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A foreword from Dr. Gigi Do, founding member of the Diplomacy Institute:

The University of Houston-Clear Lake Diplomacy Institute (DI) was established on July 29, 2020, in a groundbreaking partnership with the State of Qatar's Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) Diplomatic Institute. It is a partnership that has already engendered significant interest not only among UHCL faculty and staff, but from a variety of academics and professional practitioners from around the world. Much of this interest is attributable to the moment in time in which we find ourselves: a world in which the decline in civility is palpable and detrimental to not only healthy conflict resolution, but also to the continued advancement of humankind.  

UHCL's Diplomacy Institute will provide an expanded range of educational services and training specifically designed to meet the needs of diplomats and consular officials in more than 89 consular offices and trade missions throughout the greater Houston area. It will also provide new educational programs for students, teaching opportunities for faculty, seminars and lectures, and most especially the opportunity for partnership development with other institutions of higher education, governmental entities, non-governmental organizations (NGO's), and businesses.


The Diplomacy Institute establishes a comprehensive vision for the future to address the myriad challenges on how we contribute to and lead the process of creating good global citizens. Such a comprehensive vision entails more than just training diplomats. It involves the creation of a range of education and training programs, for diplomats, for their staff, for UHCL faculty and staff, for our students, and the community at large.  It encompasses degrees and certifications, partnerships with other institutions of higher education, partnerships with business and industry, seminars, lectures, faculty, and student research and exchanges, and working with governmental agencies and actors, both foreign and domestic.

Diplomacy Institute Internal Advisory Committee

The purpose of the Diplomacy Institute Internal Advisory provides opportunities for UHCL faculty, staff, and leadership to provide support and non-binding recommendations for UHCL's Diplomacy Institute. The Internal Committee members will use their experience to support the growth and success of the Diplomacy Institute.

Diplomacy Institute International Advisory Committee Charter

Advisory Committee Members

Gigi Do, Ph.D.
Associate Vice President of Global Learning and Strategy
Founding Member of UHCL Diplomacy Institute
Office of Global Learning and Strategy

Edmund "Butch" Herod, Ph.D.
Assistant Vice President of the Diplomacy Institute
Office of Global Learning and Strategy

Fadi Hamra, MBA
International Research Analyst
Office of Global Learning and Strategy

Lisa Lima, M.A.
Global Learning and Strategy Coordinator
Office of Global Learning and Strategy

Mike McMullen, Ph.D.
Professor of Sociology
College of Human Sciences and Humanities 

Leslie Gauna, Ed.D.
Assistant Professor of ESL/Bilingual Education 
College of Education

Ashish Chandra, Ph.D.
Professor of Healthcare Administration 
College of Business

Ahmed Abukmail, Ph.D.
Associate Professor of Computer Science
College of Science and Engineering 

LeeBrian Gaskins, Ph.D.
Assistant Vice President of Information Technology/Chief Information Officer
Office of Information Technology

Kathryn Matthew, Ph.D. 
Associate Vice President of Academic Affairs

Bianca Schonberg, Ph.D.
Executive Director of Education Abroad and Scholar Services
Office of Education Abroad and Scholar Services



The Diplomacy Institute extends services and participation to the entire community of nations and serves as a facilitator for connecting educators, diplomats, politicians, scholars, distinguished speakers, and interested citizens to advance diplomacy in all its many manifestations.


Diplomacy Institute Lecture Series 2021-2022

The Diplomacy Institute will host the Diplomatic Lecture Series which will allow UHCL and the Houston community an opportunity to gain an understanding of modern diplomacy and diplomatic service through a diverse range of foreign service professionals including ambassadors, diplomats, consul generals, and other distinguished guests. 

Past Events

The Middle East After America with Dr. Andrew Exum

The Diplomacy Institute's Diplomatic Lecture Series presented a lively conversation with special guest, Dr. Andrew Exum, an American scholar of the Middle East and a former U.S. Army officer, to discuss the most pressing contemporary diplomatic issues.

From 2015 to 2017, Andrew served as the deputy assistant secretary of defense for Middle East Policy. He was the principal advisor to the Secretary of Defense and Under Secretary of Defense for Policy on international security strategy and policy for the Middle East, and for oversight of security cooperation programs, including foreign military sales, in the region. Andrew served four years on active duty in the U.S. Army. He led a platoon of light infantry in Afghanistan and was decorated for valor during Operation Anaconda in 2002. He later led Army Rangers as part of special operations task forces in both Afghanistan and Iraq.

Previous Guest Speakers

Ms. Kris Sivertson

Ms. Kris Sivertson is the Diplomat in Residence for Texas for the U.S. Department of State and has served in the U.S. foreign service for over 20 years. Dr. Gigi Do, Associate Vice President of the Office of Global Learning & Strategy hosted a conversation with Ms. Sivertson and discussed the exciting and incredibly diverse agency that provides internships, fellowships and employs U.S citizens in a variety of skill sets to represent the United States to global audiences. Careers in the U.S. Department of State range from engineering and information technology to a total of 24 different career tracks. Students from all majors were encouraged to attend to learn more. Download the Diplomatic Lecture Series 2020-21: Ms. Kris Sivertson Presentation Flyer.

Ambassador Ahn Myung-Soo

Ambassador Ahn has dedicated over 35 years to foreign service and has represented the Republic of Korea in various countries including, Switzerland, Indonesia, Turkmenistan, and the United States. We were honored to have Ambassador Ahn Myung-Soo be the first guest lecturer in our inaugural Diplomatic Lecture Series 2020-2021. The Ambassador delivered a special lecture titled, "ROK-US Alliance and the Korean Peninsula" to UHCL's Political Science 2306 class. This talk was hosted by Dr. Se Hyoung Yi from the College of Human Sciences and Humanities. Download the Diplomatic Lecture Series 2020-21: Ambassador Ahn Myung-Soo Presentation Flyer.

Mr. Charles Foster

The University of Houston-Clear Lake's (UHCL) Diplomacy Institute proudly presented Mr. Charles C. Foster, J.D., Vice Dean of the Houston Consular Corps, the Honorary Consul General of the Kingdom of Thailand and Chairman of one of the largest global immigration law firms, Foster LLP. Mr. Foster delivered a lecture, "Fostering Diplomatic Relations Through the Houston Consular Corps." This talk was hosted by Assistant Vice President of Global Learning and Strategy Dr. Gigi Do.

View Mr. Charles Foster's Presentation (YouTube)