Vision & Mission


The Henry M. Jackson School of International Studies explains and engages the world through research, education and public service. Our school provides excellent interdisciplinary and comparative teaching and research about the world’s peoples, cultures, and religions. Our efforts yield students, faculty, and staff who are global citizens and leaders pursuing new knowledge and understanding and serving the public good across societies. Dedicated to comprehensive understandings of localities around the world and the complex interactions that drive world events, the Jackson School is a leading resource for Washington, northwest, national, and international communities tackling contemporary international problems. With a commitment to fostering enduring partnerships around the globe and across sectors and institutions, the Jackson School will continue to provide academic leadership in the 21st century.


The Jackson School’s research mission is to bridge disciplines to make significant theoretical contributions and provide timely evidence for rethinking the critical problems of the world. Our faculty is dedicated to comprehensive understandings of countries, areas, and regions in order to concretely address issues within four conceptual fields: (1) Religion, Culture & Civilization (RCC); (2) Law, Rights & Governance (LRG); (3) States, Markets & Societies (SMS); and, (4) Peace, Violence & Security (PVS). These four fields provide the pillars for school-wide initiatives to tackle critical international challenges, such as the emergent powers in Asia, the rise of religious fundamentalism, human rights and poverty, weapons proliferation, energy & climate change, epidemics and disasters, and racial and ethnic conflict. Faculty conduct world-class interdisciplinary scholarship through broadened cooperation with units across the university (e.g. with the sciences and professional schools) and expanded partnerships with scholars, specialists and practitioners from around the world.

At the heart of our teaching mission is a rigorous interdisciplinary curriculum that provides students with critical historical, social, political and economic knowledge of the world and its localities. The curriculum emphasizes comparative analytic methodologies to explain contemporary and historic international events. Students build skills to communicate across cultures and languages through different media. The school provides “on the ground” international learning experiences that provide the foundation for leading-edge leadership in governments, multilateral organizations, NGOs and businesses dedicated to international affairs.

The Jackson School serves the public service through diverse programming for the arts, the public, K-12 educators, and foreign and local affairs organizations. The school also offers educational opportunities, reliable information, and sound advice regarding a wide range of topics to the greater Washington state community, including federal, state, and local government, businesses, NGOs, other colleges and universities and international organizations.