Ex-Ambassador Ron Weiser and Wife Eileen Gift $10M to U-M For New Diplomacy Center

Former Ambassador to Slovakia Ron Weiser and his wife, Eileen Weiser recently gave a $10 million gift to the University of Michigan to establish a new diplomacy center (thanks CM!). The university  announced that the Weiser Diplomacy Center, housed at the Gerald R. Ford School of Public Policy, will bring a diverse cadre of seasoned diplomats and foreign policy experts to campus.

“The Weiser Diplomacy Center will enhance the University of Michigan’s and the Gerald R. Ford School of Public Policy’s ability to advance international understanding and develop policies that improve lives around the globe,” said U-M President Mark Schlissel.

“This new initiative will help train a new generation of informed, principled, and entrepreneurial students committed to international affairs,” said John Ciorciari, director of the International Policy Center at the Ford School. “It will also help connect the academy to the world of foreign policy practice to generate new ideas for addressing the many global challenges we face. No comparable concentration of diplomatic expertise exists at any university in the Midwest.”

“Under the leadership of Dean Michael Barr, the Ford School is well positioned to become the best public policy school in the country,” said Ron Weiser, former ambassador, founder of McKinley Inc. and a member of the U-M Board of Regents. “I am pleased to provide resources to help in this important field. Diplomacy is not just relationships between countries, it’s about relationships between people . . . it can change the direction of a country, affecting tens of millions of people.”

The announcement also says that the gift will support professors of practice in international diplomacy as well as shorter-term opportunities for diplomats in residence from around the world.  The goal is to strengthen U-M’s role as a national leader in international policy education.

President George W. Bush nominated Ronald Weiser to be Ambassador to the Slovak Republic in 2001. He served at the U.S. Embassy in Bratislava until December 2004.