Public Diplomacy Studies Awards

Walter Roberts Endowment support for GC Students

The Walter Roberts Endowment, through IPDGC, has been consistent in supporting and recognizing GWU students of public diplomacy. 

Public Diplomacy Studies Award

Since 2011, the Walter Robert Endowment (WRE) has recognized a second-year GWU student in the Global Communication M.A. program for academic excellence in public diplomacy studies.

The student will receive $500 for their academic excellence in Public Diplomacy studies while at George Washington University.


Applicants for the award must be enrolled as full-time second-year students in the Global Communication M.A. program at the Elliott School of International Affairs, George Washington University. They are also asked to provide:

  1. A resume
  2. A 500-word essay on their goals for pursuing further studies or careers based on their PD courses
  3. A one-paragraph letter of support from a professor

Dates for submission will be announced in early March 2020.

The Global Communication program at GW was instrumental in equipping me with the context necessary to be a successful public diplomacy practitioner in the Foreign Service. The research I conducted there on the framing powers of media, the use of online engagement tools in public diplomacy, and a host of other topics has helped me to make substantive contributions to embassy outreach strategy during diplomatic tours in India and Japan, and will serve me well through the rest of my career. The Walter R. Roberts Award itself not only supported my study at GWU but also encouraged me to pursue a public diplomacy and public service career path.

Akash Suri

Foreign Service Officer with U.S. State Department, Global Communication MA'11 and recipient of the first Walter R. Roberts Award for Diplomatic Studies

2018: Laura Brendle

Laura Brendle, 2018.

Each year, the Walter Roberts Endowment grants one student in the Global Communication M.A. program $1,500 for accomplishments in public diplomacy-related work and future career aspirations in the field of public diplomacy.

This year, the Endowment is thrilled to award Laura Brendle as the recipient of the Walter Roberts Award for Public Diplomacy Studies! A second prize of $500 was awarded to Riker Pasterkiewicz.

Laura’s plans post-graduation is to continue her work in communications in the D.C. area. While at GW, Laura was the program assistant at IPDGC.  She previously worked in the United Kingdom as a freelance producer and production manager, where she produced a number of award-winning short films. Laura earned a BA in film production at the Arts University Bournemouth.

Riker Pasterkiewicz, 2018.

Riker is with the non-profit New America, as the senior communications associate for the International Reporting Project, and has also worked at the U.S. Department of State in strategic communication and public-private partnership management in Secretary’s Office of Global Partnerships and Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs.

His master’s degree in Global Communication had a focus on international marketing and public affairs management.

Laura and Riker join the distinguished group of Global Communication alumni who put into practice the teachings they received in public diplomacy while at GW and in their careers as public diplomacy professionals.