Diversity and Inclusion

Diversity and inclusion remain an important priority for GW and the Elliott School. As the University has taken important steps to create a more inclusive community, the Elliott School has also taken crucial actions towards this goal.

Diversity Statement

The United States of America is projected to be a “majority-minority” country by the year 2050 or sooner. Diversity and social mobility are among our country’s greatest assets in engaging the rest of the world. It is imperative, therefore, that international affairs institutions of the United States reflect the diversity of America. The Elliott School of International Affairs is committed to reflecting this diversity.

We believe this diversity enriches the educational experience for students and faculty alike. We are committed to ensuring that every student, faculty, and staff member has a chance to reach their full professional potential, do great work, and be a fully enfranchised member of the Elliott School community.

We seek not only to reflect American society, but also to serve as a model for proactively engaging with difference, with respect, dignity, openness, and acceptance, recognizing that diversity reflects the society in which we live and can be its greatest strength.

Fostering a welcoming and inclusive community is a core value of the Elliott School. To this end, we are committed to attracting and supporting students, faculty, and staff from diverse backgrounds and experiences, for example, based on race, gender, socio-economic status, age, sexual orientation and identity, religion, nationality, culture, ideas (including political perspectives), and methods.

We are especially committed to increasing the representation and inclusion of those who have been historically excluded from participating in higher education, and in the US international affairs community in particular. The inclusion of these underrepresented groups is necessary: 1) to ensure the US international affairs community remains connected to the American public it serves, 2) to ensure that we are best positioned to understand and resolve the most pressing challenges facing the interconnected world today, and 3) to facilitate a new generation of leaders within the discipline of international affairs who understand the importance of equity, respect, inclusion, and civil discourse among diverse parties.

Key Activities and Initiatives

Photo: Staff and students pose for photo for Public Service Weekend

Staff and students take a group photo to celebrate Public Service Weekend in June 2018. See additional photos at our Flickr album.


  • Elliott School's Community Building Committee hosted a gender sensitivity workshop for staff and faculty, led by GEIA Gender Expert Instructor Andrea Bertone on December 5, 2018
  • Became an institutional member of the National Center for Faculty Development and Diversity. 
  • Completed focus groups with students and faculty as a follow-up to the school climate survey.
  •  Hosted a gender sensitivity workshop for faculty and staff on December 5, 2018.
  • Hosted unconscious bias training for faculty and staff on May 29 and June 12, 2019.
  • Received approval to convert a single-gender restroom in the building to one that is gender-neutral.
  • Partnered with Public Policy and International Affairs (PPIA) Program and the Trachtenberg School to host Public Service Weekend. This program provides underrepresented students an opportunity to learn more about domestic and international public service careers as well as strategies for applying to graduate school. This summer, July 26-28, we hosted 50 students.
  • Hosted and sponsored the Department of State’s Annual Historically Black College and Universities Foreign Policy Conference which included an Elliott School reception following the event.
  • Designed a class session to discuss and explore student identities in IAFF 1001-First Year Experience.
  • Sponsored the Association of Professional Schools of International Affairs' (APSIA) Diversity Programming. 
  • Worked with Public Affairs to develop and implement guidelines for planning inclusive events that will be integrated into Public Affairs’ Event Training and Training Guide, beginning Fall 2019
  • Included a question on course evaluations related to diversity and inclusion 
  • East Asia National Resource Center partnered with District of Columbia Public Schools, Fairfax County Public Schools, and Montgomery County Public Schools for their summer teacher workshops by providing informational and curriculum development sessions.


2019-2020 Diversity Action Plan

  • Strategies

    • Restructure Council on Diversity and Inclusion to include more student representation. 

    • Identify student leadership opportunities.  

    • Establish funding and criteria to support diversity related programming and research activities for faculty, student organizations, departments, research centers, and institutes.

    • Continue to implement and monitor events policy. 

    • Conduct focus groups with staff to better understand concerns derived from the climate survey. 

    • Implement a diversity and inclusion recognition initiative.    

    • Respond to focus group findings and climate survey results by developing educational programs and initiatives focused on diversity and inclusion for students, faculty, and staff. 

      • Implement annual school-wide diversity symposium.

      • Establish a Diverse Perspectives in International Affairs Series.

    • Collect and review data from course evaluations. 

  • Strategies 

    • Engage in community outreach to ethnically and socioeconomically diverse K-12 schools. 

    • Continue partnership with the Public Policy and International Affairs Program (PPIA) and host Public Service Weekend (PSW) and International Affairs Summer Immersion Program for underrepresented undergraduate students. 

      • Establish fellowships for participants completing these programs and enrolling at the Elliott School. 

    • Explore opportunities for partnership with the Charles B. Rangel International Affairs and Thomas R. Pickering Fellowship Programs.

    • Establish partnerships with Minority Serving Institutions including Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) and Hispanic Serving Institutions (HSIs). 

    • Enhance the faculty and staff search process. 

      • Provide training to assist hiring managers and search committee chairs in the recruitment and selection process.     

      • Develop guidance to integrate diversity and inclusion into position descriptions and the interview process. 

  • Strategies

    • Identify resources needed to support and actualize the short and long term diversity planning efforts of the school.

    • Identify and leverage existing resources at the University. 

    • Hire Diversity Program Manager. 

  • Strategies

    • Enhance school’s diversity website.

    • Establish newsletter that highlights accomplishments and members of our diverse community.

The Elliott School's Council on Diversity and Inclusion

How to Report a Bias-Related Act

Diversity and inclusion are crucial to an educational institution's pursuit of excellence in learning, research, and service. We strive to build a community of respect for all community members.


Make a Report