The Kent Global Leadership Program's flagship event is an intensive week-long session for professionals from governments and inter-governmental institutions held annually in New York City. It was inaugurated in the summer of 2021 in a virtual format that allowed for engagement with world-renowned experts and practitioners, civil society, and business leaders.
The fourth annual Kent Program training will take place in-person from May 20-24, 2024 on the Columbia University Campus in New York City, and will center around a new theme of Technology and Conflict: Anticipating Change for Better and for Worse.
Who can apply?
This program is designed for promising young diplomats serving in overseas missions or in the foreign ministries of their home countries. Professionals serving in international/multilateral organizations are also welcome to apply. Candidates are expected to have some years of professional experience and a demonstrated commitment to international conflict resolution and peacebuilding, as well as be strongly recommended by their respective missions/ministries.
How to Apply
Applications for the 2024 summer training are closed. Applications will be reviewed and final decisions made by January 15, 2024, at which time the selected participants will be contacted with additional information about registering and preparing for the program. Further questions about the application process, the content of the summer program, and financial aid should be addressed to the Program Coordinator at [email protected].
The Summer 2023 training centered around an in-depth simulation and a case study, which were augmented by high-level panels featuring senior officials from governments and international organizations, CEOs of major corporations, and leaders of prominent NGOs. As a distinctive feature of the training, the simulation will bring to the world of diplomacy some of the methods used in business schools. The simulation and case study centered around the training's overarching theme of Expanding Avenues of Conflict. The simulation took form as a Peace Summit in Geneva, asking participants to come together as political, military, business, and civil society stakeholders to address a persisting civil war, while the case study asked participants to address the destabilization of a multi-ethic country, recently recovered from a long civil war, caused by a wave of migration from a neighboring country with a similar ethnic composition suffering through a civil war of its own.
The five-day Kent Conflict Resolution Summer Training took place in person in New York between June 13th to 17th, 2022 and combined experiential skills building and expert panel discussions. This intensive course familiarized a select group of mid-career diplomats with the emerging dynamics of 21st century conflict and the tools, knowledge, and negotiating techniques necessary to address these dynamics. Specifically, participants engaged with the opportunities provided by “The Golden Triangle,” a reference to the synergistic potential for cooperation between stakeholders in government, civil society, and the private sector.
The training centered around two in-depth simulations: one focused on negotiating an agreement to end an intractable civil war, and the second focused on post-conflict peacebuilding and reconstruction in an urban environment. Throughout each simulation, participants had access to experienced peacemaking practitioners, who acted as consultants and facilitators and brought to the world of diplomacy some of the methods used in business schools. Simulations were augmented by high-level panels featuring former ministers, national security advisors, senior officials from governments and international organizations, CEOs of major corporations, and leaders of prominent NGOs. Jean-Marie Guéhenno, former Under-Secretary-General for Peacekeeping between 2000 and 2008 and current Director of the Kent Program at Columbia University, facilitated these sessions and provided insight from his experiences throughout the five-day training. Panel recordings from the 2022 summer training can be viewed below.
Watch the Recordings
Over the course of five days, ten different panels addressed the ongoing transformation of conflict and discussed how public institutions, civil society and business can better work together. Highlights from each session can be viewed below.
Watch the Recordings
The first day was devoted to the changing geopolitical context and the responsibilities of business and civil society, with the participation of American, Chinese, and European experts and practitioners.
On the second day, panels delved deeper into the respective roles of public institutions, engaging with the former head of the Inter-American Development Bank in the morning and with civil society and business leaders in the afternoon.
The third day introduced the first case study, Colombia, with a conversation between the negotiators of the peace agreement, followed by a discussion on the implementation of the agreement.
The fourth day explored the second case study, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, with a panel on the management of mining resources and another on conflict and land management.
The fifth and final day began with a panel in which business leaders and a human rights advocate discussed the responsibilities of business and concluded with a conversation with President Santos, in which he reflected on his experience as a peacemaker.