The Art and Science of International Diplomacy

Dates: March 2-23, 2021

Meets: Tues. from 10:00 AM to 12 Noon

Location: Online Presentation

OLLI Member: $55.00

Enrollment requires a 2020 - 2021 OLLI at MSU Membership

Contrary to popular belief, diplomacy is not about getting along: its purpose is to advance national interests through cooperation and competition. In this course, Robert Loftis, a retired foreign service officer, will describe how diplomacy is conducted, its legal underpinnings in tradition and the Vienna Conventions, the infrastructure of diplomatic missions, the qualities that make for a successful diplomat and the unique challenges that face diplomats and their families. The instructor draws on over three decades of experience.

Fee:   $55.00

Online Presentation

This is a real-time (live) online class that meets at the specified day(s)/time(s) listed.

We will send you a reminder email with login instructions one business day before the program start date. If there are additional sessions, we will send reminders the morning of those sessions.

Robert Loftis

Robert Loftis is a retired foreign service officer with 32 years of diplomatic experience, including as ambassador to Lesotho, Deputy Chief of Mission in Mozambique, and Political Counselor at the United States mission to the United Nations in Geneva. Domestic assignments include Acting Coordinator for Reconstruction and Stabilization, Senior Representative for Avian and Pandemic Influenza and Senior Advisor for Security Negotiations and Agreements. He taught diplomacy at Boston University and leadership at the National Defense University.
Date Day Time Location
03/02/2021Tuesday10 AM to 12 N Online Presentation
03/09/2021Tuesday10 AM to 12 N Online Presentation
03/16/2021Tuesday10 AM to 12 N Online Presentation
03/23/2021Tuesday10 AM to 12 N Online Presentation

  • Participants will gain an understanding of how modern diplomacy is conducted.
  • Learn about the roles of embassies and foreign ministries and the various types of diplomatic personnel.
  • Learn about the special challenges of being a diplomat, including security.
  • Gain an understanding of the rules, both legal and traditional, that govern diplomacy.

For information about refunds, cancellations, minimum enrollments and more, see the Course Administration and Procedures page.


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