University of Denver Renames International Studies School in Honor of Founder Josef Korbel

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Renaming captures the influential teachings of Korbel-- father of former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright--and signals the Josef Korbel School of International Studies' continuing commitment to shape global leaders.

just as he was grateful and proud to be a member of the University of Denver community.

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The greatest tributes to a teacher are the accomplishments of those inspired by his ideas and visions. The legacy of Josef Korbel is unique--he educated two Secretaries of State, his daughter Madeleine K. Albright and Condoleezza Rice--as well as scores of others who are carrying on his tradition, and that of the school now named in his honor.

The culmination of Korbel's lifelong journey was marked May 28, 2008, as the University of Denver Graduate School of International Studies, founded by the former Czechloslovak diplomat in 1964, was renamed the Josef Korbel School of International Studies. The school's mission continues to be dedicated to preparing talented and idealistic students for careers of distinction in the public, private and non-profit sectors.

"My father was a diplomat, a scholar and an educator. His lifelong dedication to democracy and the quest for knowledge lives on in the school of international studies that will now bear his name. I am sure he would be both grateful and proud of this recognition," said Albright, "just as he was grateful and proud to be a member of the University of Denver community."

The Josef Korbel School's professional master's degree program is one of the 10 best in the United States according to a survey released by Foreign Policy magazine. It is among the elite in the world for the study of international human rights, development, health and humanitarian assistance, international and homeland security, and the political economy of investment and trade. The program ranked ninth ahead of Yale, the University of Chicago, the University of Southern California and the University of California at San Diego. The biennial survey was conducted by researchers at the College of William and Mary in Williamsburg, VA, who reviewed international relations programs at 1,199 four-year colleges in the U.S.

The school's rich legacy includes a long list of prominent graduates. In addition to Secretary Rice, the list includes: Heraldo Munoz, the current Ambassador to the United Nations for Chile; Gen. George Casey, Jr., chief of staff of the United States Army; Ambassador Mohammad Javad Zarif, the former Permanent Representative of the Islamic Republic of Iran to the United Nations; Susan Waltz, the former chair of Amnesty International's International Executive Committee; Pierre-Michel Fontaine, the former director of the Office the High Commissioner for Human Rights in the Democratic Republic of Congo; Jami Miscik, Global Head of Sovereign Risk, Lehman Brothers and former Deputy Director for Intelligence at the Central Intelligence Agency; Thomas Stauffer, president, CEO and professor of Management at American University in Afghanistan; and Masoumah Al-Mubarak, minister of Health for Kuwait and the first woman to hold a cabinet position.

"The Josef Korbel School of International Studies is a global leader in producing practical idealists equipped with the broad perspectives, critical minds, and technical skills required for careers of distinction in the public, private and non-profit sectors of today's integrated world," said Tom Farer, dean of the Josef Korbel School. "In their commitment to the public good, no less than their personal success, the school's graduates personify the legacy of Josef Korbel."

Josef Korbel was born in Czechoslovakia in 1909. His political activities and his Jewish heritage forced him to flee to London after the Nazi invasion in 1939. While in London, he served as an advisor to the exiled Czechoslovak president. After the war, Korbel returned to his homeland where he was appointed the Czechoslovak ambassador to Yugoslavia. In 1948, Korbel and his family took refuge in the United States following the Communist coup in Czechoslovakia. In 1949, he began teaching international affairs at the University of Denver and in 1964 he founded the Graduate School of International Studies and became its first dean. He died in 1977, but his memory and his ideals endure.

The University of Denver (, the oldest private university in the Rocky Mountain region, enrolls approximately 11,117 students in its undergraduate and graduate programs. The Carnegie Foundation classifies the University of Denver as a Research University with high research activity.


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