Capacity Building

Mastering Diplomacy and Protocol


Diplomacy is a professional skill needed in many different contexts and at many different levels in the increasingly interconnected and globalized work environments of the 21st century.  

Matters of diplomacy and protocol are no longer reserved for professional diplomats, who typically receive lengthy preparation in specialized training programs. People operating in diplomatic functions in many other professional sectors now need these skills and competencies to successfully reach out to international partners, but often lack the time and opportunity to develop them effectively. 

Diplomatic skills are critical to enhancing work relationships and building improved communication with international government representatives and civil servants, business partners, customers and clients. 

In this course, two highly experienced professionals will introduce the fundamental skills of diplomacy and protocol. The course will equip participants with information and advice targeted to their needs, so they can function as ambassadors of their organizations, whether in private sector, public sector, or academic environments.

Participants will gain a solid understanding of diplomatic protocol, which will improve their ability to cultivate successful intercultural relations and to facilitate effective communications with international partners and stakeholders. Ultimately, participants will gain an increased sense of comfort and confidence when handling complex and challenging interactions in cross-cultural contexts.

Why Register

  • Gain a comprehensive understanding of protocol principles and their applicability to diplomatic and international business relationships.
  • Enhance your personal development, increasing your ability to confidently and effectively communicate in multicultural environments.
  • Increase your depth of knowledge of the fundamental principles of international protocol.
  • Gain functional knowledge and confidence performing in representational positions.
  • Enhance your leadership skills.
  • Learn how to deal successfully with your foreign counterparts and with persons from different backgrounds and cultures.
  • Increase your knowledge and understanding of dining etiquette.
  • Gain skills for planning, coordinating and participating in events at a national and international level.
  • Benefit from networking with course participants from government, industry, NGOs, and academia.

Who Should Attend

  • Civil servants
  • Personal assistants and administrative professionals
  • Communication staff
  • PR consultants
  • Academics and Professional staff in academia
  • Chambers of Commerce
  • Corporate executives, managers 
  • NGO staff
  • Event planners/ meeting organizers
  • Staff of international organizations
  • Military personnel
  • Government officials
  • Anyone who wishes to master protocol and diplomacy


To be determined

Course Schedule

To be determined.

Course Includes

  • Light refreshments in the morning and during breaks
  • Formal practice dinner on Tuesday evening
  • Informative Course Material Package
  • Certificate of Completion


To be determined.


To be determined.

Expert Lecturers from Washington, DC

Gary R. Biggs

Gary R. Biggs is a veteran protocol officer with over 30 years of experience advising senior officials on a wide range of protocol issues including conferences, special events, ceremonies and foreign and domestic visitor programs. His expertise includes policy development, staff management, program design and execution, funding, and team coordination. He is a founding partner of Protocol Partners-Washington Center for Protocol. Additionally, Biggs is an adjunct faculty member at the George Washington University School of Business and the Elliott School of International Affairs in Washington, DC and has conducted training at the Diplomatic Academy of the Caribbean in the Institute of International Relations at The University of the West Indies, St. Augustine, Republic of Trinidad and Tobago.

Biggs is a member of the Protocol and Diplomacy International Protocol Officers Association, serves on the education committee as a mentor, and served on its board of directors from 2005-2007. Biggs enjoys a long and distinguished career as a Protocol Officer in the U.S. Department of Defense, including ten years as the Chief of Protocol at the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency (NGA) and 15 years as the Protocol Officer in the Office of the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff in the Pentagon.

Biggs’ education includes national security studies, executive leadership and event management instruction from the U.S. Department of Defense, Carnegie Mellon University/University of Pittsburgh, the George Washington University and Syracuse University. He has received numerous awards and honors, including the United States Intelligence Community Seal Medallion, NGA Distinguished and Superior Civilian Service Medals, the National Imagery and Mapping Agency Director’s Medallion for Excellence, the Chairman, JCS Joint Distinguished and Meritorious Civilian Service Medals, the Joint Service Commendation and Achievement Medals.

Career accomplishments include: planned and executed more than 60 visits to the United States by high level foreign dignitaries, served as team lead on visits by Presidents Reagan, Bush, and Clinton, team lead for the 50th Anniversary of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, the 50th Anniversary of the Chairmanship of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, and two North Atlantic Treaty Organization Military Committee Fall Tours and he planned numerous official ceremonies including three Change of Director ceremonies, farewell activities for three Secretaries of Defense and three Chairmen of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.

Lawrence Dunham

Lawrence Dunham served as U.S. Assistant Chief of Protocol from 1989 until 2005, and held a variety of other positions in the State Department Protocol Office beginning in 1983. He was Acting Chief of Protocol from January until June 2001. He now consults for government and private sector clients.

As assistant Chief of Protocol, Mr. Dunham headed Protocol's Diplomatic Affairs Division, which oversaw the State Department's relations with foreign embassies in Washington, and foreign government offices throughout the United States. In addition to his primary responsibilities, Dunham coordinated or participated in a number of events such as the Summit of the Americas, the NATO 50th Anniversary Summit Meetings, Presidential inaugurations, State Funerals of Former U.S. Presidents, State Visits of foreign leaders to the United States, and travel by the President and of Presidential Delegations representing him overseas. As a consultant, he has assisted at the 2014 NATO Summit in Chicago and with the US - Africa Meetings in Washington, DC and New York.

Mr. Dunham has been featured as an authority on matters related to protocol and diplomatic immunity in news articles and on television and radio broadcasts, has been consulted by numerous journalists and authors for insight and guidance in these areas, and has lectured and provided training to diverse groups on a wide range of protocol related matters. He was a contributing writer for United States Protocol – The Guide to Official Diplomatic Etiquette, authored by Ambassador Mary Mel French.

Mr. Dunham is an adjunct faculty member at the George Washington University, teaching in the Business School and the Elliott School of International Affairs. He is a member of the board of directors of the International Student House in Washington, the advisory board of THIS for Diplomats, which serves the diplomatic community in Washington, D.C., the U.S. board of directors of Nyumbani in Kenya, an organization which provides assistance to children and families affected by HIV, and is an honorary member of the Board of Advisors of the Botstiber Institute for Austrian-American Studies. He previously has served on the board of directors of Protocol and Diplomacy International - Protocol Officers Association, the George Mason University School of Law Alumni Association, the Executive Committee of the Consular Corps of Washington, D.C., and the advisory committee for Passport DC’s annual embassy open house.

He is the recipient of the State Department’s Superior and Meritorious Honor Awards, and the Secretary of State’s Certificate of Appreciation. Other awards include the Order of Her Most Catholic Majesty Queen Isabella, from the King of Spain, and the Commander’s Cross, from the Government of Austria, the Spirit of Diplomacy Award from Protocol and Diplomacy International and a distinguished alumni award from the George Mason University School of Law.

Mr. Dunham is a graduate of the Catholic University of America and the George Mason University School of Law.