GSPIA’s presence in Washington, DC has grown enormously over the last seven years, now offering two DC semester programs, a dynamic Washington Center, an annual DC Career Trip, and a network of alumni in DC working across all sectors. Washington, D.C. is 189 miles from Pittsburgh as the crow flies—about 240 miles driving distance—and can be reached in approximately four hours by car. It is possible for students to have breakfast in Pittsburgh, drive to D.C. and interview for an internship or job in the afternoon.
The Washington D.C. Semester
Since 1999, The Fall D.C. Semester's Global Security and Development Program has provided GSPIA students with an opportunity to spend a fall semester attending classes in Washington, D.C and focusing on global security and development. Most students also fulfill their internship requirement in a government agency, a nonprofit organization or a corporation while there; GSPIA students have interned with a wide range of D.C. employers including the U.S. Department of State, the U.S. Senate, USAID, the CIA, the FBI, the European Union, the Center for Defense Information and many more. The Washington, D.C. Semester program is offered in partnership with Syracuse University's Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs and the Korbel School of International Studies at the University of Denver, and classes are taught at the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) in DC.
In the Spring of 2015, GSPIA launched the Lobbying, Advocacy and Public Diplomacy D.C. Semester program, run in conjunction with the Pitt Law School at the University of Pittsburgh Washington Center. This new program was designed in a similar vein to the Fall DC Semester Global Security and Development Program, in which students take courses and work close to full time at an internship in DC. The program is an ideal fit for students who are interested in working at the intersection of law and policy with a focus on advocacy and the lobbying process. Participating GSPIA and Law students took the Policymaking and Lobbying courses, taught by Pitt Law Professor Elena Baylis and Ali Bonebrake (MPA ’99, Director, Health Policy, Sandoz) at the Pitt Washington Center, utilizing the videoconferencing technology to connect with students in Pittsburgh. These courses include many guest speakers who are DC-based practitioners and field trips to Capitol Hill and other locations, providing hands-on DC experience.
The Washington Center – 2025 M Street NW, Suite 575
Since 2008, GSPIA has operated the University of Pittsburgh Washington Center, located in the “Golden Triangle” just a short walk from Dupont Circle in Washington, DC. The Washington Center features state-of-the-art videoconferencing capabilities that connect our D.C.-based staff, adjunct faculty, and alumni with all of us at GSPIA in Pittsburgh. Students can take advantage of interacting with experts in international affairs, international development, and public and urban affairs. GSPIA’s Assistant Director of Alumni Relations and Career Services, Alastair Hamilton, works full time out of the Washington Center.
The GSPIA Alumni Network in D.C.
More than 1,000 GSPIA alumni are employed in Washington, D.C. and nearly half of our students take their first job there after graduation. Many prominent D.C.-based alumni serve on the GSPIA Board of Visitors and large contingents of alumni can be found at impressive venues such as the State Department, the Government Accountability Office (GAO), the World Bank, and the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID). Faculty and staff both in Pittsburgh and at the Washington Center assist students in making connections to alumni who can facilitate the search for internships and jobs.