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Woodrow Wilson Center Programs and Initiatives

 

    Regional Programs

    • The Wilson Center’s Africa Program addresses the most critical issues facing Africa; builds stronger, mutually beneficial U.S.-Africa relations; and enhances understanding of Africa in the United States, with a focus on governance and leadership; conflict prevention and peacebuilding; and trade, investment, and sustainable development.

    • The future security and prosperity of the United States are deeply intertwined with the Asia-Pacific. The Asia Program strengthens U.S. understanding of, and engagement with, the Asia-Pacific by conducting independent research and hosting dialogues to develop actionable ideas for Congress, the Administration, and the broader policy community.

      The Asia Program includes:

      The Korea Center: The Hyundai Motor-Korea Foundation Center for Korean History and Public Policy produces research, writing and analysis of developments in North Korea and South Korea. The Korea Center seeks to foster and nurture understanding of Korea today, from daily life and the nuclear threats of North Korea to the economy and cutting-edge technology of South Korea.

    • Gripped by economic, public health, and political crises, Brazil faces significant hurdles on the path toward a more sustainable, prosperous, and open future. The Brazil Institute—the only country-specific policy institution focused on Brazil in Washington—serves as a respected and authoritative source of research and debate on these critical policy challenges, concentrating on four thematic areas: science, technology, and innovation; Brazil-U.S. relations; sustainable development and climate change; and the rule of law and democratic governance. The Institute’s work falls under the broader regional framework of the Wilson Center's Latin American Program.

    • The Canada Institute works to advance and improve the U.S.-Canada policy environment and provide a forum for Canadian issues in Washington. Major issues include economic competitiveness and trade, energy and environment, and shared prosperity and security within the North American region.

    • The Global Europe Program, unlike most think tank programs on Europe, focuses on the continent’s external relationships – with the United States, Russia, and China, in particular – and illuminates European policy issues in the context of today's geopolitics.

    • The Kennan Institute is the premier U.S. center for advanced research on Russia and Eurasia and the oldest and largest regional program at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars. The Kennan Institute is committed to improving American understanding of Russia, Ukraine, and the region though research and exchange.

    • 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.

      The Kissinger Institute includes:

      The 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.

    • Latin America has become the epicenter of the coronavirus pandemic, and regional economies are experiencing the deepest decline since the Great Depression. In addition to its traditional areas of focus--economic development, technology and innovation, democracy and human rights, and climate and conservation – The Latin American Program is committed to helping the region get back on its feet. Through research and public events, the Latin American Program is generating policy ideas to support rapid, inclusive economic recovery, improve governance, and strengthen U.S. relations in the hemisphere, and bringing together leading voices in government, civil society and the private sector throughout the Americas. The Latin American Program includes the Argentina Project, a unique forum for non-partisan discussions about Argentina’s challenges, opportunities and growing regional and global engagement. It also houses the Wilson Center’s prestigious Brazil Institute, and collaborates closely with the Center's Institutes on Mexico and Canada.

    • 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. Priority areas for the Mexico Institute include security and the rule of law, economic competitiveness and innovation, energy policy, borders, migration and education.

    • The Middle East Program focuses on political, social and economic developments in the Middle East and North Arica region. In looks at emerging trends in ever-changing balance of power dynamics in the region, especially in the aftermath of the 2011 Arab Uprisings. MEP also looks at democratic and autocratic tendencies in governance, sectarianism and the rise of extremist movements. The program has recently launched two key initiatives: the Workforce Development Initiative that addresses youth, education, employment, economic development and the future of work, and the Middle East Women’s Initiative which, in turn, continues MEP’s foundational work on women’s empowerment, leadership, and economic independence.

    • The Polar Institute raises awareness about critical issues facing the Arctic and Antarctic by pursuing research, dialogue, and robust programmatic activity. As the Arctic becomes more important in political, economic, environmental, and social terms, the Polar Institute addresses the practical questions and policy challenges facing the United States, Alaska, and citizens of the North, including national security and international relations implications; shipping and infrastructure; environmental protection; maritime capabilities; investment considerations; and more.

    Thematic Programs

    • The Global Risk and Resilience Program (GRRP) is the premiere forum for understanding global risks and building local and regional resilience strategies. By providing a platform for sharing lessons, mapping knowledge, and linking people and ideas, GRRP 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 GRRP on our daily blog, New Security Beat.

      GRRP has four main components: The Environmental Change and Security Program, the Maternal Health Initiativethe Polar Institute, and the Urban Sustainability Laboratory.

       

    • 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.

    • The Maternal Health Initiative (MHI) explores a wide range of policy-related topics, including maternal mortality, gender, family planning, workplace participation, and sexual and reproductive health and rights. MHI addresses current global challenges and advances to the health and well-being of women, girls, and their communities.

    • The Polar Institute raises awareness about critical issues facing the Arctic and Antarctic by pursuing research, dialogue, and robust programmatic activity. As the Arctic becomes more important in political, economic, environmental, and social terms, the Polar Institute addresses the practical questions and policy challenges facing the United States, Alaska, and citizens of the North, including national security and international relations implications; shipping and infrastructure; environmental protection; maritime capabilities; investment considerations; and more.

    • The Urban Sustainability Laboratory advances solutions to challenges facing the world’s cities and brings attention to strategies for leveraging the opportunities found in urban growth and diversity. With programmatic pillars focusing on building urban resilience, strengthening urban governance, and promoting urban inclusion, the Urban Sustainability Laboratory identifies innovative policies and practices to plan and manage cities for the future.

    • 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. The Program manages DigitalArchive.org, an award-winning research tool with over 10,000 primary source documents; publishes the popular international history blog Sources and Methodsand other long-form works; and regularly convenes public events, academic conferences, and graduate student training sessions on historical topics, including the weekly Washington History Seminar series, the Summer Institute on Conducting Archival Research, and the Nuclear History Boot Camp.

      The History and Public Policy Program consists of three main research components:

      As the Program seeks to enhance understanding of the mindsets, viewpoints, concerns and internal deliberations of US allies and adversaries alike, its research and programmatic activities generally emphasize non-US perspectives on contemporary history.

    • Science and Technology Innovation Program (STIP) brings foresight to the frontier. The Program examines emerging technologies through vital conversations, making science policy accessible to everyone -- not just scientists. The modern era is defined by exponential leaps in scientific understanding and technological breakthroughs. But the potential impacts of these breakthroughs – in research, in policy, in society – are not always clear. We analyze and translate how emerging technologies will impact international relations, from cybersecurity to artificial intelligence to 5G. We equip decision-makers and the public with the tools to help understand advancements in science and technology. From hack-a-thons to seminar series for Congressional staff, our goal is to help communicate complex policy topics in an engaging, accessible way. Science policy is not just for scientists. STIP engages with audiences from middle school classrooms to the Hill to help educate and inform the American people about leading issues in public policy. We value science that is experiential and participatory, whether captured through citizen science or serious games.

      The Science and Technology Innovation Program has two highlighted initiatives:

      • The Digital Futures Project recognizes emerging technologies shape policymaking and that less and less of life, war and business takes place offline.  DFP is a map to the constraints and opportunities generated by innovations around the corner -- a resource for policymakers navigating a world they didn’t build.
      • The Serious Games Initiative which communicates science and policy complexities through the world’s most dynamic medium: gaming.