USAID Executive Gives Georgetown Students Insights into the Politics of Aid in Joint Event with Education Above All


An ongoing collaboration between QF partner Georgetown University in Qatar (GU-Q) and Education Above All (EAA) resulted in a unique classroom experience for GU-Q students, and the opportunity to learn about the link between development aid and diplomacy from Jason Foley, USAID’s Deputy Assistant Administrator of the Bureau for the Middle East, at a virtual talk titled “Development and Diplomacy in the International Arena.”

The discussion gave students a clear picture of the inner workings of international policy development and the role which aid agencies such as USAID play in contributing to foreign policy. “I always enjoy the opportunity to engage with students interested in international development and foreign policy,” said Mr. Foley. “These young people will soon become professionals leading development efforts around the world, and their thoughtful questions made it clear that they’re ready for the challenge.”

The event began with introductions by GU-Q Dean Dr. Ahmad Dallal and Mr. Fahad Al Sulaiti, Chief Executive Officer of EAA, who both extolled the virtues of partnerships that advance education such as those between the two organizations. 

Dean Dallal explained, “Creating a shared opportunity to learn about diplomacy was beneficial for both our students and representatives of EAA, and is part of our broader strategy to be a hub for dialogue and to share our resources and networks with the community.”

Mr. Al Sulaiti elaborated further, saying: “The productive partnership between GU-Q as a provider of foreign service education and EAA, as a leading global development foundation focusing on education, has illustrated how synergies across multiple sectors can positively result in desirable tangible outcomes.”

The talk offered students expert engagement that enriches the classroom experience, according to Dr. Gerd Nonneman, Professor of International Relations and Gulf Studies at GU-Q, who moderated the event.

“It is incredibly valuable for students to hear first-hand from leading practitioners about the real-world dynamics of policy-making, the complexities, challenges and human side of government decision-making processes: the importance of persuasion, of bridging different interests and views. Such insight prepares them all the better to play their part in their professional lives in or out of government,” noted Dr. Nonneman.

Mr. Foley also shared insights into the advantages of being part of the vast Georgetown School of Foreign Service alumni network which is well placed in government service around the world. As an alumnus, and recipient of the master’s degree from the School of Foreign Service, Mr. Foley frequently teaches courses at Georgetown’s Washington, DC, campus.