Diego Cortes Asencio (SFS’52) had a long and illustrious State Department career. While serving as the United States Ambassador to Colombia, he was taken hostage for 61 days by revolutionary Guerrilla fighters.
An overview of the intertwining histories of the School of Foreign Service and China, over the School’s 100 year history.
Shlomo Argov (SFS’52) was born in Jerusalem in 1929. His family had lived in the Holy Land for seven generations. At that time the city lay within the British Mandate for Palestine, though during Argov’s life, the State of Israel would burst into existence during the 1948 War of Independence.
A Palestinian immigrant who became one of the most prominent Arab-Americans of the early 20th century, Howar touched the lives of countless people during his 103+ years.
Alumnus Lane Kirkland (SFS’48) had a monumental impact in the American labor movement, acting as President of AFL-CIO from 1979 to 1995. His most celebrated contribution to history however was his support of the independent Polish trade union, Solidarity, that helped end Communist control in Eastern Europe.
Edward Bennett Lawson (SFS’24, MSFS’25) was a World War I veteran who attended Georgetown as one of the first students of the SFS. He had a full career, traveling all over the world for various diplomatic posts, ultimately becoming a US Ambassador, first to Iceland, then to Israel, until his retirement.
Philip Verveer (SFS ’66) has made a name for himself in the world of international communications law and policy. The former Obama administration official has worked at all levels of government, but he got his start on the Hilltop.
SFS welcomed back several of its distinguished graduates, alumae who were among the first women on the Hilltop. They shared their experiences as students at SFS, the obstacles they faced, and what they went on to do in their careers.
The first female students arrived at the School of Foreign Service in 1943 and—although they would face a variety of unique obstacles, limitations, and quota systems that lasted nearly three decades—women have been at SFS ever since.
Laurence Stallings, who graduated with a Master’s degree from the School of Foreign Service in 1922, turned his experience as a wounded veteran in the First World War into inspiration for a career as a renowned journalist, author, and playwright.
In 1978, a Puerto Rican woman made headlines for filing a lawsuit for racial discrimination in the Washington, D.C. District Court against the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, where she had worked since 1971. That woman was Aida Berio, who graduated from the School of Foreign Service in 1952.
Joseph Santoiana, born in 1911, graduated from Georgetown’s School of Foreign Service in 1931. Santoiana joined the Federal Bureau of Investigation in 1940, where he would work for 33 years, establishing a reputation as one of the finest administrators of the FBI.
Abba P. Schwartz, a prominent State Department official and lifetime champion for refugees, dedicated his life’s work to his belief that all refugees and immigrants should be welcome in the United States – regardless of their political or personal beliefs.
Harry Sandager (SFS’21) graduated in the inaugural class of the School of Foreign Service while working in Washington, D.C., as secretary to Rhode Island Congressman Walter Stiness. In addition to a career in soccer and cars, Sandager served as the Rhode Island Representative in Congress.
For one SFS alumnus, the late Ambassador Harold B. Minor (SFS’1927), an impending crisis during the Hajj in 1952 presented the opportunity to help mend relations with the Arab world.
Sultan Mahmoud Amerie, of modern-day Iran, was the first international student to receive a scholarship from the School of Foreign Service.
The Edmund A. Walsh School of Foreign Service has become known for the contributions its teachers, graduates, and students make in the wider world. In the late 1960s, though, it was in service not far afield, but to his own school in a time of crisis, that made Government Professor Walter Giles so remarkable.
The Fellowship at Auschwitz for the Study of Professional Ethics (FAPSE) will honor SFS Professor Jan Karski for his role in maintaining Holocaust memory.
Leon Dostert, one of Georgetown’s most influential alumni, not only left his legacy on the University with the creation of the Institute of Languages and Linguistics, but also left his mark on the world in the field of translation and interpretation.
Willard Leon Beaulac (SFS’21) was the first person ever to receive a diploma from the School of Foreign Service. He then went on to serve a distinguished career as the Ambassador to Paraguay, Colombia, Cuba, Chile, and Argentina.
In 1932, Father Walsh established Baghdad College, a Jesuit high school for boys in Iraq. Operated by the Jesuits for 32 years, Baghdad College is still considered the top secondary school in Iraq. The school continues to educate future Iraqi leaders, albeit without the influence of the Jesuits who founded and staffed the school for 32 years. Baghdad College remains one small part of the impactful legacy of Edmund A. Walsh, S.J.