Frequently Asked Questions

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Frequently Asked Questions about FSI
What is FSI?
  • What is FSI?
  • Who is FSI's director?
  • Does FSI grant degrees?
  • Does FSI have a political or ideological orientation?
  • What are your centers?
  • What is SPICE?
  • How can I get more information about FSI?

What is FSI?

The Freeman Spogli Institute for International Studies (FSI) is Stanford University's premier research institute for international studies. Our mission is to:

  • Produce world-class, worldwide research. With 150 researchers, of whom 45 are appointed faculty, FSI houses a diverse group of research centers and programs dedicated to deep investigation of critical global issues.
  • Teach and train tomorrow's leaders. Each year we educate dozens of graduate students and future policy leaders, as well as hundreds of undergraduates, in traditional classroom settings and with innovative fieldwork opportunities.
  • Engage policymakers. Our work provides context for decision-making in Washington, Geneva, Beijing and beyond.

Who is FSI's director?

FSI's director is Prof. Michael McFaul, the Ken Olivier and Angela Nomellini Professor of International Studies at Stanford and former US Ambassador to Russia.

FSI's first director was former Stanford President Richard Lyman. In 1991, Professor Walter P. Falcon was appointed director with Law Professor Thomas C. Heller as deputy director. In 1998, they were followed by David Holloway as director and Coit D. Blacker as deputy director. In 2003, Blacker succeeded Holloway as Director of the Freeman Spogli Institute. After Blacker stepped down as director in 2012, former Stanford President Gerhard Casper led FSI for one year. Mariano-Florentino Cuéllar was FSI's director from 2013-2015. 

Does FSI grant degrees?

No, but it has active programs for training and teaching both graduate and undergraduate students. The Ford Dorsey Master's in International Policy is housed under FSI though the degree is granted by Humanities and Sciences.

Does FSI have a political or ideological orientation?

As a university research institute, FSI does not represent any political ideology.

Rather, it provides independent scholarship that is guided by disciplinary standards of academic excellence. Our scholars produce research that meets the requirements set by peer-reviewed journals, academic presses, and granting foundations, independent of partisan political or commercial interests.

What is SPICE?

It stands for the Stanford Program on International and Cross-Cultural Education.

Since 1976, SPICE has served as a bridge between FSI and K–12 schools and community colleges by developing multidisciplinary curricular materials on international topics, conducting teacher professional development seminars, and teaching distance-learning courses.

How can I get more information about FSI?

(650) 723-4734

Freeman Spogli Institute for International Studies
Stanford University
616 Jane Stanford Way
Stanford, CA 94305-6055