Independent Diplomat

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Independent Diplomat
Formation 2004
Founder Carne Ross
Type Non-profit,
non-governmental organisation
Headquarters New York, United States
Parag Khanna,
Victor Navasky,
David Rieff
Website Official website

Independent Diplomat is a non-profit non-governmental organisation founded in 2004 by British former diplomat Carne Ross to give advice and assistance in diplomatic strategy and technique to governments and political groups. It provides 'freelance' diplomats to unrecognised governments and works towards greater participation in diplomatic forums.


In 2009, Independent Diplomat’s staff included Carne Ross (Executive Director) and Thomas J. Miller (head of its Washington office). Its Advisory Council included Alyson Bailes, Edward Mortimer, Eva Nowotny, and Sir Kieran Prendergast. Former members include Ian Martin and Danilo Türk. Its board of directors includes Parag Khanna, Victor Navasky, and David Rieff.[citation needed] It was funded for approximately $1.8 million per year by foundation and government donations, as well as fees from their clients. Poorer organisations charged nominal fees only.[1]


Independent Diplomat provides 'freelance' diplomats to unrecognised governments (i.e. governments of seceded or proto-states that do not (yet) have international recognition. Often these governments often have little experience in dealing with international bureaucracy.[1] It works to enable broader participation in diplomatic forums such as the United Nations,[2] European Union, African Union, etc. Independent Diplomat’s goal is to contribute to just and sustainable solutions to international problems by promoting inclusiveness and accountability in foreign policy.

It is an independent organisation, without connection to any particular governments or institutions, which only helps those who support democracy, human rights and the rule of law.[citation needed]

Independent Diplomat’s projects have included: helping Kosovo achieve recognition as a new state,[1] the National Coalition Government of the Union of Burma, Somaliland, the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus and Western Sahara. They also assist the Republic of the Marshall Islands in navigating international diplomatic processes on climate change and manage a project to reform the working methods of the United Nations Security Council. The organisation has also assisted various non-profit organisations, including: Human Rights First, the International Center for Transitional Justice and the World Wide Fund for Nature.[citation needed]


According to Andrew Hudson of Crisis Action, Independent Diplomat "... fills a critical diplomatic deficit."[3]