
  • Wendy Drukier, Ambassador to the Republic of Costa Rica
  • Greg Giokas, High Commissioner to the Islamic Republic of Pakistan
  • Alexandra Bugailiskis, Ambassador to the Republic of Poland
  • J. Gregory Goldhawk, Ambassador to Mongolia
  • Sara Hradecky, Ambassador to Mexico
  • Christopher Shapardanov, Ambassador to the Republic of Finland
  • Elissa Golberg, Ambassador and Permanent Representative to the Office of the United Nations at Geneva and to the United Nations Conference on Disarmament
  • Ariel Delouya, Ambassador to the Republic of Tunisia
  • Graham Shantz, Ambassador to the Kingdom of Spain
  • Ron Hoffmann, Ambassador to the Kingdom of Thailand
  • Valerie Raymond, Ambassador to the Czech Republic
  • Deanna Horton, Ambassador to Vietnam
  • James Lambert, Ambassador to the Netherlands
  • Guillermo Rishchynski, Ambassador and Permanent Representative to the United Nations
  • Donald Campbell, Former Deputy Foreign Minister and Ambassador to Japan and South Korea
  • Brian Oak, Former Ambassador to the Republic of Ecuador
  • Christine Desloges, Former Ambassador to the Socialist Republic of Vietnam
  • Graham Shantz, Director General, North Asia, Department of Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development (DFATD)

Foreign Governments[edit]

  • Andreas Kakouris, Ambassador of the Republic of Cyprus to the United States
  • Frances Guy, Former British Ambassador to Lebanon and Yemen
  • Neil Joeck, National Intelligence Officer, South Asia, Office of the Director of National Intelligence, United States
  • Jorje Castaneda, Ambassador of Peru to Canada
  • Christopher Fitzherbert Hackett, Permament Representative to the United Nations for Barbados
  • Manne Wängborg, Ambassador of Sweden to Kazakhstan
  • Sheldon Shulman, National Security Advisor to the Prime Minister of Israel

Student Life[edit]

The NPSIA Students’ Association seeks to holistically address the needs of NPSIA students. Through biweekly meetings under the leadership of the co-Presidents, the Students’ Association works to be a liaison between the NPSIA faculty/administration and the student body; to plan social, academic, and professional events; to support students in their academic and professional pursuits; and to open and facilitate lines of communication between NPSIA students, staff, faculty, and alumni–as well as with the Ottawa community and other student groups and associations with an interest in international affairs.

Benefit Soirée[edit]

The NPSIA Benefit Soirée, usually referred to mononomously as Soirée, is an annual benefit dinner put on by first year MA students since 1997.[10] The goal of Soirée is to raise awareness of a key global issue while connecting students with important members of the international affairs community in Ottawa. Generally composed of a dinner followed by a keynote address, the event raises money for a different charity each year, and is the major event of the NPSIA social season. Past keynote speakers include Michael Ignatieff, former Governor General Michaëlle Jean, the founder of War Child Canada Samantha Nutt and Nobel Peace Prize nominee Izzeldin Abuelaish. The event is well attended by NPSIA students and professors, as well as by members of Ottawa's diplomatic community and the wider international affairs community.


External links[edit]

Coordinates: 45°22′56″N 75°41′46″W / 45.38233°N 75.69618°W / 45.38233; -75.69618