International, Foreign Affairs, and National Security

Independent Diplomat Inc

Diplomacy for Justice

aka ID

New York, NY


ID provides confidential advice and practical assistance in diplomatic strategy and technique to democratic but marginalized governments, political groups, international organizations and NGOs. We work to amplify the voices of those who have most at stake in diplomatic processes. Our work thus promotes greater inclusiveness in diplomacy, and contributes to more just and sustainable solutions to international problems and conflict.

Ruling Year


Executive Director

Mr. Carne Ross

Main Address

45 East 20th Street 6th Floor

New York, NY 10003 USA


diplomacy, conflict prevention, human rights, international, Africa, United Nations, Burma, Western Sahara, Somaliland, Cyprus, climate change, Marshall Island, Kosovo, Sudan, Croatia, Southern Sudan,





Cause Area (NTEE Code)

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 + Results

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Our programs

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

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization


Western Sahara

Republic of the Marshall Islands / Climate Change Initiative



Where we workNew!

Our Results

How does this organization measure their results? It's a hard question but an important one. These quantitative program results are self-reported by the organization, illustrating their committment to transparency, learning, and interest in helping the whole sector learn and grow.

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Largest project (by number of dedicated staff members)

Population(s) served

No target populations selected

Context notes

Currently Syria. ID helps Syrians advance their demands for civilian protection, political transition and accountability. This includes the Syrian political opposition and 200+ civil society groups.

Charting Impact

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

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

What is the organization aiming to accomplish?

What are the organization's key strategies for making this happen?

What are the organization's capabilities for doing this?

How will they know if they are making progress?

What have and haven't they accomplished so far?

Independent Diplomat works for just outcomes from diplomacy. It offers expert advice and support to democratic countries and groups to navigate the world's diplomatic system and ensure their needs are addressed. By promoting greater inclusiveness and accountability in foreign policy-making, ID's work contributes to more just and sustainable solutions to international problems, whether preventing conflict or limiting climate change.

The ultimate goal of ID's work is to improve the diplomatic performance of its clients, which is measured across four key categories:

1. Achievement of client's incremental foreign policy objectives
2. Achievement of client's major foreign policy objectives (in most cases, this is the client's goal)
3. Evidence of more inclusive and representative diplomatic processes
4. Ability to scale up strategic services in diplomatic centers where clients need it most, and mobilize staff and resources to respond quickly to their emerging needs.

Independent Diplomat's work challenges the status quo in diplomacy, which excludes many political 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 actors—state and non-state—to 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 clients press for change on their own behalf, ID levels the diplomatic playing field, thereby contributing to better diplomatic and peaceful solutions.

ID works through the three pillars of effective diplomacy: political strategy, international law and public diplomacy.

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 clients access and insight they otherwise lack.

Based on the diversity of ID's projects, specific metrics to gauge progress are often developed in collaboration with the client at the onset of a project. This client-specific objectives includes a baseline measure of the current situation, goals for the future and relevant success measures. Projects are also subject to frequent donor reporting, including on progress/success measures determined with the donor. Progress is tracked through some quantitative measures (e.g. number of products produced, number of press interviews), as well as a qualitative assessment.

Although changes in diplomatic relations are inherently difficult to measure, ID has invested in processes to better assess the impact and effectiveness of its work. A key strategy is to check its progress achieved through internal, external and select third party validation:

Internal: ID's quarterly reviews, its primary internal validation mechanism, gathers all internal staff to peer review the work and provide feedback on each project's progress. These internal checks are ongoing, but occur more formally on a quarterly basis. The formal reviews gather input from principals from across all of ID's offices to ensure that there is a full assessment of the work organization-wide. ID also reports to and gathers input on its programs from its Advisory Council and Board of Directors. ID also uses these internal meetings to confirm that all clients are meeting ID's ethical standards for partnership.

External: ID regularly checks in with key stakeholders (e.g. policy experts, NGOs, donors, clients) in its project areas to gauge the effectiveness of its client work and whether other actors are independently adopting its diplomatic tools and tactics. To maximize its impact, ID also leverages its relationships with policy and nonprofit stakeholders to co-create objectives and strategies that are mutually reinforcing.

Third Party: ID receives substantial support from government bodies. Some of these government partners have conducted their own assessments of ID's work before moving forward with additional contracts.

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 clients, 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.

External Reviews


Independent Diplomat Inc

Fiscal year: Jan 01 - Dec 31

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

Need more info?

FREE: Gain immediate access to the following:

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  • Forms 990 for 2016, 2015 and 2014
A Pro report is also available for this organization for $125.
Click here to see what's included.

Board Leadership Practices

GuideStar worked with BoardSource, the national leader in nonprofit board leadership and governance, to create this section, which enables organizations and donors to transparently share information about essential board leadership practices.

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization


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?

Not Applicable


Has the board conducted a formal, written assessment of the chief executive within the past year?

Not Applicable


Have the board and senior staff reviewed the conflict-of-interest policy and completed and signed disclosure statements in the past year?

Not Applicable


Does the board ensure an inclusive board member recruitment process that results in diversity of thought and leadership?

Not Applicable


Has the board conducted a formal, written self-assessment of its performance within the past three years?

Not Applicable