Dr Yolanda Spies

Profile details


Director of the Diplomatic Studies Programme


Dr Yolanda Kemp Spies is an alumna of the Oxford University Diplomatic Studies Programme, which she will be directing as from 1 June 2021. She served as a South African diplomat for 18 years before she joined academia in 2005. Her doctoral studies on diplomatic training for developing countries resulted in her designing a customised Master of Diplomatic Studies for the University of Pretoria; a programme that she directed until 2016. Thereafter she taught diplomacy at various other universities, inter alia as adjunct professor at Webster University in Accra, Ghana and as Associate Professor: International Studies at Zayed University, UAE. Since 2016 she has also been a Senior Research Fellow of the SARCHI Chair in African Diplomacy and Foreign Policy, University of Johannesburg; and in 2020 she was appointed as Senior Fellow of the Geneva-based DiploFoundation.  

Research interests

Her research areas include diplomacy; foreign policy analysis; international organization; international law; conflict resolution; changing global power relations; African politics; and the theory and ethics of international relations. This eclectic, interdisciplinary research range was reflected in her two books on the theory and practice of diplomacy, both published during 2019 (respectively ‘Global Diplomacy and International Society’ and ‘Global South Perspectives on Diplomacy’).