The University of Oklahoma will serve as Secretariat for the U.S. Department of State’s Diplomacy Lab program, which will be launched nationwide this fall. The announcement was made at a Town Hall meeting led by U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry on March 18th for university students and interns. The Diplomacy Lab allows students and faculty members at universities around the country to explore complex global challenges facing the State Department and to contribute to the policymaking process through their research projects. As the Secretariat for this nationwide program, OU will serve as the coordinator for all universities selected to participate in the program.
The University is currently participating in a pilot launch of this program with four professors in the College of International Studies and the College of Law supervising courses in which students are conducting research which will lead to work products that will be sent to policy officials at the State Department. OU’s participation in the Diplomacy Lab underlines the University’s goal to develop citizen leaders and to engage in research on the frontiers of knowledge. With the leadership of OU President David L. Boren, the University of Oklahoma has significantly enhanced its international curricula and programming activities over the past 20 years with the goal of ensuring international exposure and a global education for all OU students.
“All of us at the University of Oklahoma are very excited about widening and deepening opportunities for students and faculty throughout the United States to engage with the U.S. State Department,” said Suzette Grillot, dean of the college. “The Diplomacy Lab project is a great way to connect students, faculty and officials and facilitate their working together on research and analytical projects that will be of service to others.”
The Diplomacy Lab allows the State Department to tap into an underutilized reservoir of intellectual capital and enables it to “course-source” research and innovation related to foreign policy.
The University of Oklahoma’s duties as Secretariat will begin on May 1 at which point its Diplomacy Lab website (www.ou.edu/diplomacylab) will be accessible to the public.