The National Museum of American Diplomacy
The National Museum of American Diplomacy tells the story of the history, practice, and challenges of American diplomacy. Through exhibitions and programs, we inspire the American public to discover diplomacy and how it impacts their lives every day.
A Museum in Development
Located at the U.S. Department of State in Washington, D.C., the National Museum of American Diplomacy is a public-private partnership between the State Department and the Diplomacy Center Foundation. For the first time, visitors will have a unique experience at the only museum in the United States dedicated to the subject of diplomacy. No other museum brings diplomatic history to the forefront in its exhibits; no other institution is solely dedicated to collecting the artifacts of diplomacy.
The first hall introduces visitors to the practice of diplomacy today.
Visitors will gain insights about the purpose and process of diplomacy and the operations of the U.S. Department of State. Visitors will see specific examples of our nation’s diplomats advancing U.S. national interests —abroad and at home.
The History of American Diplomacy
American diplomacy has shaped both our nation’s history and the global landscape. From the founding of our nation forward, visitors will learn how American diplomats helped the United States gain recognition, promote national security and become a worldwide economic power.
The Art of Diplomacy
In the next hall, visitors can practice the art of diplomacy through historical and hypothetical scenarios, immersive experiences, and dynamic decision-based exhibits. Visitors will explore the experiences and training of a Foreign Service Officer and dive into special topics through a changing gallery.
Founding Ambassador’s Concourse
The lower level is a dynamic space for students, special programs, and visitor amenities. The Concourse features the Signature Segment of the Berlin Wall and accompanying exhibit. This 13 foot tall, 3 ton artifact stands as a physical reminder of the power and impact of diplomacy.
The Museum At a Glance
The NMAD is our nation’s first museum and prominent authority on American diplomacy. Through powerful storytelling and meaningful interactivity, visitors explore the historical and present impact of our nation’s diplomats who have served and sacrificed for their country. Centered at the heart of the U.S. State Department, the NMAD boasts a world-class campus with dynamic exhibits, unique artifacts, and interactive, provocative content. The NMAD’s far-reaching education program, operating in the nation’s capital and throughout the country , illuminates diplomacy through immersive simulations, robust digital offerings, supportive programming, and never-before access to diplomats.
The NMAD is situated where our nation’s foreign affairs take center stage. Practitioners’ first-hand experiences will provide visitors a sense of going behind-the-scenes of diplomacy. The NMAD will be a welcoming place that communicates transparency to the public from the agency that takes the lead on our nation’s diplomacy.
In the late 1990s, two statesmen, Ambassador Stephen Low (1927-2010) and Senator Charles McCormick “Mac” Mathias, R-MD (1922-2010), took the initiative to create a museum to tell the story of American diplomacy. They formed a private foundation, now called the Diplomacy Center Foundation, and started fundraising in 2000.
In November of 2000, Secretary Albright dedicated space for the future museum. Every former Secretary of State since Warren Christopher has pledged support for this institution and its goal to share information about our nation’s diplomacy with the American public.
In 2014, Secretaries Kissinger, Baker, Powell, Albright, Clinton, and Kerry broke ground to start construction on the contemporary two-level glass and steel pavilion which complements the Art Moderne style of the original 1939 War Department. In October 2015, the Center received the “Signature Segment” of the Berlin Wall, now housed in Hall IV. Construction of the pavilion (Halls I and IV) was completed in January 2017, paving the way for completion of exhibit design and fabrication.
The NMAD is funded through a public-private partnership. The Diplomacy Center Foundation accepts donations and private grants from individuals, corporations, and foundations to fund museum exhibits and programs. The State Department provides the space, security, and staffing for the museum.
Diplomacy Is Our Mission tells the often surprising story of how diplomacy has shaped our nation. This exhibit is a preview of the stories and artifacts to be featured in the completed National Museum of American Diplomacy. Learn More.
The NMAD holds events throughout the year to commemorate important moments and milestones in American diplomacy. From musical performances, to a monthly happy hour, to panel discussions, the museum strives to provide diverse opportunities for the public to discover diplomacy. Explore previous events.
NMAD’s education program connects high school and college students with the world of American diplomacy, increasing their understanding of skills, practice, and language of diplomats. Through simulations, online resources, and the museum’s annual Teacher’s Institute, NMAD inspires involvement in foreign affairs and citizen diplomacy. Learn More.
From coming face-to-face with American diplomats, to taking a deep dive into the history of the Berlin Wall, our online exhibits allow you to explore the fascinating people and events shaping American diplomacy. Learn More.
The Museum of American Diplomacy Eye, or MADI, is a state of the art, award winning in-gallery museum guide that uses image recognition to scan artifacts as visitors explore galleries, instantly unlocking exclusive interviews with diplomats and insider content. Developed by the Hirshhorn Modern Art Museum, a Smithsonian affiliate, the NMAD has partnered with them to adapt this technology to provide a more in-depth explanation of diplomatic artifacts and stories. Use it at the museum.