School of Foreign Service

Entrance to the Edward B. Bunn S.J Intercultural Center
Joel S. Hellman

Dean

Daniel Byman

Vice Dean for Undergraduate Affairs

Mitch Kaneda

Senior Associate Dean, Director of the Undergraduate Program

Kendra Billingslea

Associate Dean

Mini Murphy

Associate Dean

Anthony Pirrotti

Associate Dean

Polly Robey

 Associate Dean

Anna Steinhelper

 Associate Dean

Samuel Aronson

 Assistant Dean

Lisa Gordinier

 Assistant Dean

History and Mission

“Having entered upon the stage of world politics and world commerce, we assume worldwide obligations,” wrote the Reverend Edmund A. Walsh, S.J., the School of Foreign Service’s first Dean.  “Our viewpoint can never be the same again.”  Walsh penned these thoughts in 1919, five years before the United States diplomatic corps renamed itself the Foreign Service, as the United States and the world emerged from the horrors of the First World War.  By creating the School of Foreign Service, Georgetown sought to educate students about global issues and prepare them for a life of service – in business, government, or for a humanitarian agency.  This mission reflected both the University’s Jesuit heritage, with its emphasis on intercultural understanding, and its origins as an institution of the American Enlightenment, dedicated to human rights and the education of citizens.

SFS will celebrate its centennial during the 2019-2020 academic year its history, the accomplishments of faculty, students, alumni, and staff – through a new book, an exhibit at the Lauinger Library, the SFS100 website, social media, and events on campus and around the world. More importantly, SFS will use it’s centennial year to host substantive discussions about critical issues facing the world and to work toward building a second century during which an SFS education will prepare students to solve 21st centruy global problems and to serve the world for good.  All are invited to parcipate in the year’s centennial events (sfs100.georgetown.edu), particularly during the November 15-17th Centennial Gala Weekend.

Today the undergraduate program of the School of Foreign Service offers over 1,400 students an interdisciplinary program built on a liberal arts education. Students begin their studies with the SFS and University core curriculum, giving them an understanding of philosophy, theology, the humanities, economics, political science, history, and other disciplines.  During sophomore year, students choose from one of eight majors allowing them to further develop specialization in one area of international affairs.  One example is the major in Science, Technology, and International Affairs, which combines course work in the biological and physical sciences, geography, bioethics, government and policy studies.  This dual emphasis on international affairs and the interdisciplinary approach distinguishes the curriculum of the School of Foreign Service from that of other liberal arts programs.  In addition to their work on campus, many SFS students study and work abroad during their junior year and do independent research and internships in their senior year.  

In 2005 the Georgetown University School of Foreign Service in Qatar (SFS-Qatar) was established by agreement between Georgetown University and Qatar Foundation for Education, Science and Community Development.  In 2015, a new agreement extended this for a further decade.  While this enabled a broadening of Georgetown’s engagement in Qatar – now GU-Qatar, remains at the core of Georgetown’s presence in the country and the region.  

Georgetown’s Qatar campus is dedicated to fulfilling Georgetown University’s mission of promoting intellectual, ethical and spiritual understanding through serious and sustained discourse among people of different faiths, cultures and beliefs.  Embodying this spirit of the University, GU-Qatar undertakes education, research and service in order to advance knowledge and provide students and the community with a holistic educational experience that produces global citizens committed to the service of humankind.  We demonstrate the values of Georgetown University; seek to build upon the world-class reputation of the Edmund A. Walsh School of Foreign Service; and work with our partner, Qatar Foundation, in its endeavors to achieve the Qatar National Vision 2030.