Words from Former Participants

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Master/Postgraduate Diploma in Contemporary Diplomacy
 

The PGD in Contemporary Diplomacy programme is a real lifetime experience, extremely constructive and valuable both to diplomats and also to individuals with an interest in international affairs and policy.  Each course that I took gave added value to my work and my knowledge, and they were all conducted in a highly efficient and productive manner that allowed broad interaction with the tutors and fellow students.

Spyros Miltiades - First Secretary, Embassy of the Republic of Cyprus, Permanent Mission of the Republic of Cyprus to the UN and Other International Organizations in Vienna (November 2010)


Following 10 years of humanitarian work, the Post-Graduate Diploma in Contemporary Diplomacy proved a valuable academic complement to my professional experience and proved helpful in facilitating access to increasingly senior leadership positions.

Francois Desruisseaux – Director,  Disaster Response Program,
CARE, Port-au-Prince, Haiti (November 2010)

 


The Master/PGD in Contemporary Diplomacy allowed me to increase my knowledge and skills at a tremendous speed and depth, while remaining in and performing stronger in my job. I was very impressed by the professional support provided by the professors and fellow students allowing for a total immersion in all aspects regarding contemporary diplomacy from different global perspectives. This programme is truly a valuable experience that provides critical skills and knowledge in a motivating environment.

Angelic Caroline Alihusain-del Castilho – Ambassador,
Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Suriname (November 2010)


I can now train younger diplomats who enter the diplomatic service with the knowledge and theoretical expertise that I have gained through the PGD programme. I definitely highly recommend this PGD programme to all who wish to equip themselves with the necessary knowledge for the 21st Century and beyond!

Anne Namakau Mutelo - Deputy Director, Western and Eastern Europe, Bilateral Affairs Department of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Namibia (April 2007)


 

21st Century Diplomacy
 

I found this course to be very enlightening and relevant to my work area. The very thought of trying to look into the future to see what role diplomacy and the Foreign Ministry will play in the next ten to twenty years is intriguing and this course brought you to this reality and for the preparation of small states especially like mine, to remain in the game.  I would advise anyone who is interested in or in the Foreign Ministry to pursue this course.

Maria Medard - Information Officer, Ministry of External Affairs,
International Trade and Civil Aviation, Santa Lucia (June 2007)


The course has helped me to redefine my role as a diplomat, appreciate the emerging challenges and responsibilities of diplomacy today including the role of new actors like NGOs, think tanks and academics. I have learned to appreciate other stakeholders as partners and not competitors to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in the conduct of foreign relations. The weekly seminar papers done by the selected seminar teams in the class got us actively researching and exchanging information, it is amazing how much we learned from each other. This kind of networking if maintained will surely enable us achieve much more in our quest to increase knowledge and share best practises in contemporary diplomacy.

Michael Bulwaka - Foreign Service Officer,
Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Uganda (June 2007)

 

Bilateral Diplomacy
 

I found the Bilateral Diplomacy course an excellent tool in broadening my knowledge and understanding of diplomatic practices around the world. With participants from a variety of countries and backgrounds, I found the sharing of experiences and best practice invaluable. Ambassador Rana provided an enriching mix of academic rigour and experience from an illustrious diplomatic career.

Peter Boxer - Deputy Head of Mission,
British Embassy, Rabat, Morocco (November 2006)


E-learning with DiploFoundation was a great experience. The innovative online sessions and contact with other students really helped to gain a wide view on the topics discussed. Despite having practised bilateral and multilateral diplomacy, I found the course informative and focussed, such as the benefits and drawbacks of both soft and hard power. This in particular proved useful in completing my understanding of how diplomacy can work at different levels.

Guy Pollard - Second Secretary, Conventional Weapons,
UK Disarmament Delegation, Geneva (September 2006)


Climate Change Diplomacy
 

I was apprehensive at first because of my dislike for science and the lack of environmental course background but the methods, lecture texts, hypertexts, assignments and online class interactions were handled with maximum expertise. I am now able to incorporate and impart in-depth knowledge on climate change in several policy discussions - an added value to my engagement as governance specialist.

Ma. Inecita Montero (Philippines) - Civil Affairs Expert,
UN Mission in Liberia (August 2010)


This course requires serious academic work and an additional ingredient: passion for environment. Those who possess both will benefit enormously; for both components having been transmitted by the lecturers tangibly to the Cyber Classroom. Regardless whether this course is for your personal interests or is work-related – a multitude of issues makes the experience a very constructive learning process.

Milla Bursac - Lawyer, Australia (August 2010)


…I had the feeling that it would bring an added value to my overall knowledge. I was not mistaken and have been able to appreciate the course outline, the structure and also the mastery of the topics by the instructors. I think I am now endowed with relevant tools to actively take part in national and international climate change debates and negotiations.

Georges Takui, Corporate Communication Specialist,
United Nations Operations in Cote d’Ivoire (August 2010)

 

Consular Diplomacy
 

Before taking the Consular Diplomacy course, my view of consular work was limited to the narrow perspective that it deals mainly with the issuance of visas and passports. The Consular Diplomacy course steers one away from that stereotypical and restrictive view. It emphasizes the gamut of roles which consulates play, their increasing importance in bridge-building amongst states and peoples and their function as a dynamic facet of a country’s internal and foreign policies. Although my career is not in consular services, I have benefited tremendously from this course and from the excellent presentation of cutting-edge issues in consular diplomacy.

Anna Durante, Crown Counsel, Government of the Virgin Islands (August 2010)


Indeed it was an exciting and an extraordinary experience.  Diplo is giving me this golden opportunity, on reaching the age of sixty, so that instead of thinking of retiring, there is much scope in sharing acquired experiences and knowledge with other similar minded persons for mutual benefit.

Joseph Dougall, Honorary Assistant High Commissioner for
Sierra Leone in Malta (August 2010)


The quality of materials provided and suggested readings, the focus both on theory and practice, the intense interaction with colleagues around the world and, most particularly, the conscious dedication of our tutors –constantly reviewing our progress and encouraging further thought– are some of the relevant features of the course that I deem important to highlight. I can only add that I still miss our online sessions and daily interaction and, most certainly, I look forward to taking up another DiploFoundation course.

María Celeste Koch, Deputy Chief of Mission

Embassy of the Republic of Argentina in Chile (August 2010)

 

Cyber Diplomacy
 

The cyber diplomacy course was very useful for me especially in terms of web search. I learned that information can be found only if you have the proper tools and you know how to use them. Another important topic for me was related to databases for international affairs, as knowledge and information is vital for my job. A special mention for the teachers of this course.

Florin Botonogu - Social Coordinator, "Beautiful Romania" project,
UNDP Romania (June 2006)


The cyber diplomacy course covered a broad spectrum of very interesting topics related to Information Technology. Some of them, such as IT tools for knowledge management, IT security, as well as advanced web search skills, have been very relevant to my studies and work where managing information in a digitalized environment is crucial. Anyone interested in mastering this subject may learn a lot from the lecturers’ considerable expertise.

Eleonora Merlicco - Master in Contemporary Diplomacy 2007/08 student
(September 2007)


As a project manager, the course was a source of inspiration, providing the opportunity to get in depth knowledge on databases for international affairs, use of numbers in diplomatic activities, knowledge management and mind mapping. Overall, Cyber Diplomacy is a valuable course for all professionals who make extensive use of ITC.

Suzana Ricea - Head of European Integration Office,
City Hall of Hunedoara, Romania (September 2007)

 

Development Diplomacy
 

Development Diplomacy highlighted bilateral, multilateral, private foundations and corporate donor objectives, with the likes of ECHO, CIDA, USAID and AusAid for emergency response, the World Bank and other regional multilateral donors for longer term and more sustainable development funding. This proved useful in the preparation of financial models needed to support our interventions, thereby helping us effectively transition from emergency to early recovery and ultimately towards development initiatives. Before the programme, I was not fully aware of the various funding opportunities and the objectives and constraints of various donors. This knowledge made our team’s fundraising efforts more effective.

Francois Desruisseaux – Director,
Disaster Response Program, CARE, Port-au-Prince, Haiti (December 2009)


Being new to some concepts of development diplomacy, it was not a problem for me to catch up with the course, having the guidance of lecturers with very long practical experience. The way the notes are organized to be inclusive of different perspectives, the teaching methodology, and the exercises given stimulate you for more reading and new ideas. Thus, I still feel the topics fresh in my memories and apply them in my job as a sponsorship officer to communicate with donors.

Binyam Aberra - Sponsorship Officer,
SOS Children’s Villages Ethiopia (December 2009)


What I enjoyed most from the Diplo course [Development Diplomacy] was the fact that it opened up a window of  global  experiences and opinions to me through my classmates and professors, allowing me to increase my knowledge and skills at a tremendous speed and depth. It was also very important to me that the Diplo course could be combined with my work schedule…

Angelic del Castilho - Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary
for the Republic of Suriname to Indonesia (December 2008)

 

Diplomacy of Small States
 

This course gave me the assurance that smallness is not at all a disadvantage to a State. During the well formed and very educating lectures of Ambassador Camilleri based on practical situations and rich experience, we learnt how Small States can use their diplomatic means as cleverly and efficiently as possible in order to gain leverage in international politics by focusing on their strengths and clear strategies. During the online classes I had this amazing possibility to discuss with students around the world the issues Small States face in the international arena due to lack of resources, influence and other constraints. It is particularly important for the diplomats of Small States to be aware of these opportunities in order to succeed at their service; therefore I’d encourage everyone interested to participate in this exciting course.

Liene Norberg - Director, International Affairs, Latvia Post (September 2007)


Diplo provides an excellent opportunity, through its affordable and flexible online courses which accommodate even the most hectic schedule of working people. The course on Diplomacy of Small States is well structured to cover the various aspects of diplomacy and issues that small states have to deal with, irrespective of their level of development, as well as to arouse our inquisitive instincts. The course will certainly help in my analysis of the behavior of other small players in international politics. It has also reinforced my conviction that neither size nor location is destiny, especially with developments in ICT.

Parasram Gopaul, Counsellor, Mauritius Embassy, Brussels (July 2010)


This course helped me to understand more clearly the vulnerabilities of small states and how, despite their smallness, these states can maximize the opportunities afforded by the multilateral system to enhance their causes. The well prepared and informative lectures provided thought provoking information on the subject matter. The attention paid to students by the lecturer and the assistant was remarkable and made the learning experience a lot more fulfilling. This course has broadened my consciousness and will definitely serve me well in the future.

Nancy Nicholas, Consul, Embassy of St. Lucia in Cuba (July 2010)

 

Diplomatic Law: Privileges and Immunities
 

… I have found it very useful, constructive and also practical towards my line of work. As a diplomat, it has given me an understanding of the essential component and awareness of the entire armoury a diplomat possesses through privileges and immunities under the VCDR.

Luciano Fonoti – Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade, Samoa (January 2007)


This course provided me with the compulsory knowledge on diplomatic law in general, and diplomatic privileges and immunities in particular. Upon its completion, as an editor of Roma Virtual Network, I had much more logistic capacities to communicate professionally with diplomatic community and the representatives of international organizations. The learning about up-to-date developments in a given sphere has embedded me with the basic intellectual foundation and inspiration for the further studies of Contemporary Diplomacy.

Valery Novoselsky - Editor, Roma Virtual Network, Israel (January 2007)

 

Diplomatic Theory and Practice
 

As a practicing diplomat, I thought this course would have been a walk in the park, but I was pleasantly surprised with the multi-faceted approach to diplomacy it presented.  My knowledge and skill set in diplomacy have been enriched because of this program and I recommend it with my highest enthusiasm.

Roxie McLeish-Hutchinson - Foreign Service Officer,
Policy and Research Division, Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Grenada (April 2011)


Diplomatic Theory and Practice serves as a good overview of the profession. The interesting text is complemented by intriguing weekly classwork, which in turn lead to stimulating debates in class.

Giovanni Buttigieg - Senior Programmes Officer,
European Commission - League of Arab States Liaison Office, Malta (April 2011)


What I found particularly intriguing was the topic of negotiation as it served to not only inform me of the different stages of the negotiation process, but to also enlighten me on the different tactics used by negotiators, as well as strategies for maintaining the momentum of negotiations; something that I will no doubt use in my own negotiations - whether they are personal or work-related.

Bilqis Mohammed - International Relations Officer,
Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Trinidad and Tobago (April 2011)

 

Internet Governance
 

One of the things I liked best about the course was the user-friendly language (non-hi-tech!) and the graphic depictions of the various ideas. Indeed, a picture speaks a thousand words. The assignments that I had to do, also led me to discover how some of the unresolved and unaddressed issues in Internet Governance make our world quite vulnerable; highlighting the need to expedite action in those areas. The programme is definitely one that I highly recommend for anyone who is interested in promoting development issues (especially, if you are from the global South!).

Utchay Okoli - Director of Operations,
Oasis Center for Development, Nigeria (April 2007)


I have not had the opportunity to take part in an online course before and was rather apprehensive on how it would all turn out. I had nothing to worry about. I enjoyed the fact that at any moment we could add hypertexts or annotations to the reading material, where we were free to express opinions, share knowledge on some of the topics we had prior knowledge of, or ask questions for clarity where it was needed. Our lecturers were quick with their responses on these comments, questions to the literature and it sparked interesting debates even amongst us students. Because of our multiplicity as a group experiences flowed from our corners of the world into this classroom and it was a great learning experience.

Caroline Wamala – PhD student,
Lulea University of Technology, Sweden (April 2007)


This course was the most challenging and rewarding course I have had with the DiploFoundation. The course was tough but it inspired me so much so that I was moved to begin doing something in Internet governance issues. I am currently the Chairman of the organizing group of the Liberian Chapter of Internet Society.

Philip Fomba Johnson - Senior/Principal Research Officer, Foreign
Service Institute, Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Liberia (April 2007)

 

Language and Diplomacy
 

DPLO’s Language and Diplomacy course explores the fascinating world of intricate word plays underlying current day diplomacy. The content is stimulating and thought-provoking, not in the least due to the outstanding contributions of Dr Biljana Scott. I gained a deeper understanding of language’s complexity and creativity, and a greater appreciation of its limitations and susceptibility to misuse. I believe this course will benefit those wishing to engage in diplomacy or keen to unravel the twists and turns of spin doctors.

Kristen Daglish - International Project Coordinator, Peace and Reconciliation Program,
Medellin Local Administration, Colombia (January 2008)


My first online experience with DiploFoundation was excellent. I learned in fact a lot, and mainly due to the great and wonderful online-professor, Dr. Biljana Scott, who was just amazing, very knowledgeable, professional and with a great personal e-touch. It was a pleasure to get to know her and the other and interesting online classmates, and we even got close, as much as it is possible in the virtual place. One would only hope to continue and strengthening the lessons learned and connections made also on personal and face-to-face seminars. It was certainly most enriching.

Ramin Kaweh - UN-NGLS, Programme Officer (July 2006)

 

Multilateral Diplomacy
 

I found the Multilateral Diplomacy course very engaging. What I enjoyed the most was the focus on the UN. It was a particularly great insight and useful to re-understand the usefulness of the organisation and its wider system. Multilateral diplomacy is a whole new world for me and this course has been a great foundation as I hope to forage in this domain. The experiences of the coursemates from diverse backgrounds, the diversity of their opinions and the online discussions with the course instructors was tremendously enriching!  I would not hesitate to recommend this course to persons moving from bilateral to multilateral diplomatic missions, especially those who are taking jobs in the UN system.

George Fominyen - Political and Public Diplomacy Officer,
British High Commission in Yaounde, Cameroon (June 2007)


As someone who is not directly involved in foreign relations this course was an eye-opener to what MLD is and what it is not. Throughout the whole course the interactions with both my colleagues and moderators was always a challenge. I would definitely recommend the course to any one interested in multilateral relations in whatever capacity be it in the public or private sector.

Sibongiseni Mzenze - Legislative Researcher/Deputy Information Officer,
South African Revenue Service (June 2007)


This course has taught a newcomer like myself to this field a lot. All the information I've obtained, all the interaction with the colleagues and specially the comments and wise advice from Petru has been a real eye opener. You have all given me a whole lot of confidence and advice on how to move forward and up this ladder of success… The different countries and cultures we all belong to, and the different viewpoints from learning diplomats all around the world – it’s definitely something I, for one, will never get an opportunity again to witness. That is, unless I take another course from DIPLO… which I hope and plan to do.

Rishfa Rasheed – Maldives Ministry of Foreign Affairs (June 2007)

 

Multilateral Diplomacy II: Current Issues in the United Nations
 

Humanitarian aid, intervention in Libya, responsibility to protect, United Nations Security Council reform, drafting and analysis of UN documents … these are but a sample in the rich field of topical issues and practical applications through which Dr Petru Dumitriu and his knowledgeable team expertly guided Multilateral Diplomacy II.  I now evaluate world events with keener insight and have a wider appreciation of the gargantuan challenges in tackling global concerns.

Anna Durante, Crown Counsel, Government of the Virgin Islands (May 2011)


A very stimulating and engaging course, although very demanding! We were lucky enough to tackle issues as they were unfolding at the UN such as Resolution 1973 on Libya, or some timely ones relating to the reform of the UN. Dr. Petru is well-versed in issues of the UN and combines academic background with firsthand experience; moreover, he was always ready to comment on our contributions or add some insight.

Rachid Mtougui – Interpreter, Ministry of the Interior, United Arab Emirates (April 2011)

 

Public Diplomacy
 

It was my first time taking a cyber class and the experience was very rewarding. Working with such high level professionals and friendly coordinating team was a plus. It also gave me the opportunity to relate with colleagues overseas and allow me to experience working with a global team in a virtual fashion. The e-course was academically challenging and provided me with an impressive amount of useful information. The course made me reflect about the importance of the dimension of Public Diplomacy in the practice of diplomacy. I am ready to implement all those study hours in my daily work as diplomat.

Maria Guadalupe Sanchez Salazar – Deputy Head of Mission,
Embassy of Mexico in Kingston, Jamaica (May 2011)


The Public diplomacy course was exceptional… engaging and intellectually stimulating! It was delivered with such attention to everyday applications and current affairs, that from the first day I could relate to this relatively new area of diplomacy, despite my lack of diplomatic experience. I now have a broader appreciation of the respective roles of stakeholders, within government and non-governmental. To those who have an opportunity to take this course, I would simply say, ‘seize it!’

Anna Durante - Crown Counsel, Government of the Virgin Islands (April 2010)


What I personally enjoy at Diplo is the convenience with which I can learn so much. I am in my job full time and learning as much as I can, strengthening my capacity and widening my horizon in the field of diplomacy to infinitely increase my confidence… I found myself in the middle of a dynamic learning system where everything I learn is relevant for my job/country and life in general. I feel like being a permanent part of the system at DiploFoundation.

Kai Sonda Brima - First Secretary,
Sierra Leone High Commission in Accra, Ghana (May 2011)