Initiatives, Institutes, and Research Centers

Through the school's Initiatives, Institutes, and Research Centers, students have access to policymakers and the opportunity to work directly in the policymaking process. Research institutes endeavor to combine intellectual rigor and policy relevance through research, publications, and seminars that offer insights into the interplay among the political, diplomatic, and analytical worlds. Many of the institutes' programs are open to the broader attract leaders of the foreign policy communities.

Initiatives, Institutes, and Research Centers

Center for Constitutional Studies and Democratic Development
The Center for Constitutional Studies and Democratic Development (CCSDD) is a research partnership between SAIS Europe in Bologna, Italy and the Law School of the University of Bologna. The CCSDD conducts research and training in the field of comparative constitutional law, focusing on countries undergoing processes of democratic transition. Through conferences, workshops, publications, study trips and speaker series, the CCSDD addresses issues of civil society development and legal reform.

Center for International Business and Public Policy
The Center for International Business and Public Policy serves as a focal point within the school for teaching, applied research, and outreach activities that concentrate on the nexus of interests and responsibilities among international business, finance, and public policy. The Center was created in response to far reaching global changes that have made it increasingly important for practitioners from both the public and private sectors to deepen their understanding of the issues that are relevant to their counterparts across the public-private divide.

China Africa Research Initiative
The China Africa Research Initiative was founded in 2014 to promote research, conduct evidence-based analysis, foster collaboration, and train future leaders to better understand the economic and political dimensions of China-Africa relations and their implications for human security and global development. We work with partners in China, Africa, and elsewhere to sponsor field research, support data collection and scholarly exchange, and disseminate analysis.

Edwin O. Reischauer Center for East Asian Studies
Established in 1984, with the explicit support of the Reischauer family, the Edwin O. Reischauer Center for East Asian Studies at Johns Hopkins SAIS actively supports the research and study of transpacific and intra-Asian relations, to advance mutual understanding between Northeast Asia and the United States.

SAIS Women Lead
SAIS Women Lead is a global women’s leadership development program that partners the school's faculty, students, alumni, and public and private organizations to raise the political and economic status of communities through the empowerment of women. By fostering scholarship and cross-cultural exchange, SAIS Women Lead raises awareness of gap areas in research and advocacy to create more inclusive, compassionate, and service-oriented societies.

Leadership Academy for Development
The Leadership Academy for Development trains government officials and business leaders from developing countries to help the private sector be a constructive force for economic growth and development. It teaches selected participants how to be effective reform leaders, promoting sound public policies in complex and contentious settings. Successful reformers must be nimble and weigh a broad range of factors that influence policy outcomes. They must have a solid grasp of country-specific economic, financial, political and cultural realities. Most importantly, they must have a sense of how to set priorities, sequence actions and build coalitions. LAD provides participants with an analytical framework to build these abilities and operate effectively under adverse conditions.

The Henry A. Kissinger Center for Global Affairs
The Henry A. Kissinger Center for Global Affairs will train future policymakers in long-term strategic analysis and in the disciplined application of historical lessons to contemporary international problems. The center will serve as a focal point for scholarship and public debate on international affairs and policy led by resident and visiting scholars, intellectuals, and policy practitioners.

The Bologna Institute for Policy Research (BIPR)
The Bologna Institute for Policy Research (BIPR) is the research division of SAIS Europe. Its mission is to promote problem-oriented, interdisciplinary research in international policy, drawing upon the global network of Johns Hopkins SAIS scholars and the comparative advantage of SAIS Europe as a transatlantic institution with close to sixty years of research and teaching experience. The institute disseminates the work of scholars and practitioners to the wider policy community, providing a pivotal forum for thought and debate in international public policy.

The Center for Canadian Studies
The Center for Canadian Studies is the research arm of the Canadian Studies Program at Johns Hopkins SAIS. Students, scholars, and visiting policy makers engage topics related to Canada and Canada-US relations. Work on multilateral security questions, bilateral border relations, trade, energy matters, the Arctic, environmental issues, and commercial interactions is featured. The Center hosts special lectures, the Donner Foundation Research Roundtable series, and conferences. It also encourages joint projects and internships with other universities and with research institutes such as, the Center for Strategic and International Studies, the Woodrow Wilson Center, the Brookings Institution, and the Hudson Institute.

The Foreign Policy Institute
The Foreign Policy Institute (FPI) was established in 1980 to unite the worlds of scholarship and policy in the search for realistic answers to international issues facing the United States and the world. Toward this mission, the FPI focuses its work on organizing policy-oriented research initiatives and study groups, and hosts leaders from around the world as fellows in fields including international policy, business, journalism, and academia.

The Grassroots China Initiative
Established in 2007, and housed at the China Studies Program, the Grassroots China Initiative has a threefold mission: providing teaching and internships about contemporary realities of life in grassroots China, working cooperatively on the ground with grassroots organizations and local officials in China, and educating the American public and policy-makers about developments in China's grassroots. The Grassroots China Initiative uses innovative, participatory techniques to work with grassroots non-governmental organizations in China, helping them to identify and realize their missions and providing training in management and financial skills.

Initiative for Sustainable Energy Policy (ISEP)
ISEP is an interdisciplinary research program that uses cutting-edge social and behavioral science to design, test, and implement better energy policies in emerging economies. The aim of ISEP is to identify opportunities for policy reforms that allow emerging economies to achieve human development at minimal economic and environmental costs. The initiative pursues such opportunities both pro-actively, with continuous policy innovation and bold ideas, and by responding to policymakers’ demands and needs in sustained engagement and dialogue.

The Merrill Center for Strategic Studies
The Philip Merrill Center for Strategic Studies operates as a center for teacher development, strategic thought, and education at Johns Hopkins SAIS. It explores the relationship between politics and the many kinds of military power—from the use of terror by small, non-state groups to the threatened use of nuclear weapons—aiming to promote dialogue and innovative research on pressing national security issues. Since its founding in July 2004, following a generous gift from The Merrill Family Foundation, The Philip Merrill Center for Strategic Studies has been a primary resource to improve the quality of teaching in strategic studies and promote dialogue on major issues of the national security agenda.

Pacific Community Initiative
Established in 2017 by SAIS China and the Kissinger Center, the Pacific Community Initiative explores how to generate conditions for continued peace and prosperity in the Asia-Pacific region.  The initiative stems from a belief that strong, effective, and comprehensive institutions can help the region sustain conditions for growth and cooperation in the face of unprecedented geopolitical change, and that these institutions should seek to make the US and China part of a common enterprise to mitigate potential tensions.  The initiative is a joint collaboration spearheaded by teams at Johns Hopkins SAIS and Peking University, with funding from the China-U.S. Exchange Foundation.