About Us

Our Mission

The Washington International Diplomatic Academy (WIDA) is an independent organization that provides practical professional training in diplomacy and international affairs — both in person and online — to students, recent graduates and professionals in government, NGOs and the private sector. We teach what you can’t learn from books, Google or YouTube.

Read more about what inspired WIDA’s mission in Executive Director Nicholas Kralev’s New York Times article “Diplomats Are Made, Not Born.”


Executive Director

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.

Deputy Director

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.

Instructors & 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.

Ambassador William J. Burns

Burns is the president of the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace and a former deputy secretary of state. A retired career ambassador in the Foreign Service, he was also undersecretary for political affairs, assistant secretary for Near Eastern affairs, and ambassador to Russia and Jordan.

Thomas Countryman

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 Shaun Donnelly

Donnelly is a former ambassador to Sri Lanka and deputy chief of mission in Tunisia and Mali. During his 36-year Foreign Service career, he was also deputy assistant secretary of state for economic and business affairs and assistant U.S. trade representative.

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 also served in Britain, Spain, Venezuela, Guatemala and Argentina. He is a past treasurer of the American Foreign Service Association.

Ambassador Daniel Fried

Fried is a former assistant secretary of state for European and Eurasian affairs. During his four decades in the Foreign Service, he was ambassador to Poland and also served in Russia, Serbia and in many senior positions in Washington, including as senior director for European affairs on the National Security Council.

Ambassador Janice Jacobs

Jacobs is a former assistant secretary of state for consular affairs. She was also ambassador to Senegal and Guinea-Bissau. Other assignments during her 34-year Foreign Service career took her to the Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Egypt, Ethiopia, France, Mexico, Nigeria and Thailand.

Ambassador Jimmy Kolker

Kolker is a former assistant secretary for global affairs at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. During his 30-year Foreign Service career, he was ambassador to Uganda and Burkina Faso, deputy chief of mission in Denmark and Botswana, and also served in Britain, Sweden, Mozambique and Zimbabwe.

Ambassador Thomas Pickering

Pickering is a former undersecretary of state for political affairs and a seven-time U.S. ambassador: to Russia, India, Israel, Jordan, Nigeria, El Salvador and the United Nations. He is the chairman of the board of the American Academy of Diplomacy.

Ambassador Charles Ray

Ray is a former U.S. ambassador to Zimbabwe and Cambodia, deputy chief of mission in Sierra Leone, and consul-general in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam. He is a retired U.S. Army officer, who also served as deputy assistant secretary of defense for prisoners of war and missing personnel affairs.

Ambassador Eunice Reddick

Reddick is a former ambassador to Niger, Gabon and São Tomé and Príncipe. Having joined the Foreign Service in 1980, she also served in Zimbabwe, China and Taiwan, and had several assignments at the State Department in Washington.

Daniel Reifsnyder

Reifsnyder is a former deputy assistant secretary for the environment in the State Department’s Bureau of Oceans, Environmental and Scientific Affairs, and former director of the bureau’s Office of Global Change. He led U.S. delegations to climate meetings around the world.

Anthony Rock

Rock is a former acting assistant secretary of state for oceans, environment and science. During three decades in the Foreign Service, he was also counselor for science, technology, environment and health in Paris, Brussels and Tel Aviv. In addition, he served in the White House and the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative.

Ambassador Douglas Silliman

Silliman is a former ambassador to Iraq and Kuwait and deputy chief of mission in Turkey. During his 35-year Foreign Service career, he also served in Jordan, Pakistan, Tunisia and Haiti, as well as in several senior positions in Washington. He is currently president of the Arab Gulf States Institute in Washington.

Ambassador Marc Wall

Wall is a former ambassador to Chad and minister-counselor for economic and science affairs at the U.S. Embassy in Tokyo. He also served in China, Taiwan, Iraq, Zimbabwe and Côte d’Ivoire, as well as at the United States Pacific Command in Honolulu.

Ambassador Earl Anthony Wayne

Wayne is a former assistant secretary of state for economic, energy and business affairs, principal deputy assistant secretary of state for European affairs and ambassador to Mexico and Argentina. His Foreign Service career spanned 40 years.

Ambassador C. David Welch

Welch is a former assistant secretary of state for international organizations, as well as for Near East affairs. He was also ambassador to Egypt and chargé d’affaires in Saudi Arabia. During a Foreign Service career of more than 30 years, he also served in Pakistan, Syria, Jordan and the White House.

Ambassador James Zumwalt

Zumwalt is a former ambassador to Senegal and Guinea-Bissau and deputy chief of mission at the U.S. Embassy in Tokyo. He was also deputy assistant secretary of state for East Asian and Pacific affairs, and served in China and the Democratic Republic of Congo.

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