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Advancing International Excellence at the Josef Korbel School

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University of Denver

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John deblasio speaking at lectern

From a chance airplane conversation in 2011 with a former staff member of the Josef Korbel School, LTC John DeBlasio (USAR, Ret) reached out to the then-dean of the school, Ambassador Christopher Hill, to discuss the establishment and eventual funding of a new Center for Middle East Studies.

Supported by DeBlasio’s multi-year leadership funding, the Center for Middle East Studies was launched in 2012 under the direction of Professor Nader Hashemi. Each year since, the Center has tackled issues of social, political and religious importance through robust programming, publications, international student travel and internships, and thoughtful roundtable discussions with members of our community.

Since his introduction to the University of Denver, DeBlasio has become increasingly engaged as a member of Korbel’s Social Science Foundation and other activities at the school. In June 2020, he pledged support though his GPD Charitable Trust and DT Institute to help launch and operate the new Institute for Comparative and Regional Studies (ICRS) at the Korbel School. The ICRS oversees and coordinates Korbel’s regional centers, including the Center for Middle East Studies, as they work cooperatively to deliver cutting-edge research, public programming and student opportunities to further the understanding of the diverse and complex systems across the globe.