The Washington International Diplomatic Academy (WIDA) is an independent educational institution dedicated to strengthening global diplomacy by providing the highest-quality training, executive education and professional development in diplomatic practice to government officials, NGO and business leaders from around the world.
Read more about what inspired WIDA’s mission in Executive Director Nicholas Kralev’s New York Times article “Diplomats Are Made, Not Born.”
Kralev is an author and entrepreneur specializing in the practice of diplomacy. A former Financial Times and Washington Times correspondent, he witnessed firsthand the conduct of American diplomacy while accompanying four U.S. secretaries of state on their travels around the world — Hillary Clinton, Condoleezza Rice, Colin Powell and Madeleine Albright. He is the author of America’s Other Army and Diplomats in the Trenches. He holds a master’s degree in public policy from Harvard’s John F. Kennedy School of Government.
A 26-year veteran of the U.S. Foreign Service, Zetkulic has conducted and overseen training for both American and foreign diplomats. He has held more than a dozen diplomatic and other national security positions in Washington and overseas. He has a high level of expertise in both the practice and management of diplomacy, having led embassies as a chargé d’affaires. He is a board member of the Association for Diplomatic Studies and Training.
Faculty & Advisers
Ambassador Gina Abercrombie-Winstanley
Abercrombie-Winstanley is a former U.S. ambassador to Malta, consul-general in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, and deputy coordinator for counterterrorism at the State Department. During more than three decades as a career diplomat, she also served in Iraq, Egypt, Israel and Indonesia, as well as at the White House and the Foreign Service Institute.
Ambassador Charlene Barshefsky
Barshefsky is a former United States Trade Representative, Washington’s chief trade negotiator. She is currently the senior international partner at WilmerHale. Her legal practice focuses on international business transactions, commercial agreements and regulatory impediments to exporting and investment.
Ambassador William Burns
Burns is the president of the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace and a former deputy secretary of state in the Obama administration. A retired career ambassador in the U.S. Foreign Service, he also served as undersecretary for political affairs, assistant secretary for Near Eastern affairs, and ambassador to Russia and Jordan.
Ambassador Wendy Chamberlin
Chamberlin is the president of the Middle East Institute in Washington and a former career diplomat. She served as U.S. ambassador to Pakistan and Laos, as well as deputy U.N. high commissioner for refugees. She has also held senior positions at the White House and the U.S. Agency for International Development.
Countryman is a former assistant secretary of state for international security and nonproliferation. During his 34-year Foreign Service career, he served in Serbia, Egypt, Greece, Italy and at the United Nations, among many assignments. He is chairman of the board of the Arms Control Association.
Ambassador Ryan Crocker
Crocker is a retired career ambassador in the U.S. Foreign Service, a professor at Texas A&M University, and a member of the Broadcasting Board of Governors. He served as ambassador to Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Syria, Kuwait and Lebanon. He began his diplomatic career in Iran in 1972 and has also served in Qatar and Egypt.
Ambassador Charles Ford
Ford is a retired career minister in the Foreign Commercial Service, where he held the position of director-general. A former ambassador to Honduras, he has also served in Britain, Spain, Venezuela, Guatemala and Argentina. He is the treasurer of the American Foreign Service Association, a professional organization and union of active-duty and retired diplomats.
Ambassador William Harrop
Harrop is a former State Department inspector-general and ambassador to Israel, Kenya, Zaire and the Seychelles. During his 39-year Foreign Service career, he also served in Australia, Italy and Belgium, among other countries. He is a former Marine and chairman of the American Foreign Service Association.
Khanna is a senior research fellow in the Centre on Asia and Globalisation at the Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy at the National University of Singapore. He has been Brookings and New America fellow, and a senior adviser to U.S. Special Operations Forces in Iraq and Afghanistan. His many books include Connectography and Technocracy in America.
Ambassador Ronald Neumann
Neumann is the president of the American Academy of Diplomacy, a membership organization of retired ambassadors. A former ambassador to Afghanistan, Algeria and Bahrain, he has also served in the United Arab Emirates, Yemen, Senegal and Iran. He was deputy assistant secretary of state for Near Eastern affairs.
Ambassador Charles Rivkin
Rivkin is a former assistant secretary of state for economic and business affairs, and a former U.S. ambassador to France. He is currently chairman and CEO of the Motion Picture Association of America. He was finance co-chair in California for the 2008 Obama presidential campaign and president of the Jim Henson Company.
Ambassador Kathleen Stephens
Stephens is a former ambassador to South Korea. She also served as acting undersecretary of state for public diplomacy, principal deputy assistant secretary for East Asian and Pacific affairs and deputy assistant secretary for European affairs. Her other overseas postings include China, Portugal, Yugoslavia, Trinidad and Tobago and North Ireland.
Weil is a senior communications professional with experience on Capitol Hill, at the State Department, the U.S. Agency for International Development and the Broadcasting Board of Governors. She is currently communications director and senior policy adviser to Congresswoman Diana DeGette, Colorado Democrat.
Williamson is a retired career minister in the U.S. Foreign Service. She has served as deputy assistant secretary at the departments of State, Defense and Commerce, and as senior adviser to the secretary of energy. A former consul-general in Jerusalem, she is currently a scholar at the Middle East Institute.