The Institute of World Politics

The Institute of World Politics' headquarters in Washington, D.C.

The Institute of World Politics (IWP) is a graduate school of national security, intelligence, and international affairs. It was founded in 1990 and is located in the Dupont Circle neighborhood of Washington, D.C.

According to its mission statement, the school develops leaders in the intelligence, national security, and diplomatic communities, while teaching the ethical exercise of statecraft. The curriculum exposes students to the full spectrum of international realities, including history, political culture, current and potential threats, and the strategic role of ideas, values, and belief systems in world politics. It specifically emphasizes various elements of statecraft, including: counterintelligence; counterpropaganda; economic statecraft and warfare; information operations; political warfare; strategic soft power; and public diplomacy.[1] Also, the faculty is composed almost entirely of senior scholar-practitioners, including ambassadors, senior intelligence officials, military officers, presidential advisers, and senior congressional staff members, among many other members of the national security, intelligence, and diplomatic communities.

IWP offers five Master of Arts degrees: M.A. in Statecraft and National Security Affairs, M.A. in Statecraft and International Affairs, M.A. in Strategic Intelligence Studies, M.A. in Strategic and International Studies (Professional), and Executive M.A. in National Security Affairs. The school also offers Certificates of Graduate Study and continuing education courses.

Founding and history

IWP was founded in 1990 by John Lenczowski, the former Director of European and Soviet Affairs at the United States National Security Council during the Reagan administration.[2] Lenczowski’s stated purpose for establishing the Institute was to develop a graduate school and curriculum that integrates “all the instruments of statecraft,” teaching students to apply them across the spectrum of conflict while remaining grounded in American founding principles and the rule of international law.[3] Dr. Lenczowski founded the Institute on the basic principle that the higher education and development of the next generation of America's leaders is of the most fundamental and critical concern. IWP seeks to foster and prepare its students who understand the changing threats and realities of the contemporary world order and who are first and foremost committed to moral and ethical standards, in order to someday become "men and women committed to a cause greater than themselves".[4]

Other senior staffers from Reagan’s National Security Council helped form the core of the Institute’s original faculty.[2]

From 1991–2005, IWP maintained an affiliation with Boston University.[2][5] This affiliation ended in 2006 as IWP attained independent and full accreditation by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education.[6]

In 2008, IWP became one of 17 academic institutions that is qualified by the U.S. Army to host Senior Service Fellows.[7]


The Institute of World Politics offers five Master of Arts degrees: M.A. in Statecraft and National Security Affairs, M.A. in Statecraft and International Affairs, M.A. in Strategic Intelligence Studies, M.A. in Strategic and International Studies (Professional), and an Executive M.A. in National Security Affairs. The Institute also offers 17 Certificates of Graduate Study (listed below). It houses the Kosciuszko Chair of Polish Studies, the Center for Culture and Security, and the Center for Human Rights and International Affairs. IWP also offers Frontiers, a ten-week program in American strategy and statecraft for national security and business professionals.

The M.A. in Statecraft and National Security Affairs provides a comprehensive study of the theory and practice of national security policy, process, strategy, and implementation, both in historical and contemporary perspectives.

The M.A. in Statecraft and International Affairs focuses on understanding the current world order, its history and trends, the theoretical and policy issues affected by international politics and culture, and the ideas and values that influence the behavior of international actors.

The M.A. in Strategic Intelligence Studies equips students with all of the requisite tools and insights necessary for success in intelligence, and featuring courses in all fundamental intelligence disciplines, such as analysis and epistemology, collection, deception, and counterintelligence.

The M.A. in Strategic and International Studies professional degree is designed for U.S. government employees with 5–7 years of relevant work experience who are professionally constrained from taking IWP's two year, 52-credit hour programs. It provides a comprehensive study of the theory and practice of foreign and national security policy.

The Executive M.A. in National Security Affairs is designed for U.S. government employees with a minimum of 7–10 years of relevant work experience. The curriculum provides a comprehensive study of the development and implementation of national security policy.

The Certificates of Graduate Study offered by IWP are designed for mid-career professionals and other advanced students who wish to pursue studies in national security, international affairs, and related fields, but who do not desire a degree. The Institute offers the following Certificates: American Foreign Policy; Comparative Political Culture; Conflict Prevention; Corporate Statecraft; Counterintelligence; Counterterrorism; Cyber Statecraft; Economic Statecraft; Homeland Security; Intelligence; International Politics; National Security Affairs; Nonviolent Conflict; Public Diplomacy and Political Warfare; Peace Building, Stabilization, and Humanitarian Affairs; Strategic Communication; and Strategic Soft Power. [8]

Educational Philosophy

As a professional school specializing in the art of statecraft, The Institute of World Politics teaches the use of the various instruments of power. The Institute, however, recognizes that power, like liberty, can be misused and abused, and therefore its use must be accompanied by responsibility. The Institute's educational philosophy is guided by a recognition that education in ethics and civic virtue is a necessary prerequisite to the responsible conduct of statecraft. The Institute believes that current and future leaders must be educated so as to have deep understanding of the nature of peace. The Institute does not have a utopian view of peace. It recognizes that the achievement of peace requires an understanding of the structure of human communities and how such structure must take into account the realities of human nature.

This realism in assessing the worst side of human nature is necessary for effective efforts to achieve peace. Proceeding from this premise of a moral quality to human nature, the Institute's curriculum is based on recognition of the necessity for education in natural law – deriving from the Western, Greco-Roman, Judeo-Christian moral tradition. Thus, the Institute, above all, is dedicated to, and encourages, the search for truth. The school's curriculum is also based on the premise that representative democracy with equality before the law is rare in human history, that it is worth defending, and that statecraft in service of democracy requires special educational preparation that is distinct from education in service of non-democratic forms of government. [9]

Notable people



International partners

Qualifying students have the opportunity to participate in an intensive, four-week program of tutorials at the University of Oxford in England, which is coordinated through the Washington International Studies Council. Successful completion of this program will count toward four-credits of IWP coursework as a general elective.

Study takes place on the campus of New College, founded in 1379 and one of the oldest colleges of Oxford University. This unique program includes but is not limited to the following features:


The 150 member student body at IWP is composed of approximately 65% recent graduates planning to pursue careers in national security, foreign policy, or intelligence; and about 35% mid-career professionals in those fields seeking additional knowledge and credentials. Students have come to IWP from across the United States as well as approximately 60 countries, the United States armed forces, and United States Government. Though many IWP students and professors hold security clearances, holding a security clearance is not a prerequisite for studying at IWP, as all classroom discussions, coursework, and research takes place at an unclassified level. A majority of IWP graduates gain employment in national security, foreign affairs, and intelligence agencies.


IWP alumni bring their insights learned at IWP to leadership and management positions in such crucial entities as the FBI, CIA, DIA, and Secret Service; the Departments of Defense, Energy, Homeland Security, Justice, State, and Treasury; the Army, Navy, Air Force, Marine Corps and Coast Guard; Congressional offices; think tanks, academic institutions; and government contracting corporations.[10]


The Institute of World Politics is located in the Dupont Circle neighborhood of Washington, D.C. Its campus consists of two buildings, the Marlatt Mansion and Bently Hall, both of which contain classrooms and administrative offices.

The Institute holds the private library of former CIA Director William Casey[11] and the American Security Council Foundation Library.[12]


The Institute is a 501(c)(3) non-profit, tax-exempt educational institution, relying on private charitable donations and tuition. Tuition accounts for approximately 65% of annual operating expenses.[13]

See also


  1. Ginni Thomas (4 December 2011). "Leaders with Ginni Thomas: John Lenczowski, Institute of World Politics". The Daily Caller.
  2. 1 2 3 Conservative Spotlight, "John Lenczowski's Institute of World Politics," Human Events Vol. 50 Issue 1 (1/14/1994): 16.
  3. Lenczowski, John (2011). Full Spectrum Diplomacy and Grand Strategy.Lexington Books. xii–xiv ISBN 0739150650
  4. "About » The Institute of World Politics". Retrieved 2016-02-20.
  5. "NSSP". The DC World Affairs Blog.
  6. Info724 Ltd. "Middle States Commission on Higher Education".
  8. "Programs » The Institute of World Politics". 2014-09-19. Retrieved 2016-02-20.
  9. "Educational Philosophy » About » The Institute of World Politics". Retrieved 2016-02-20.
  10. "Employers of IWP Alumni » Current Students » The Institute of World Politics". Retrieved 2016-02-20.
  11. "Welcome to The Institute of World Politics Library » Current Students » The Institute of World Politics". 2015-09-16. Retrieved 2016-02-20.
  12. "The American Security Council Foundation" (PDF). Retrieved November 1, 2016.
  13. IPW Booklet

External links

Coordinates: 38°54′38″N 77°02′10″W / 38.9105°N 77.0362°W / 38.9105; -77.0362

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