Washington, DC

Dates & Costs

July 14 - 15
9:00 a.m. - 4:45 p.m.

$1,600 (regular tuition)
$1,360 (McCourt School alumni)
$1,200 (McCourt School students)

NOTE: Course was cancelled for 2016.

Target Audience

Diplomats who work in embassies and consulates, employees of international companies, and mid-career executives and officials of corporations, trade associations, government agencies and non-profit organizations who need a practical introduction to high-level decision-making in Washington, D.C. and the structure and functioning of the federal government and American campaigns.

Course Description

Washington is an exciting, complex, and changing city in which decision-makers and power brokers have intricate relationships with each other. Understanding the intricacies of the Congress, the White House, and their inter-relationships with each other is essential to understanding the legislative and policymaking process, yet traditional education about these institutions often fails to convey an accurate understanding of the role each plays, and few people have a nuanced understanding of how to accomplish goals in Washington. This course provides a practical understanding of how key actors in Washington really work and offers valuable insights for understanding the origins of the polarization that gridlocks the federal government (and much of the electorate). In addition, the course will focus on key strategic and tactical maneuvering to help explain the current presidential and congressional campaigns.

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Course Goals

By the end of this course, participants will:

  • Understand the inner working of the White House, Congress, the press and media, and lobbying community.
  • be familiar with the essential methods for effectively communicating with decision-makers in Washington.
  • recognize the historical origina of contemporary gridlock and offer ideas for recreating a more collegial and more functional federal government.
  • have access to an up-to-the-minute insider's analysis of the evolution of the 2016 presidential and congressional campaigns.


John Lawrence spent nearly 40 years as a senior congressional staff person, including the last eight as chief of staff to Speaker Nancy Pelosi.  He has broad experience working with the White House, Congress, and foreign embassies.  Dr. Lawrence is also an historian who teaches at the University of California as well as at Georgetown for the past two Executive Education programs.  He holds a Ph.D. in U.S. History from the University of California, blogs on Congress and American politics at DOMEocracy, and can be heard on the "Washington Dreaming" Pidgin Podcast on iTunes.  Special guests will include notable Washingtonians with outstanding expertise in each of the subject areas.

Continuing Education Units (CEU)

Students who complete this course will earn 1.2 continuing education units.

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