A student speaks to a small group at the Keough School Washington Office

Global Policy Initiative

Global Policy Initiative

Policy to promote human flourishing

The Global Policy Initiative supports the Keough School’s mission of advancing integral human development by coordinating the school’s policy-relevant research, teaching, and outreach.

Drawing on a network of internationally engaged faculty, alumni, centers, and institutes from across the Keough School and the University of Notre Dame, the Global Policy Initiative is an effort to:

  • Apply evidence-based research and informed analysis to the ethical and practical challenges of global policymaking.
  • Support the education and training of Notre Dame students in policy research and analysis to prepare them for careers in the practical application of scholarship to global policy.
  • Contribute to the development of effective responses to poverty, war, disease, oppression and other threats to human well-being, bringing a concern for human dignity to the forefront of global policymaking.


The Initiative is directed by David Cortright, special advisor for policy studies, with Maura Policelli, executive director of the Washington Office, and Scott Appleby, dean of the Keough School.

Policy Expertise

Drawing on the Keough School’s interdisciplinary approach, commitment to methodological pluralism, and signature strengths in research and practice, the Global Policy Initiative focuses on the following policy areas:


  • Peacebuilding, peace processes, conflict prevention, mediation and transformation

  • Governance, democratization and human rights

  • Sustainable development integrating economic, social and natural goods

  • Poverty and inequality reduction

  • Religion and the role of faith communities in advancing integral human development

  • Regional expertise on global challenges in the Americas, Asia, Europe, and Africa


These areas of expertise and frameworks of analysis will inform new initiatives, including research and teaching programs in the areas of global fragility; refugees and migration; and climate change. Partners include the Keough School’s numerous institutes and centers, Notre Dame’s Environmental Change Initiative, ND Energy, and the Eck Institute for Global Health.

Our expertise translates into a variety of publications and policy discussions, including many that take place at our Washington Office.

The Global Policy Initiative creates new partnerships and opportunities for creative engagement with policymaking institutions and programs in Washington, DC, and around the world.

It connects faculty and students with thought leaders and policymakers in the international development sector, federal government agencies, Capitol Hill, multilateral institutions, and other universities.