Category: News, On Campus

Title: Statement by SFS Dean Joel Hellman on Response to Allegations of Hateful Social Media Posts

Dear Members of the SFS Community,

We were recently made aware of hateful, antisemitic social media commentary alleged to have been made by a recently hired staff member who started working at the School of Foreign Service earlier this week.

When the employee was hired, we were not aware of the alleged social media comments, many of which date back to 2015. The employee has been placed on immediate administrative leave, pending an investigation of the comments. If verified, we will take immediate and appropriate action.

Antisemitic language and imagery have no place on our campus and we strongly condemn such acts of hate. We will not tolerate behavior that imperils our ability to serve students and that undermines our school’s commitment to open and respectful engagement in the face of the world’s most pressing challenges.  We strongly condemn antisemitism in all its forms and we stand together with our community members of all racial, ethnic and religious faiths.

I have been proud of how our SFS community has worked through the difficult events of the past several weeks together acknowledging differences, engaging in dialogue, and respecting each other.  We must model the behavior that we hope will help to advance viable solutions to the challenges ahead of us.

I know how difficult this time has been for so many of our community members. Our highest priority is the safety, security and well-being of our community, and we affirm our long-standing commitment to inclusion and interreligious understanding.  We encourage all members of our community to care for their emotional and mental well-being by utilizing the following resources:

  • The Every Hoya Cares website includes additional information about mental and emotional health and well-being resources for students, faculty and staff.

  • Our Office of Campus Ministry provides contemplative spaces, religious services, and spiritual accompaniment to students, faculty, and staff of all religious and non-religious identities. To make a virtual or in-person appointment, you can reach out directly to any of the chaplains or staff through the Campus Ministry website.

  • If you are in an emergency or urgent situation, call Georgetown University Police at 202-687-4343 if you are on campus or 911 if you are off campus immediately.

We encourage anyone who sees evidence of a bias- or hate-motivated incident to file a report through the Bias Related Incident Reporting form, accessible online or via the LiveSafe app, or call GUPD at 202-687-4343. Through the Bias Reporting System, Georgetown responds to, tracks and reviews bias-related incidents. Reporting incidents allows the University to quickly provide support to those impacted and hold the appropriate community members accountable for violations of University policy.

These are difficult times that highlight the critical importance of the mission of our school. Let us commit to work together in an environment that embraces our differences and seeks pathways to peace, stability, and respect for our common humanity.


Joel Hellman

Dean and Distinguished Professor of the Practice
Walsh School of Foreign Service
Georgetown University