Nelson Institute for Diplomacy and International Affairs

The Roland and Mary Nelson Institute for Diplomacy and International Affairs
Roland and Mary Nelson Institute for Diplomacy and International Affairs provides in-depth international knowledge and experiences for select students who wish to pursue careers in international public affairs. The Institute was founded in 2012 gift from Roland Nelson, founder of Kemin Industries, and his wife Mary.

The Nelson Institute for Diplomacy and International Affairs provides support for a cluster of related initiatives that together offer students a rich array of learning experiences related to global problems:

The Institute hosts retired diplomats who bring a lifetime of professional experience in international public affairs to their interactions with faculty, staff, students and the community. Each Diplomat-in-Residence teaches courses related to their areas of expertise, mentors students, gives public talks on campus and in the community, engages in joint research with faculty members and offers strategic advice to university leadership on ways to further Drake’s internationalization mission. 

The first Nelson Diplomate-in-Residence is Jerry Gallucci. Jerry has more than 30 years of experience as a foreign affairs professional. He held various senior management positions with the State Department throughout his career, including chief of mission in Brasilia and Khartoum. He also served at the White House in the National Security Council as director for South and Central America. His most recent assignment as chief of staff for the U.N. Mission in East Timor ended in June 2010. He retired from the U.S. Senior Foreign Service in June 2005 and immediately began service with the U.N. Peacekeeping Mission in Kosovo. As the U.N. Regional Representative for the Mitrovica Region, he was responsible for helping maintain the peace along the Ibar River that divided Serbs in the north from Albanians in the south. Gallucci received his doctorate in political science from the University of Pittsburgh, and has taught at various institutions including the University of Pittsburgh, West Virginia Wesleyan College, the University of Arkansas at Little Rock, and George Washington University.

Undergraduate Conference on Global Affairs
This annual event brings together undergraduate students from Drake and other schools across the Midwest to share research on various topics in global affairs.

International Simulations

The Institute funds Drake student participation in Model United Nations, European Union and Arab League simulations. These programs challenge students to apply what they have learned in the classroom to realistic simulations of international diplomacy. For more information, contact Professor Debra DeLaet about the Model United Nations, Professor Eleanor Zeff about the Model European Union and Professor Mahmoud Hamad about the Model Arab League.

For more information about the Nelson Institute, contact Professor David Skidmore.