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Geoffrey Wiseman joins DePaul University as endowed chair of applied diplomacy

The former career foreign service officer begins his tenure during DePaul’s Spring quarter

​CHICAGO — Geoffrey Wiseman, a professor, career foreign service officer and expert on diplomatic theory and practice, will join DePaul University’s The Grace School of Applied Diplomacy as its inaugural endowed chair in applied diplomacy. In the position, Wiseman’s teaching, research and writing will focus on exploring and explicating The Grace School’s transprofessional approach to the study and practice of diplomacy.

“The Grace School’s singular and unique commitment to building bridges between two domains: the official, state-based world of international diplomacy and the unofficial, non-state world of humanist activism, is impressive,” said Wiseman. “And the prospect of working to further its remarkable, philanthropic founding designed to transform diplomatic studies via an applied diplomacy vision made this an attractive community to join.”

Wiseman’s research focus includes diplomatic theory and practice, diplomatic culture, and soft power and public diplomacy. His diplomatic and academic careers have included positions in Australia, Belgium, Sweden, the U.S., the U.K. and Vietnam.

Geoff Wiseman
Geoffrey Wiseman, a professor, career foreign service officer and expert on diplomatic theory and practice, will join DePaul University’s The Grace School of Applied Diplomacy as its inaugural endowed chair in applied diplomacy. (Photo courtesy of The Australian National University)
“There is a growing normative consensus that many of the policy and social challenges we discuss (or should discuss) everyday — pandemics, poverty, climate change and violent conflict — require evidence-based and practical solutions,” said Wiseman. “We are more likely to find solutions to these challenges when we draw on the knowledge of all sectors of society, at the local, national and international levels.”

Wiseman joins DePaul after serving as professor and director of the Asia-Pacific College of Diplomacy at The Australian National University in Canberra, Australia.

Prior to his time at The Australian National University, Wiseman spent over eight years at the University of Southern California as a professor of the practice of international relations in the School of International Relations. He also served as the acting director and then full-time director of the USC Center on Public Diplomacy, which he played a role in establishing in 2003.

“As the world is being pulled in two different directions — it is both globalizing and (re-)nationalizing — it’s time to attach value to the idea that diplomacy is a plural concept and is likely to become even more so in the future,” said Wiseman.

As a former Australian diplomat, Wiseman served at embassies in Stockholm, Hanoi and Brussels, and as advisor to the Australian Foreign Minister, Gareth Evans. He has also worked on nuclear disarmament and nonproliferation in the Strategic Planning Unit of the Executive Office of the United Nations Secretary-General and as peace and security program officer at the Ford Foundation.

“Geoffrey Wiseman is an internationally known scholar of diplomatic studies and is widely acknowledged to be among the leading global figures in his field. His experience and knowledge of the field of transprofessional diplomacy will provide a shining example for our students, and instantly position The Grace School of Applied Diplomacy as one of the most innovative schools of diplomacy in the world,” said Guillermo Vásquez de Velasco, dean of DePaul’s College of Liberal Arts and Social Sciences, which houses the school. “I look forward to his arrival to Chicago later in the spring and the opportunity to welcome him in person to DePaul.”

Wiseman is the author, editor or co-editor of five books: "Diplomacy in a Globalizing World: Theories and Practices," "Isolate or Engage: Adversarial States, US Foreign Policy, and Public Diplomacy," "American Diplomacy," "The Diplomatic Corps as an Institution of International Society," and "Concepts of Non-Provocative Defence: Ideas and Practices in International Security."

For a decade, Wiseman was associate editor of The Hague Journal of Diplomacy, considered widely as the premier journal of diplomatic studies in the world. He also is an active member of the diplomatic studies section of the International Studies Association.

Wiseman holds both doctorate and master’s degrees in international relations from Oxford University, a master’s degree in political science from The Australian National University, and a bachelor’s degree in political science from the University of Tasmania.

“To say we are thrilled that Geoff Wiseman is joining DePaul would be an understatement,” said David Wellman, director of The Grace School of Applied Diplomacy. “His depth of knowledge in the field is remarkable, and he’s widely considered to be among the top diplomatic studies scholars in the world. He will add greatly to our efforts to mentor young transprofessional diplomats who aim to collaborate on global problems that cannot be adequately or comprehensively addressed by any one type of diplomatic actor.”

The inaugural endowed chair in applied diplomacy is funded by a $20 million gift given in 2019 from an anonymous benefactor to establish The Grace School of Applied Diplomacy at DePaul. The school is dedicated to conceptualizing the practice of diplomacy in the 21st century by training transprofessional diplomats working in an array of vocations to build bridges across difference and to address power imbalances, drivers of conflict and other challenges to collective prosperity. The school teaches students that diplomacy is no longer the sole purview of government officials and mediators. Instead, people across many different professions must be equipped and empowered to collaborate and develop solutions to society’s greatest challenges. More about The Grace School is available at

“I’m keen to share my own life-experiences with DePaul students,” said Wiseman. “My career has been transprofessional, having worked in government, philanthropy, at the United Nations and in academia. I want to teach in a way that demystifies diplomacy and helps demonstrate its potential for change.”


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