Who we are

  • The Department of Diplomacy and International Studies (DDIS) is part of the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences which specializes in International Studies and Diplomacy research and training.  
  • The department started as the Diplomacy Training Programme (DTP) hosted under the Department of Government in The University of Nairobi in 1973.
  • The Programme was a special training center for Foreign Ministries.
  • From 1979, the Kenyan Government started sponsoring officials from other ministries involved in external affairs, such Education and Tourism.
  • In 1989, the Diplomacy Training Program was elevated to the Institute of Diplomacy and International Studies (IDIS) through a statute under the University of Nairobi act (Cap 210).  IDIS mission was capacity building in Diplomacy and International Relations.
  • In 2021, the Institute of Diplomacy and International Studies title was changed to the Department of Diplomacy and International Studies (DDIS).



  •  To be a leading regional and international Centre of scholarly excellence in Diplomacy and International Studies


  •  To advance the pursuit of knowledge through relevant and quality research, publications, teaching, training and consultancy in various areas of International Studies, Diplomacy, International Conflict Management and Strategic Studies

Core Values

  • DDIS continues to systematically implement its mandate within the context of its vision and mission. 
  • A major tenet of the department is the firm commitment to quality service delivery that is hinged on: 
    • Observance of the rule of law, 
    • Skilled human resource development, 
    • Hard work, transparency, accountability, fairness; and,
    •  Timely service delivery in all our activities. 
    • The department adheres to the tradition of excellence in teaching, research and scholarship, consultancy and community service, good governance and management. 



  • To teach students at Diploma, BA, MA and PhD degree levels; 
  • To conduct research in diplomacy and international studies; and, 
  • To train and impart relevant high level skills and proficiency to professionals, including Ministry of Foreign Affairs and   International Trade personnel, military personnel, diplomats and other government officers.
  • To engage in consultancy work on behalf of the University on issue areas related to diplomacy and international studies.




DDIS Programs

  • The department offers Diploma, B.A., M.A. programs in International Studies, international conflict management, diplomacy, Strategic Studies and PhD in International studies.
  • DDIS attracts high caliber students from all over the African Continent and the world; thus providing its students with a rich multi-cultural experience.
  • Driving the department’s program is a team of highly qualified scholars with remarkable experience in research, teaching and notable service and leadership in national, regional and international organizations in such capacities as ambassadors, technical experts and Directors.
  • Its core service areas include:
    • Training, 
    • Research and publication, 
    • Seminars and conferences, 
    • Modern language laboratory, 
    • Library and Repository; and, 
    • Documentation services.



Rapid and Sustained Growth of DDIS

  • The department has grown rapidly and sustained its lead position as a regional training Centre for Diplomats and Conflict Managers who perform negotiations, mediation and other diplomatic functions in different parts of the world.


  • The most notable growth has been in the PhD program which until 2013, had an average of 2 students, but now boasts of a cohort of over 45 students. The rate of PhD graduates has increased from 0-1 annually to 2-3 annually. In 2018, DDIS strengthened its PhD program to include course work.


  • Due to the strategic nature of the training programs offered at DDIS as well as the Pan-African and multinational culture, the department has continued to attract students from different parts of Africa including Nigeria, Egypt, South Africa, Cameroon, Tanzania, Uganda, Zimbabwe, Rwanda, South Sudan, Burundi and Zambia just to mention a few. 


Partnerships and Collaborations

  • The department has engaged in a number of collaborations with the diplomatic community, civil society, military personnel, diplomats and other government officers.


  • They participate in the department's programs either as guest lecturers, seminar resource persons/participants or advisers in practical aspects of diplomacy and international studies. Some of these collaborations include;
  • Social Innovation Africa (SIA)
  • Kenya Foreign Service Institute- FSI,
  • Kenya School of Government,
  • Center for Parliamentary Studies and Training- CPST
  • Sustainable Development Solutions Network- SDSN
  • Turkey Foundation
  • Africa Policy Institute,

DDIS Alumni Chapter

  • DDIS is one of the few academic units at the UoN that has a well-functioning Alumni Association which provides the department with a strategic mechanism for reaching out and tapping into its huge potential and broad network of Alumni spread within the country, the African continent and the world at large.


  • Among other things, through the Alumni outreach program, DDIS has been able to mobilize funds. In particular, the management in 2014 facilitated the securing of two (2) PhD scholarships, from the Amb. Muthaura Foundation, whose founder is a DDIS Alumnus.


  • The rich, skilled, experienced and diversified DDIS Alumni if well harnessed, is poised to continue to play a key role in advancing DDIS vision of becoming a leading regional and international center of excellence in Diplomacy and International studies-thus advancing UoN overall mission and vision.



2012: Launched of a regional research project on: The Gender Dimension of International Terrorism

2013: IDIS organized and hosted international conference on “Reflections on the AU at 50 to 2050”

2013:  Launched the IDIS Alumni Association, making IDIS the third in CHSS to launch an Alumni chapter

2014: Launched MOU with Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA) to teach and train MFA officials on relevant courses

2015: Organized and hosted an International Symposium on Counter terrorism titled “In search of a Grand strategy for Africa”

2016: Launched Center for Excellence: Center for Counter Terrorism and Violent extremism Studies

2016: UoN through IDIS entered a historic MOU with the Kenya Parliament to train and conduct research

2016: Launched new Curriculum on Global Health Diplomacy, in collaboration with the UON’s School of Public Health

2017: IDIS conducted major research project on Counter Terrorism and Violent Extremism, through a partnership with the Japanese Government /UNDP

2018: Entered an MOU with the Kenya School of Government

2018: Launch of IDIS PhD curriculum with course work

2018: Launch of IDIS Journal of Intl. Studies & Diplomacy & Monograph

2022: Launch of the Africa Centre for the study of the United States of America




Published Date