Paul H. Nitze School of Advanced International Studies

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The Paul H. Nitze School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS) is a graduate school specialising in international relations. It is based in Johns Hopkins University in Washington D.C. but also has smaller programmes in Bologna, Italy and Hopkins-Nanjing Center in China. The School defines its mission as being "to train the next generation of leaders in the global arena."[1]


SAIS has taken a key role in shaping the postwar world and indeed the institution was explicitly established for that purpose. SAIS's website explains that, "When the school was founded in 1943, World War II raged in Europe and Asia. But a group of visionaries — led by statesmen Christian A. Herter and Paul H. Nitze — foresaw the need for a graduate school that would prepare young men and women to assume responsibilities in the postwar world."[2] In 1950 SAIS became a division of Johns Hopkins University.

The founders

Christian A. Herter, who would later become US Security of State, was a Congressman who had been critical of Roosevelt's New Deal during the 1930s. Paul Nitze was a Wall Street banker who would become an important Cold War figure. A year after founding SAIS, Nitze became vice chairman of the US Strategic Bombing Survey and played an important role in the decision to drop nuclear bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki. In 1950 Nitze became head of Policy Planning in the State Department and was the principal author of a highly influential secret National Security Council document NSC-68 which pressed for increased arms spending by exaggerating the military threat of the Soviet Union.[3] He was also the main Washington sponsor of the small group who founded the Institute for Strategic Studies.[4] Both Nitze and Herter were connected to the Pratt family and Standard Oil. They both married granddaughters of the oil magnate Charles Pratt - in other words their father-in-laws were brothers.



Past fellows

Leila Alieva |

Research centres and institutes

See Also



Nitze Building
1740 Massachusetts Ave., N.W. Washington, D.C. 20036
Tel: +1.202.663.5600


Bologna Center
via Belmeloro, 11
40126 Bologna, Italy
Tel: +39.051.2917.811


Hopkins-Nanjing Center
Nanjing University
Nanjing Jiangsu Province 210093
People's Republic of China
Tel: +1.800.362.6546
Tel: +1.202.663.5800
Tel: +86.25.8359.2436


  1. SAIS, History and Overview, (accessed 27 June 2008)
  2. SAIS, History and Overview, (accessed 27 June 2008)
  3. Fred Kaplan, 'Paul Nitze: The man who brought us the Cold War', 21 October 2004
  4. Denis Healey, The Time of My Life (London: Penguin, 1989) p.236