Independent Diplomat Inc

Diplomacy for Justice

aka ID   |   New York, NY   |

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To support those in conflict and crisis to access and influence international decision-making and processes that matter to them. We do this by providing committed high impact diplomatic support, advice and training.

Ruling year info


Executive Director

Mr. Reza Afshar

Main address

234 5th Avenue

New York, NY 10001 USA

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NTEE code info

International Peace and Security (Q40)

International Human Rights (Q70)

International, Foreign Affairs, and National Security N.E.C. (Q99)

IRS filing requirement

This organization is required to file an IRS Form 990 or 990-EZ.

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Programs and results

What we aim to solve

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Current diplomatic structures provide little space for the voices of the most vulnerable. Nation states control diplomatic processes, but state structures often exclude or fail to represent marginalized groups. Ethnic minorities, political opposition groups, women, and refugees for example are regularly excluded from the debates and discussions that determine their future. Political negotiation by the powerful alone leads to instability, particularly in the worlds most fragile environments. International agreements that fail to serve the interests of all parties eventually fall apart. From 2000-2010, 90% of civil wars occurred in countries that had already experienced civil war in the last 30 years. The failure of many peace agreements to provide for the interests of all parties is often at the core of these cycles of violence.

Our programs

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

What are the organization's current programs, how do they measure success, and who do the programs serve?


Independent Diplomat (ID) is a non-profit diplomatic advisory group that strives to create more inclusive, just, effective and lasting peace processes and international agreements by building the diplomatic capacity of marginalized groups and democratic governments. Our work follows a simple premise: we help those most affected by crises and conflict to access the high-level political discussions about them. We work inside the diplomatic system to help these groups advocate for the legitimate interests of those they represent, leading to more just and sustainable outcomes. ID builds long-lasting, collaborative, and equitable relationships of trust with our partners.

Population(s) Served

For over fifteen years, ID has supported the Republic of the Marshall Islands (RMI) to achieve maximum impact in the complex and labyrinthine international negotiations on climate change. With IDs support, RMI has become a leading voice in climate diplomacy, with the negotiating skill and moral authority to achieve influence far beyond its size. Working in partnership with ID, RMI created and leads the High Ambition Coalition (HAC) of countries that helped deliver key elements of the 2016 Paris Agreement the 1.5C temperature goal, and mandating improved emissions targets every five years. In subsequent years, RMI has been central to securing commitments to double the adaptation finance mobilized by Global North governments to the Global South, generating momentum for all countries to transition away from fossil fuels, and to delivering the initial capitalization of the Loss and Damage Fund. ID also supports RMI in a range of other forums and focus areas -- from reducing shipping emi

Population(s) Served

We are heavily dependent on the Internet for everything in our lives, but citizens have little control over how it works. The Internet grew organically from a series of interconnected local networks to a matrix that sustains our way of life. This technocratic network is under unprecedented pressure from many repressive governments, and it is vital that we ensure it remains open and free for all. In 2021, ID launched a cyberdiplomacy project with Small Island Developing States in the Pacific that enabled them to more effectively participate in diplomatic processes around cybersecurity and digital issues. ID helps the countries implement international norms of state behavior in cyberspace, and works with them towards a new global cybercrime treaty that respects human rights. Increasingly, ID is also considering how technology can help our clients achieve their diplomatic goals.

Population(s) Served

In 2016, ID began advising refugee activists and groups on how to shape nascent international negotiations on refugee policy that were hitherto not consulting refugees. ID partnered with refugee leaders to secure not only a voice in those negotiations, but a formal seat at the negotiating table. ID then helped them move beyond inclusion to achieve major impact, including a provision in international law which mandates that refugees must be consulted in any international negotiations about refugee policy. ID helped its partners formalize their platform through the formation of the Global Refugee-led Network (GRN). ID is now helping the GRN to further systematize its role in global policy, advising a range of regional and local Refugee-Led Organizations, and exploring work on critical areas including climate migration.

Population(s) Served
Refugees and displaced people

For more than 15 years, Independent Diplomat has worked with disadvantaged and vulnerable groups to help them achieve their political goals through diplomacy. These groups have often been formally shut out from diplomatic processes, and lack a detailed understanding of how these processes work and how they can influence them. Current focus areas include Ukraine, Mali, Yemen, Myanmar (Rohingya) and Western Sahara.

Population(s) Served

Although it has been clearly established that peace negotiations and peace agreements are more durable when women are involved and included as signatories, women are still rarely represented adequately within negotiations. The provision of diplomatic support to female leaders, negotiators, and activists is a core cross-cutting component of IDs work. This work aims to ensure that women are not only included at the highest levels of diplomacy but have the capacity and support to influence the full spectrum of political, security, socioeconomic, humanitarian and gender-specific issues affecting their futures in areas ranging from conflict prevention and resolution to cyber security and climate change.

Population(s) Served
Women and girls

Where we work

Our results

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

How does this organization measure their results? It's a hard question but an important one.

Largest project (by number of dedicated staff members)

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Related Program

Republic of the Marshall Islands / Climate Change Initiative

Type of Metric

Input - describing resources we use

Direction of Success


Context Notes

Largest Project is Climate Change.

Goals & Strategy

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Learn about the organization's key goals, strategies, capabilities, and progress.

Charting impact

Four powerful questions that require reflection about what really matters - results.

Independent Diplomat aims to address climate change, build stability, reduce conflict, and create durable peace. Our work focuses on three interconnected goals: countering global threats, which threaten stability and impact the most vulnerable disproportionately; systems change to ensure a conducive environment for successful diplomacy; and case-by-case conflict resolution. ID provides the access, strategy, tactics, training, and communications tools necessary to navigate complex diplomatic processes and achieve high-impact diplomatic outcomes that are more inclusive and sustainable.

Independent Diplomat's work challenges the status quo in diplomacy, which excludes many actors from discussions about their future. ID helps to ensure that a lack of resources does not necessarily mean that a group's voice will not be heard. When international diplomacy fails to operate as a constructive tool for all legitimate political actors, enduring and fair results for peace and conflict resolution become more elusive, democratic gains are harder to maintain and human rights suffer. Independent Diplomat has been effective in reducing the diplomatic deficit by working with marginalized political actorsstate and non-stateto open up the closed system of international diplomacy and produce more equitable results by providing our clients with advice and the necessary tools to articulate their views more effectively in bilateral and multilateral negotiations. By helping partners press for change on their own behalf, ID levels the diplomatic playing field, thereby contributing to better diplomatic and peaceful solutions.

Independent Diplomat covers the major international diplomatic centers with highly qualified former diplomats, international lawyers and experts who have relevant networks and extensive knowledge of how the diplomatic system actually works. ID translates this expertise into concrete strategies that allow its partners access and insight they otherwise lack.

Our staff of experienced diplomats and policy experts achieve these outcomes by delivering advice and assistance to political groups, NGOs, and democratic governments. All partners are assessed against the following ethical criteria:

Observance of international law;
The protection of human rights;
Support of democratic and accountable governance; and
Refusal of support to those promoting unlawful violence.

IDs partner-led model is fundamental to forming equitable relationships of trust with the groups and individuals we collaborate with to design projects, set priorities and undertake activities. Through this model, ID treats our partners as clients, starting with a listen first approach to learn about their objectives. Next, ID uses our expertise and diplomatic experience to identify opportunities and strategies to help them achieve these goals. IDs theory of change is that bottom-up solutions that reflect affected communities experiences ensure better practices and sustainable peace. Our partners are the agents of this change, and ID offers advice, expertise, training, and support necessary to make their vision a reality.

Our project activities vary, but they always focus on providing information about, and access to, key diplomatic decision-making bodies and individuals. This includes building skills (diplomatic, negotiation, communications) so that our partners are equipped to translate access into concrete policy change. ID provides information, advice and analysis to ensure that our partners have the information and support needed to effectively navigate and influence policy.

Our project outputs include visits to key diplomatic and Member State capitals and participation in global policy forums and negotiations, including through arrangement and preparation for meetings with the decision-makers that matter. Information, analysis, briefing papers, talking points and logistical support ensure that our partners participation in multilateral policy forums or bilateral diplomacy is effective and impactful. Training seminars (e.g. in diplomacy, communications, or negotiation) and policy formulation sessions ensure that the substantive goals underpinning the diplomatic activity is driven by affected communities themselves, and that they are equipped with the skills necessary to execute an effective strategy. ID also provides institutional advice and support including on fundraising to improve our partners organizational robustness and the sustainability of their work.

ID's goal is to change the way international diplomacy functions to ensure that diplomacy serves to promote justice and prevent conflict. In international diplomacy, a lack of resources should not mean a lack of access. Increasing transparency and ensuring that all relevant actors have a seat at the table results in more just and more durable outcomes. ID has successfully shown that by amplifying voices in a direct and strategic manner, real diplomatic results can be achieved, and conflict can be prevented.

Independent Diplomat will continue working towards these project-specific goals with new and existing partners, including broad civil society coalitions. On a systemic level, ID is working to change how diplomacy works. This has the potential to change the rules of diplomacy, making the system more inclusive and representative. For example:

At the COP26 climate talks in Paris, the High Ambition Coalition (HAC) won the three most important elements of the resulting agreement, including the goal of 1.5C warming and 2050 carbon neutrality. ID helped to create the HAC and, over 7 years, helped its leader, the Republic of the Marshall Islands, become a decisive leader in global climate diplomacy;

By facilitating the engagement of conflict parties in Mali with the UN Security Council, ID persuaded those parties to disarm, thus breathing life into a dying peace agreement;

ID advised the leadership of Kosovo on its final status process. ID dissuaded sceptics from declaring independence unilaterally, helping prevent renewed war with Serbia;

ID built a global network of refugees that ensured that for the first time, refugees have a guaranteed seat at UN-led negotiations, and could write and negotiate parts of the Global Compact for Refugees;

ID helped Croatia resolve a long-standing border dispute with Slovenia, opening the way for Croatias early accession to the EU, which has helped stabilize the Balkans.


Independent Diplomat Inc

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The people, governance practices, and partners that make the organization tick.


Connect with nonprofit leaders


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  • Analyze a variety of pre-calculated financial metrics
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Connect with nonprofit leaders


Build relationships with key people who manage and lead nonprofit organizations with GuideStar Pro. Try a low commitment monthly plan today.

  • Analyze a variety of pre-calculated financial metrics
  • Access beautifully interactive analysis and comparison tools
  • Compare nonprofit financials to similar organizations

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Independent Diplomat Inc

Board of directors
as of 04/01/2024
SOURCE: Self-reported by organization
Board chair

Mr. Neal Grenley

Scott Ogur

Aryeh Neier

Larry Johnson

James Silkenat

Neal Grenley

Donald Baladasan

Hilarie Bass

Susanna Emmet

Alexander Moczarski

Joseph Rinaldi

Board leadership practices

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

GuideStar worked with BoardSource, the national leader in nonprofit board leadership and governance, to create this section.

  • Board orientation and education
    Does the board conduct a formal orientation for new board members and require all board members to sign a written agreement regarding their roles, responsibilities, and expectations? Yes
  • CEO oversight
    Has the board conducted a formal, written assessment of the chief executive within the past year ? No
  • Ethics and transparency
    Have the board and senior staff reviewed the conflict-of-interest policy and completed and signed disclosure statements in the past year? Yes
  • Board composition
    Does the board ensure an inclusive board member recruitment process that results in diversity of thought and leadership? Yes
  • Board performance
    Has the board conducted a formal, written self-assessment of its performance within the past three years? No

Organizational demographics

SOURCE: Self-reported; last updated 2/20/2024

Who works and leads organizations that serve our diverse communities? Candid partnered with CHANGE Philanthropy on this demographic section.


The organization's leader identifies as:

Race & ethnicity
Middle Eastern/North African
Gender identity
Male, Not transgender
Sexual orientation
Heterosexual or Straight
Disability status
Person without a disability

Race & ethnicity

No data

Gender identity

Transgender Identity

Sexual orientation

No data


No data

Equity strategies

Last updated: 02/20/2024

GuideStar partnered with Equity in the Center - an organization that works to shift mindsets, practices, and systems to increase racial equity - to create this section. Learn more

  • We review compensation data across the organization (and by staff levels) to identify disparities by race.
Policies and processes
  • We seek individuals from various race backgrounds for board and executive director/CEO positions within our organization.
  • We engage everyone, from the board to staff levels of the organization, in race equity work and ensure that individuals understand their roles in creating culture such that one’s race identity has no influence on how they fare within the organization.