Woodrow Wilson Center Programs and Initiatives


Africa Program: The Africa Program serves an education role in informing and engaging the policy community on Africa and its potential with a special focus on youth, leadership transitions, and economic engagement.

Asia Program: The Asia Program provides a forum for enhancing deeper understanding of, and policy debate about, Asia. Regional and topical focuses include human development, resource constraints, and environmental security in Pakistan and India; the U.S.-Japan partnership; social, political, and economic affairs in Taiwan; and U.S. policies in Asia, including the 'pivot' or rebalance to the Asia-Pacific.

Canada Institute: The Canada Institute works to advance and improve the U.S.-Canada policy environment and provide a forum for Canadian issues in Washington. Major issue areas include border security, energy and environment, and trade.

Global Europe: The Global Europe Program focuses on Europe’s role in major global issues, including its relationships with Russia and Asia.

Kennan Institute: The mission of the Kennan Institute is to advance American understanding of Russia and Eurasia. Bridging the gap between the world of ideas and the world of public affairs Kennan brings scholars and governmental specialists together to discuss political, social, and economic issues affecting Russia and other successor states to the Soviet Union.

Kissinger Institute: The Kissinger Institute offers programs for American and Chinese audiences that improve understanding of critical issues in the bilateral relationship to promote mutual security and prosperity.

Latin American Program: The Latin American Program provides a nonpartisan forum for experts from throughout the region and the world to discuss the most critical issues facing the Hemisphere. Areas of focus are the quality of democratic governance, conflict resolution, citizen security and organized crime, social inclusion, and Latin America's global insertion.

The Latin American Program also includes two major institutes:

  • Brazil Institute: The Brazil Institute strives to enhance the understanding in the U.S. of Brazil as a regional, democratic power, and an emerging global player. Relevant areas include the bilateral political relationship, climate change, innovation, energy, international economic stability, the rule of law, and gender issues.
  • Mexico Institute: The Mexico Institute seeks to improve understanding, communication, and cooperation between Mexico and the United Sates by promoting original research, encouraging public discussion, and proposing policy options for enhancing the bilateral relationship.

Middle East Program: The Middle East Program focuses on the political, social, and economic developments in the Middle East and North Africa region, paying special attention to the shifting balance of power in the region as a result of the turmoil following the Arab Spring. It looks at democratic and autocratic tendencies in governance, sectarianism, the rise of extremist movements in the region, and the role of women and youth. The Program has well established series on Iran, the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, and gender.


The Global Sustainability and Resilience Program: The Global Sustainability and Resilience Program seeks to support the development of inclusive, resilient networks in local communities facing global change. By providing a platform for sharing lessons, mapping knowledge, and linking people and ideas, GSRP and its affiliated programs empower policymakers, practitioners, and community members to participate in the global dialogue on sustainability and resilience. Empowered communities are better able to develop flexible, diverse, and equitable networks of resilience that can improve their health, preserve their natural resources, and build peace between people in a changing world. Follow GSRP on our daily blog, New Security Beat.

GSRP has four main components:

  • Environmental Change and Security Program: The Environmental Change and Security Program (ECSP) explores the connections among environmental, health, and population dynamics and their links to conflict, human insecurity, and foreign policy.
  • China Environment Forum: The China Environment Forum brings together U.S., Chinese, and other environmental policy experts to explore the most imperative environmental and sustainable development issues in China and to examine opportunities to collaboratively address these issues.
  • The Maternal Health Initiative: The Maternal Health Initiative seeks to improve maternal health by increasing knowledge, understanding, and communication to facilitate creative interventions that can be integrated into policies and programs worldwide.
  • The Urban Sustainability Laboratory: (formerly the Comparative Urban Studies Project) uses a multidisciplinary and comparative framework to explore the increasing significance of urban issues in a growing world.

History and Public Policy Program: The History and Public Policy Program focuses on the relationship between history and policy making and seeks to foster open, informed and non-partisan dialogue on historically relevant issues. HAPP consists of three main research components: The Cold War International History Project (CWIHP), The North Korea International Documentation Project (NKIDP), and the Nuclear Proliferation International History Project (NPIHP). A defining characteristic of HAPP’s research is that it focuses on non-US perspectives on contemporary history—this makes us an unparalleled resource for information on the mindsets, viewpoints, concerns and internal deliberations of US allies and adversaries alike.

Science and Technology Innovation Program: The Science and Technology Innovation Program explores the scientific and technological frontier, stimulating discovery and bringing new tools to bear on public policy challenges that emerge as science advances. Project areas include: synthetic biology, Do-It-Yourself biology, nanotechnology, neural engineering, serious games, transformative social networking, and additive manufacturing.


Global Women’s Leadership Initiative: The Global Women’s Leadership Initiative promotes research; law and policy reform; networks among women leaders, universities, governments and multi -lateral entities; mentoring; and training of emerging women leaders, in support of the goal of 50% female public servants by 2050. It is also the home of the Women in Public Service Project.