UCF Global Perspectives


Diplomacy Studies

Diplomacy Studies at UCF grew out of  the Diplomat in Residence Program, supported by the U.S. Department of State, from 2003-2005. During that time, Ambassador Harriet Elam-Thomas served as the official State Department liaison in Central Florida, conducting workshops, providing information on careers, connecting students to internship and scholarship opportunities, and speaking on policy matters. Ambassador Elam-Thomas stayed after the conclusion of her residence to help bolster diplomacy studies at UCF. The Diplomacy Program is housed in the Global Perspectives Office and cooperates with campus and community partners, like the Political Science Department and the Global Connections Foundation, to sponsor or co-sponsor public discussions featuring top speakers, panels and other presentations; encourage scholarship and research; and work with partners worldwide.

Program Director

Ambassador Harriet Elam-Thomas
PH 204, 407-823-0688

Diplomacy Certificate and Minor

Click here to view the requirements for the Diplomacy certificate at UCF. Click here to view the requirements for the Diplomacy minor at UCF.

Lester N. Mandell Endowed Distinguished Lecture Series

The Lester N. Mandell Endowed Distinguished Lecture Series is a partnership overseen by the Global Perspectives Office and the College of Sciences at UCF. Established in 2016 through the generosity of former U.S. Ambassador Robert Mandell (who served in Luxembourg from 2011-2015), the partnership is designed to enhance and expand UCF’s public and community programming in subjects such as diplomacy, foreign affairs and national issues. Managed by GP, the initiative hosts prominent speakers on timely topics throughout the year, sometimes as the lead sponsor and other times as a supporting partner. These speakers are selected with the assistance and input of an advisory committee made up of UCF faculty and staff from various units across campus. The initiative also sponsors a Diplomacy award – the Lester N. Mandell Diplomacy Fellowship – twice a year in the amount of $500.00.

Related Events

Click here for a list of recent and past events supported by the Diplomacy Program and the Lester N. Mandell Endowed Distinguished Lecture Series at UCF.

The Diplomacy Fellowship

The Diplomacy Program at UCF,  the Global Perspectives Office at UCF and the Global Connections Foundation are pleased to provide an opportunity for an outstanding UCF student, undergraduate (at least junior level) or graduate, to serve as a Diplomacy Program Fellow each fall and spring semester. Click here for more information about the fellowship.

The Spring 2019 Lester N. Mandell Diplomacy Fellow is Aldyn Edwards. She is a senior at the University of Central Florida pursuing an undergraduate degree in Political Science, with a minor in Intelligence and National Security. She is involved with the Global Leadership program here at UCF and was the Global Perspectives India Fellow in Fall 2018. Her research interests include diplomacy, U.S. intelligence, and national security. Upon graduation, she plans on pursuing graduate studies in Political Science. Aldyn is proficient in American Sign Language, and has travelled extensively throughout the United States, with travel to Canada and Mexico.

To learn about other past fellows and scholars, click here.