Global Capstone


Global Capstone is the culminating experience and signature project for Elliott School graduate students from seven masters programs, including International Affairs, Security Policy, Global Communication, Asian Studies, European and Eurasian Studies, International Economic Policy and the Latin American and Hemispheric Studies Program. Every year, over 300 students in 17 different thematic sections collaborate with client organizations to identify policy solutions to current global challenges. Capstone teams conduct in-depth policy analysis, often involving field-research trips to foreign countries, and present policy recommendations to some of the most prestigious institutions in Washington, DC. Previous Global Capstone clients have included the US Department of State, the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS), The World Bank Group, and other exceptional private, public, and non-profit organizations.

*International Development Studies, Middle East Studies, and International Science and Technology Policy have program-specific Capstones.

Recent Capstone Projects 

List of Select Recent Capstone Projects

Download the list of projects

Capstone Project Title Capstone Client Year
Addressing the Root Cause of Gender Based Volence in Nigeria Dorothy Njemanze Foundation 2023
Adult and Higher Education Opportunities for Myanmar's Displaced Persons Spring University Myanmar 2023
Advancing Key Peace Agreement Reforms in Colombia: Addressing Land Dispute, Narco Trafficking, and Transitional Justice Under the Petro Administration Latin American Studies Association 2023
Assessing The Department Of Navy's Professional Military Education: Preparing The Fleet For The Next Fight US Naval Institute 2023
Burmese Challenges, Indian Solutions: Forwarding Peace and Democracy in Burma Burma Desk at The U.S. Department of State 2023
China's Quest for Credible Deterrence: Implications for U.S. National Security and Indo-Pacific Stability The U.S. Department of Defense 2023
Combatting Disinformation: Strategies to Encourage Leader Accountability and Transparency in El Salvador Organization of American States: Center for Media Integrity of the Americas 2023
Comparative Case Study of Disinformation Campaigns in the United States and Brazil United States Institute of Peace 2023
Countering Russian Disinformation Campaigns in Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan United States Institute of Peace 2023
COVID-19 Vaccination in Southeast Asia: Approaches, Challenges, and Partnerships in Singapore and Indonesia US ASEAN Business Council 2023
Covid-19, Mexico & Brazil: How does Crisis-era Fiscal Policy Response Impact Unemployment and Inflation? The U.S. Department of State Office of the Chief Economist 2023
Curbing Disinformation and Online Radicalization Global Internet Forum to Counter Terrorism 2023
Dissuasion and Manipulation: Bolstering U.S. Efforts to Combat Chinese Disinformation Center for Strategic and International Studies 2023
Economic Development and Reconciliation Prospects for Abkhazia and Georgia in the Wake of the Ukraine War Caucasian House 2023
Economic Empowerment of Rohingya Women Through Arts Programming in Bangladesh Artolution 2023
ECOWAS Protocol on Free Movement: Problems and Promises for Migrants in West Africa Caritas Africa 2023
Emerging and Accessible: Unmanned Aircraft Systems and Non-State Actors The U.S. Department of Defense Undersecretary of Defense 2023
Emerging Dynamics, Analyzing the Security Dynamic in the Persian Gulf Through the Development and Sale of Autonomous Weapons Systems Future of Life Institute 2023
Enhanced U.S.-Taiwan Security Cooperation The U.S. Department of Defense 2023
Enhancing Resilience: Recommendations for United States Agency for International Development Climate Programming in Guatemala United States Agency for International Development 2023
How the Private Sector Can Prepare for a Conflict Over Taiwan Panjit International 2023
Juche Ideology: Assessing the Impact of Juche Ideology on North Korea’s Human Rights Embassy of the Republic of Korea 2023
Lessons in Conflict Resolution from the Afghan Doha Agreement: A Local Reflection Asia Foundation 2023
Memory Politics: How Soviet History in Latvia Continues to Impact Foreign and Security Policy, 2004-Present Latvian Institute of International Affairs 2023
Moscow’s WMD Disinformation in Bulgaria CRDF Global 2023
Motivations and Support: How Western Far-Right Groups Participated in the 2022 Russian Invasion of Ukraine The U.S. Department of State - Bureau of Intelligence and Research 2023
NATO's Forward Defense of the Baltics: A Deterrence Lithuania 2023
Navigating Bias in Artificial Intelligence through Business-Informed Strategy focused on Mis/Disinformation Globant 2023
Potential of International Commission against Impunity and Corruption in Honduras Implementation in Honduras Seattle International Foundation 2023
Preserving the Nation": An Analysis of the Far-Right Scene in Serbia Youth Initiative for Human Rights, Serbia Office 2023
Protecting Those in Need: Options to Reform Costa Rica’s Refugee System Center for Democracy in the Americas 2023
Religion and Public Diplomacy in Serbia: The Russian Orthodox Church as a Soft Power Tool and its Consequences on Democracy and Civil Society International Center for Religion and Diplomacy 2023
Resilience Against Electoral Disinformation: Case Studies of Canada and Brazil for U.S. Policy Use Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency 2023
Russia's Disinformation Operation in Germany German Bundeswehr 2023
Russian Influence on Sudan Institute for African Studies 2023
Searching for Structure: Identifying the Organizational Models of Transnational White Supremacist Networks The U.S. Department of State 2023
Securing Telecommunications Infrastructure in the Red Sea: Protecting Subsea Cables The U.S. Department of State 2023
Strengthening Taiwan’s Divided Civil Society By Improving Its Reserve Force and Conscription Strategy The U.S. Department of Defense 2023
Stress Testing NATO Strategy in The Black Sea U.S. Navy’s Sixth Fleet 2023
The Fate of Europe’s Special Relationship: Perceptions on the Future of Russo-German Relations Center for New American Security Transatlantic Security Program 2023
The Forced Deportation of Ukrainian Youth to Russia & The Role of the International Community The U.S. Department of State's Bureau of Conflict and Stabilization Operations 2023
The Future of Chinese Gray-Zone Operations in the Taiwan Strait Chief of Staff for the J-2 Directorate for Intelligence 2023
The Status Of Gender Equality In South Korea: A Look Into the Complex Blend of Culture, History, Policy, and More That Form The Role of Women in South Korea The U.S. Department of State 2023
The UN Response to Disinformation in Multi-Dimensional Peace Operations Better World Campaign 2023
U.S. Semiconductor Policy: Securing The Supply Chain and National Security Interests Center for a New American Security 2023
U.S. Energy Cooperation With Ukraine to Rebuild Ukraine’s Energy Security and Reduce its Dependence on Russian Energy: The Case of Liquified Natural Gas Cheniere Energy, Inc. 2023
U.S. Supply Chain Resilience in the Transition to Renewable Energy: Lithium and Nickel The U.S. Department of Commerce 2023
Water Security in Central Asia U.S. House of Representatives 2023
A Deep Dive into DEIA within the International Visitor Leadership Program Policy Office of the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs 2022
A Practical Analysis of the Cobalt Supply Chain for U.S. Government Agencies The U.S. Department of State 2022
Addressing Clash of Interest between USA and Pakistan in Regards to Afghanistan The U.S. Department of Defense 2022
Addressing Climate Change Through Resilient Aquaculture Practices in The Coastal Zone of the Vietnamese Mekong Delta Nong-Lam University — Research Center for Climate Change 2022
Addressing Youth Radicalization in the Lake Chad Basin Search for Common Ground 2022
Anatomies of Lies: Geopolitics and Disinformation in the Central African Republic and Mali The U.S. Department of State 2022
Assessing the Taliban’s Rule Over The Next Two Years: Policy Implications For the U.S. Department of the Treasury Federal Agency 2022
Assessing Washington and Beijing's Economic and Military Influence in the Strait of Malacca American Enterprise Institute 2022
Balancing the Sociocultural Realities & the Global Standard: The Need for Comprehensive Sex Education in Guyanese Schools The Guyana Foundation 2022
Biodiversity's Place In G7’s Global Developmental Goals: Lessons Learned from the Belt and Road Initiative in Risk Mitigation in Port Infrastructure United States Agency for International Development 2022
Chinese Engagement in Latin American Multilateral Institutions The U.S. Department of State 2022
Combating the Islamic State of West Africa Province (ISWAP) Propaganda in Niger 1st Information Operations Command 2022
Conflict-Sensitive Education and Countering Violent Extremism: Ed-CVE in Mali and Nigeria United States Agency for International Development 2022
Countering Russian Information Warfare: Lessons from Poland and Ukraine Russian Analytical Digest 2022
Countering the ISIS-K Threat The Wilson Center 2022
Examining Missing and Exploited Children Policy in Mexico and the Dominican Republic International Center for Missing and Exploited Children (ICMEC) 2022
Fact and Fiction: Demystifying the Myth of The 85% Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency 2022
From Russia with Love: Disinformation And Its Indicators The Conflict and Stabilization Operations Bureau 2022
Gendering the DSA: Amending the Digital Services Act to Combat Gendered Disinformation and Gender-Based Online Violence Center for Democracy & Technology 2022
Hungry for Power: Maduro's Weaponization of Food Insecurity in Venezuela Washington Office on Latin America 2022
Impacts of Child Marriage Laws in India and Bangladesh Girls Not Brides 2022
Implementing Cybersecurity for Space Systems White House Office of the National Cyber Director 2022
Iranian Power Projection in The Middle East: Dismantling its Bridges to The Arab World Middle East Institute 2022
Iranian-Afghan Relations: The Future of Iranian Influence in Taliban Controlled Afghanistan American Enterprise Institute 2022
It’s Complicated: Defining the Relationship Between NATO & China in the Space Domain NATO 2022
Know Thy Enemy: How Assessing Russia’s Offensive Operations in Ukraine Can Foster More Effective U.S. Policy The U.S. Department of State 2022
Localized Peacebuilding and Its Effects on Relationship Building: A Case Study on Israeli and Palestinian Youth United States Agency for International Development's Bureau for the Middle East 2022
Looking Forward: The United States’ Response to Sino-Taliban Political and Economic Engagement U.S. Department of State, Bureau of South and Central Asian Affairs 2022
Modernizing The Bureau of Legislative Affairs For 21st Century Diplomacy fp21 2022
Pathways to Sustainable Economic Development in The Lithium Triangle: A Comparative Analysis of Chile and Argentina Atlantic Council 2022
Policies to Ensure U.S. Rare Earth Element Autonomy Rivian 2022
Potential and Emerging Threats to The National Electrical Grid System by State Actors RAND Corporation 2022
Prioritizing Arctic Bilateral Cooperation: Augmenting U.S. Relationships and Capabilities in the Polar North Ted Stevens Center for Arctic Security Studies, DoD 2022
Reforming US Nuclear Practices to Account for Emerging Cyber Threats Nuclear Threat Initiative 2022
Rethinking the Future of Strategic Arms Control Between the United States and China Hudson Institute 2022
Russian Gas and European Nuclear Policy: Security and Climate Outcomes Atlantic Council 2022
The Economic Impact of Incorporating Displaced Women Into Spain’s Labor Market Refugees International 2022
The Future of Green Diplomacy: How Ecocentric Cooperation and Technological Innovation Can Guide United States Policy in Southeast Asia The Stimson Center 2022
The Intersection of Public Health, AI, and Data Security during COVID-19: China’s Use of AI and Big Data for Epidemic Control and Prevention Jamestown Foundation 2022
The Sino-Russian Strategic Partnership and US Alliances in the Indo-Pacific United States Institute of Peace 2022
Tipping Points: Examining Factors in Global Far-Right Violence Center for Strategic and International Studies Transnational Threats Team 2022
Veteran Susceptibility to Violent Extremism We the Veterans 2022
Vying for Vietnam: Barriers in Contemporary US-Vietnam Relations and How the US Can Overcome Them George Washington University 2022


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Learning Outcomes

Capstone projects will employ academic knowledge, original research, and professional skills in a culminating project. Over the duration of the capstone, students will:

  • Enhance their knowledge of a policy issue and identify the key actors and dynamics involved
  • Design and execute a policy-oriented research project
  • Identify and utilize appropriate quantitative and qualitative research methods
  • Cultivate effective teamwork and work-related negotiation skills
  • Strengthen time-management skills to meet target dates
  • Develop project management, formal briefing, and analytic skills


The Capstone program is usually completed in the second year of graduate study at the Elliott School.

During the Fall semester, students register for the IAFF 6898 Capstone Workshop; in this course, students form groups, select topics, and develop client partnerships and project proposals.

In the final semester, students register for the IAFF 6899 Capstone Course; in this course, the majority of the policy research is completed. In late April, students present their findings to peers, faculty, and clients in a culminating Global Capstone event.

The Global Capstone Office has also started offering Spring/Fall and Spring/Summer sequencing options, in order to broaden Capstone offerings for students.


Communications and Public Diplomacy

Irina Karmanova

[email protected]

Conflict Resolution

Tobias Greiff

[email protected]

Defense Analysis and Policy

Robert A. Zirkle

[email protected]

Disinformation and International Affairs

Kristina Wilfore

[email protected]

Humanitarian Assistance and Global Gender Policy

Jennifer Fox

[email protected]

International Organizations and Security

Fabio Capano

[email protected]

International Development and Security

Russell T. Porter

[email protected]

International Economic Policy and Finance

Rollie Lal

[email protected]

International Security and Technology Policy

Atta Nasib

[email protected]

Transnational Security

Katie Donahue

[email protected]

Transnational Security: Security and Religion

Rollie Lal

[email protected]

Transnational Security: Environmental Security

Kurt D. Donnelly

[email protected]

U.S. Foreign Policy and Global Interests

Chris Kojm

[email protected]

Spring Cycle

Javid Ahmad

Neal Kringel

Michael Simsik

Client Information

Working with clients is a fundamental aspect of the Capstone. The principal client deliverable is a report that identifies a clear policy action for the client, an argument for the policy action, or a policy-based deliverable that can be implemented by the client.

Working with an Elliott School Capstone team offers clients:

  • Research and analysis on a timely policy issue

  • Professional consulting from a team of diverse professionals

  • Innovative thinking from graduate students of a world-class international affairs program