Testimonials


Our Trainees Share Their Experiences

WIDA has alumni across the United States and in 15 other countries on five continents. They include undergraduate and graduate students, as well as young and mid-career professionals. Some of them pursue careers in diplomacy, while others apply the diplomacy skills they learn to their work in other fields. Below are some of their testimonials about their experience at the Academy.


Liberty Potter, United States
“I got exactly what I came here for. I’ve been given access to ambassadors to whom I would have not had access otherwise. The training has given me in-depth experiences, the opportunity to ask questions and get feedback and mentorship.”

Tony Baker, United States
“You’d be hard-pressed, even in a town like Washington, D.C., to have had so much interaction with the level of diplomats we got to meet in this program: Bill Burns, Thomas Pickering, several ambassadors in very important posts throughout the world. I’ll miss the exciting discussions that we had. And more than anything, I’ll miss the people I took this program with.”

Consuela Lahoury, Côte d’Ivoire/U.S.
“I really think [applying to WIDA] was the best decision I made in 2019. I didn’t know it was that intensive, and I’d get such comprehensive knowledge of all the subjects I was interested in. It went beyond my expectations. The instructors were extremely knowledgeable, at a very high level.”

Sara Andresen, United States
“I wanted to explore more deeply the diplomacy venue of international relations. In some ways, it was what I expected, but I got a much clearer and deeper view of that. In other ways, it has given me insights into aspects of diplomacy that I wouldn’t necessarily have expected.”

Fabian Ruiz, Mexico/U.S.
“I think this is a very high-quality program. The fact that we were taught by ambassadors, people who have practiced in this field, was very encouraging. I was challenged by the assignments, and that’s something I appreciate, because it forces me to think beyond my knowledge. No matter what career path you take, diplomacy is a skill you will need.”

Selam Petersson, Sweden
“Going behind the scenes of what it means to be a diplomat and learning from such experienced diplomats was invaluable. You won’t get that until after 20 or 30 years of actually being a diplomat. This training will give you such details, which I don’t think you can gain anywhere else.”

Myriam Puryicky, United States
“I’m very glad that I’ve taken and benefited a lot from this program. If you really want to pursue diplomacy, which is very important, this is a very good place to start. The program exceeded my expectations, and I definitely can say in a very confident manner that I’ve learned a lot here.”

Keisha Gilkes, Guyana
“It’s an amazing program for people starting out in the Foreign Service. But I also think it can be a refresher for people who have been in diplomacy for a long time, who now may need to learn new methods of communication and thinking.”

Maksim Greinoman, Estonia
“I wanted to learn something that’s not in the books, and for that you need experienced diplomats. The American approach is more down-to-earth than the European approach. It was interesting to see how they influence people in difficult circumstances.”

Latifa AlDarmaki, United Arab Emirates
“I feel like I have more understanding not only about diplomacy, but also about different opportunities and fields, be it political, economic or public diplomacy. At this Academy, not only do you learn, but you also experience. You get to practice even writing cables, which I’ve never known in my life. I’m truly grateful.”

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