Diversity and Leadership in International Affairs Project

Elevating diverse voices and perspectives in international affairs

Decisionmaking processes that include diverse voices and perspectives lead to more ideas, more innovation, and more robust policy solutions. But many of those who are best positioned to provide those diverse perspectives are underrepresented, particularly at senior levels, in the organizations that lead policy development on U.S. national security and foreign policy priorities and challenges.

The Diversity and Leadership in International Affairs Project (DLIA) embodies a two-fold mandate focused on internally and externally facing programming. We aim to take a full-scope approach to diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) at CSIS, which includes supporting employees at every level through dedicated initiatives, ensuring support from top-level leadership, and establishing a transparent process for continuous engagement and growth. On the external front, we aim to promote diverse voices, facilitate meaningful conversations, and drive DEI strategy as an institutional imperative for the national security community.

DLIA Pillars of Success

These are five pillars for the success of our DEI programming:

  1. Championing Organizational Commitment
  2. Increasing Workforce Diversity
  3. Sustaining Employee Engagement and Inclusion
  4. Bolstering External Engagement
  5. Embedding Accountability and Metrics


CSIS envisions a workforce that embraces its collective mixture of differences and appropriately values how those differences enhance the organization’s ability to meet its overall mission. The Center provides policies and practices that support the cultural tone of inclusion and respect for all employees, forming the bedrock of our organization’s success. CSIS maintains leadership in fostering a more welcoming and inclusive workplace.


DLIA aims to ensure that the organization’s workforce is diverse, and its policies and practices support an inclusive culture. Through our programming, we strive to provide equal opportunity for all employees to realize their full potential, cultivate strategic external partnerships, and reenvision foreign policy using a DEI lens.

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Driving Impact

Have you ever wondered how Washington’s most influential policy leaders got their start? Driving Impact explores the personal and professional journeys of today’s most prominent policy trailblazers. Host Hadeil Ali, director of the Diversity and Leadership in International Affairs Project at the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) in Washington D.C, sits down with policy pioneers to dive into what drew them to their work, how their upbringings shaped their professional paths, and the moments that defined their careers. 

Podcast Series by Hadeil Ali


Hadeil Ali
Director and Fellow, Diversity and Leadership in International Affairs Project

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