Category: News

Title: A Message to the MSFS Community

Date Published: June 2, 2020

Dear Fellow Members of the MSFS Community,

As our society responds to recent events that spotlight the injustices and tragic results of entrenched inequality and racism, it is useful to reflect on the vision of our School’s founder, Father Edmund A. Walsh, S.J. He designed the Master of Foreign Service program to train future world leaders and instill in them a commitment to service and an appreciation for the ethical dimension of international affairs. We continue to stand strong as a community dedicated to these ideals, even amidst these difficult days.

Our community shares and promotes key values of leadership, creativity, ethics, and service to others. Some in positions of authority in the United States and around the world have recently used these terms inaccurately to describe acts of intimidation and violence. In the face of such extraordinary misuse, it is important to reassert what we in MSFS mean by the values that define us:

  • We define leadership as the ability to work cooperatively with others to develop a vision, articulate concrete goals and strategies, and implement positive change.
  • We define creativity as the ability to inspire, listen, and learn from others as we seek to solve problems innovatively.
  • We define ethics as the ability to understand and appreciate different moral frameworks, recognize and respect others’ needs and sensitivities, and work towards developing social and political frameworks that promote justice.
  • We define service as the embodiment of the Jesuit ideal of men and women for others. We prize our commitments to respect and help others, especially those who are vulnerable, disadvantaged, and mistreated. This includes members of the Black community and all those suffering from disease and financial distress today.

These shared values complement a rich diversity of unique personal experiences, identities, and beliefs that define us as individuals and shape our views of the world. These differences mean that we do not always agree with one another about how best to interpret or resolve the problems we face. The beauty of our shared understandings of leadership, creativity, ethics, and service is that they enable us to celebrate this diversity, to debate and learn from others, and to benefit from collective insights for improving our community and the world. We stand today and every day with all members of our community, and we celebrate the diversity that makes us stronger.

Hoya Saxa!

Dr. George Shambaugh
Director, Master of Foreign Service Program
Georgetown University