Georgetown Leadership Seminar

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The Georgetown Leadership Seminar (GLS) is an annual gathering of selected rising leaders from around the world for a week of intensive discussion on major international issues. The program was established in 1982 by Georgetown University in order to promote dialogue among individuals who would shape the futures of their countries. GLS attracts individuals from government, corporations, law firms, financial institutions, the military, international organizations, NGOs, the media, universities, think tanks, and elsewhere who occupy positions of influence and have the potential to move up to greater leadership roles. The selected participants are then exposed to the major global issues and the Washington foreign policy-making process through direct contact with top level policy makers and experts. The program is derived from Harvard’s “international seminar” conducted by Henry Kissinger in the 1950s and 1960s. The GLS is now administered by the Institute for the Study of Diplomacy at the School of Foreign Service at Georgetown. Original committee members included Zbigniew Brzezinski, Madeleine Albright, Henry Kissinger, and Peter F. Krogh.


The core belief underlying the GLS is that successful leaders in a globalized world must continually work to improve their understanding of international affairs and connect to an international network. This is accomplished through three distinct goals:

  1. To promote an exchange of views among emerging public and private sector leaders on key global issues of the future.
  2. To establish the personal contacts and sense of camaraderie essential to effective international cooperation.
  3. To improve understanding by foreign leaders of the perspectives and foreign policy-making process through direct contact with key policy-makers, academics, and other experts in Washington.

Notable Speakers[edit]

Since 1982, the GLS has attracted a variety of speakers who have served in important policy-making and business roles:

Select Alumni[edit]

GLS has over 800 alumni from more than 100 countries, including presidents, prime ministers, cabinet secretaries, generals, ambassadors, and CEOs:


Further reading[edit]

  • Seth P. Tillman, Georgetown's School of Foreign Service: the first 75 years, Edmund A. Walsh School of Foreign Service, Georgetown University, 1994 OCLC 32749296.