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Performance Programs

The Center for Diplomatic and Strategic  studies consists of projects on diplomacy and regional politics. It focuses on Projects on Diplomacy, the Sub-Saharan Africa, the Middle East, the Project on Europe and the Transatlantic Relationship. The Program is administered in conjunction with the Centre for Diplomatic and Strategic Studies of Paris.

Diplomacy and international politics program emphasize the essential role of diplomacy in preventing conflict and building a more secure, peaceful world. Together, these projects support research, teaching, and policy engagement for a diverse community of current and former diplomats, students, faculty, fellows, service members, and executives.

ORPE Center for Democratic & Governance

Democratic Governance and Innovation works to answer critical questions surrounding democratic governance, government innovation, and African nations' public policy through research, education and public discussion.

Political Leadership Performance Lab

Democratic Governance and Innovation works to answer critical questions surrounding democratic governance, government innovation, and Asia public policy through research, education and public discussion.

Today’s global economy has increased the demand for workers who are well-versed in subjects like diplomacy, trade, politics, and international markets. One way to gain this knowledge is by earning an online degree in international studies. This degree can help you prepare for rewarding careers in diverse fields like journalism, business, law, government, and international aid.

USILD’s online Bachelor of Arts in International Studies program comprises 128 credit hours and includes coursework in general education, the international studies major, and electives. International Studies major courses are designed to help you develop a comprehensive worldview as you explore topics in global culture, history, economics, politics, art, music, and literature — then apply your knowledge during a study abroad or internship experience.

Leadership Essential USILD Certi. Prgms
  • Becoming a Powerful Leader

  • Building High-Performing Team

  • Active Listening & Processing Feedback

  • Managing Team Performance

  • Managing Time & Priorities

  • Effective Hiring & Interviewing

  • Addressing Workplace Behavior Issues

  • Leadership Symposium (live)

USILD Center for State and Local Government seeks to improve the governance of states, metropolitan areas, and cities through research, teaching, and public events.

Course Overview


In this course you will define and differentiate between leadership and management, develop a strategy for overcoming new leadership challenges, and evaluate motivational techniques and determine when to use them. You will also identify the skills needed to develop relationships crucial to your career development as a leader.

Using tools provided in this course, you will explore what motivates others, assess leadership styles, and examine communication with your leadership team. With the completion of an action plan at the end of the course, you will be ready to apply what you learn to your own organization.


  • Define and differentiate between leadership and management

  • A strategy for overcoming new leadership challenges

  • Evaluate motivational techniques and determine when to use them

  • Identify the skills and relationships you need to develop that are crucial to your career development as a leader

Become a Powerful Leader

Legislative Negotiation Lab

The increasing polarization in the sphere of governments actors' models of conducting business, even enemies can negotiate. It is clearly recommended that for the well-being of a nation, political adversaries must learn to negotiate well. Learning the fundamentals of successful negotiation does not have to be limited to the business sector or labor unions but can also be of tremendous benefit to members of Congress and legislators across the nations. Yet remarkably, current courses and training in negotiation do not include legislative negotiation. Current courses and training on Congress and the state legislatures do not include negotiation.

The Legislative Negotiation Project at the United States Institute of Leadership and diplomacy was created to develop a range of cases and simulations for teaching legislative negotiation tactics at the state and congressional level. Program is embodied from lessons distilled from the best negotiation classes across from Harvard university. Case studies, simulations, and exercises). 

Center for Perfecting in the Art of Leadership

Democratic Governance and Innovation works to answer critical questions surrounding democratic governance, government innovation, and Asia public policy through research, education and public discussion.

ORPE Center on Media, Politics, and Public Policy

The ORPE Center on Media, Politics and Public Policy analyzes the impact of media and technology on governance, public policy, and politics through research, fellowships, and engagement with students, scholars, and journalists.

Course Overview


In this course, you will create a strategy to turn a work group into a high-functioning team by evaluating challenges and applying techniques to generate positive team outcomes. Based on the research and expertise of Professor Kate Walsh, PhD, of Cornell University's School of Hotel Administration, you will learn how to enable a team to take ownership of its own success and shift leadership roles as the team assumes greater responsibility. 

Using tools provided in this course, you will explore best practices in leading teams, assess case studies, and examine functional conflict. With the completion of an action plan at the end of the course, you will be ready to apply what you learn to your own organization.


  • Create a strategy to create a high-functioning team

  • Evaluate challenges and apply techniques to generate positive team results 

  • Apply leverage points for enabling the team to take ownership for its own success and shift leadership role as the team assumes greater responsibility 

Course Overview


A leader's listening ability has a tremendous impact on their effectiveness. Moses' model of listening provides a comprehensive method of listening improvement. In this course, you will assess your listening skills, set personal goals, and plan a development strategy. The application of listening principles to Servant Leadership and the development of emotional intelligence are emphasized.

You will use the HURIER self-assessment instrument to assess your personal listening skills then solicit feedback from your colleagues to compare your self-assessment results to their perceptions. You will then reflect on the results and create a SMART — specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, time-bound — listening goal. As you move forward in the course, you will take on the role of a Servant Leader and determine how to facilitate a listening environment. You will observe and analyze a team and create an action plan to recommend improvements to the listening environment. Finally, you will examine three emerging issues that impact listening in the workplace and the larger social environment: diversity, ethics, and technology. After taking this course, you will be prepared to foster a strong listening environment within your organization and set clear goals for your continued skill development.


  • Apply the HURIER model to identify personal listening strengths and challenges

  • Process and respond to feedback for professional development and increased personal effectiveness

  • Create an action plan to improve team listening and address organizational challenges

  • Address emerging listening challenges and new listener responsibilities

Course Overview


Most managers only think about performance once a year when they have to conduct annual appraisals for their direct reports, or when things are going poorly. This course equips managers to move beyond this approach and develop an ongoing and proactive developmental process that helps their employees to perform best in their jobs. When your people are performing well, you're performing well and your organization can succeed.


  • Establish standards for productivity, processes, quality, conduct, and timeliness

  • Set appropriate performance goals with individual employees

  • Create an effective system of accountability

  • Enact sustainable performance-oriented management practices

  • Identify and remove performance barriers as a leader

Course Overview


Every day is filled with new tasks, new challenges, and new distractions. Every so often you need to take a step back to audit how you are using your time and what your priorities should be. Doing so will allow you to effectively manage not only your own time and priorities, but the time and priorities of your direct reports as well.

In this course, Professors Diane Burton and Allison Elias will help you determine the needed frequency of audits, as well as how to create and conduct evaluations of yourself, your teams, and the organization. They will help you examine priorities and tasks on seven critical levels. In the course project, you will examine your work situation, and work-life balance, all with the goal and tools to become more efficient and effective.


Project Management Institute (PMI®) Continuing Certification: Participants who successfully complete this course will receive 6 Professional Development Units (PDUs) from PMI®. Please contact PMI ® for details about professional project management certification or recertification.


  • Improve efficiency by effectively managing your own time and priorities as well as the time and priorities of others

  • Determine the needed frequency of audits so that you can begin to make more effective decisions regarding managing time and priorities

  • Conduct an audit of priorities to assess how well they fit in the seven critical levels

  • Evaluate your own and others' skills and interests to better distribute work

  • Examine the impact that time and task management can have on work and life

Course Overview


Instead of HR professionals, front-line managers are now being asked to assess their personnel needs in the workplace and make hiring —or firing—choices that fit those needs. Many managers have not been trained on how to decide among candidates to make the best choices to fit their team. These choices are not just about creating test questions or reading resumes, but also about managing the interpersonal communication that must occur between hirer and candidate.

Cornell University's Professor Livingston's teaching combines well-supported theoretical evidence with real-world examples and case studies to make the subject matter both understandable and easily applicable to a wide variety of managing environments. She focuses not just on the “how” of hiring and interviewing, but on the “why” so that individual managers and decision makers can be flexible and agile in changing environments and with changing needs.


  • Determine current workforce needs with an eye to future changes and skills that might be needed

  • Develop a hiring plan that maximizes your likelihood of a good hire

  • Conduct interviews that yield good decision-making data while energizing applicants

  • Make appropriate hiring decisions

  • Communicate effectively with job candidates

Course Overview


Managers must foster a good workplace atmosphere and be able to deal effectively with behavior issues as they arise. Doing so improves productivity and employee engagement and helps an organization avoid costly legal liability.

Professor Alexander Colvin, Ph.D. of Cornell University's ILR School explains how new and aspiring managers can prevent or reduce the occurrence of behavior issues. His lessons will show you how to assess issues as they arise and provide guidance and best practices on resolving behavior problems, primarily through the proven principles of progressive discipline. Professor Colvin draws on his legal and research credentials to provide guidance in dealing with harassment and bullying, planning and carrying out terminations when required, and managing requests to accommodate special employee needs and practices.

Throughout the course, you'll remain engaged as you participate in interactive discussions and complete a five-part course project, applying the key concepts to your own situation.


  • How to create a workplace atmosphere that reduces the occurrence of behavior issues

  • Ways to assess and resolve workplace behavior issues as they arise

  • Best practices for carrying out employee terminations when circumstances require

  • Ways to deal effectively with harassment and bullying

  • How to manage requests to accommodate employees' special needs or practices

Course Overview


Symposium sessions feature three days of live, highly interactive virtual Zoom sessions that will explore today’s most pressing topics. The Leadership Symposium offers you a unique opportunity to engage in real-time conversations with peers and experts from the Cornell community and beyond. Using the context of your own experiences, you will take part in reflections and small-group discussions to build on the skills and knowledge you have gained from your courses.

Join us for the next Symposium in which we’ll discuss the ways that leaders across industries have continued engaging their teams over the past two years while pivoting in strategic ways. You will support your coursework by applying your knowledge and experiences to relevant topics for leaders. Throughout this Symposium, you will examine different areas of leadership, including innovation, strategy, and engagement. By participating in relevant and engaging discussions, you will discover a variety of perspectives and build connections with your fellow participants from various industries.

Upcoming Symposium: June 27-29, 2023 from 11AM – 1PM ET

All sessions are held on Zoom.

Future dates are subject to change. You may participate in as many sessions as you wish. Attending Symposium sessions is not required to successfully complete any certificate program. Once enrolled in your courses, you will receive information about upcoming events. Accessibility accommodations will be available upon request.


  • Discuss your experiences leading in uncertain times

  • Discover strategies and best practices to utilize in your role

  • Engage with a network of leaders across various industries

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