Douglas Dillon Book Award

Douglas Dillon Award

for Books of Distinction on the Practice of American Diplomacy


William Leogrande receives the 2015 Dillon Book Award for Back Channel to Cuba
William Leogrande (L) and Peter Kornbluh (not pictured) received the 2015 Dillon Book Award for Back Channel to Cuba. Book committee Chair Ambassador Howard Schaffer (R) presented the award to Mr. Leogrande at the Annual Awards Luncheon at the State Department, November 19, 2015.


Since 1995, the American Academy of Diplomacy has celebrated distinguished writing about US diplomatic efforts and achievements with an annual award.

The deadline for submission of nominations for each year’s award is usually by August. A committee of Academy members reviews nominated books and determines the winner, with concurrence by the Academy’s Board of Directors. The award for the winning entry includes a cash prize of $5,000. The awards are presented at the Academy’s Annual Awards Luncheon ceremony in the Benjamin Franklin Room at the US Department of State in the late fall/early winter.


Eligibility Requirements

Eligibility is limited to books written by American citizens and published in the United States within a one year period from mid-August of the previous year to mid-August of the current year. The Academy seeks to honor books, and their authors, dealing with the practice of American diplomacy with emphasis on the way US foreign policy is developed and carried out, rather than international theory, studies of broad foreign policy issues, or analyses of intelligence and security operations. Biographies, autobiographies, and personal memoirs that relate to diplomatic practice and process are welcome. Both official diplomatic relations between governments and non-official “Track Two” and other activities that supplement government-to-government diplomacy fall within the scope of this competition. The book committee is particularly interested in books that focus on the opportunities diplomacy offers as well as its limitations.

To view details about the 2017 call for entries, click on Dillon Award Call for Entries 2017.

For any questions or to be added to our distribution list of publishers, please contact


Nancy Mitchell

The 2016 Douglas Dillon Award 
for a Book of Distinction on the Practice of American Diplomacy is given to: 
Jimmy Carter in Africa by Nancy Mitchell,
published by Stanford University Press
and the Woodrow Wilson Center Press

“3 characteristics define diplomacy: doggedness, teamwork, and joy,” commented Dr. Nancy Mitchell when receiving the Academy’s 2016 Douglas Dillon Book Award


Nancy Mitchell is the author of Jimmy Carter in Africa: Race and the Cold War (Stanford University Press and the Wilson Center, 2016) and The Danger of Dreams: German and American Imperialism in Latin America, 1895-1914 (The University of North Carolina Press, 1999). She contributed the chapter on “The Cold War and Jimmy Carter,” in The Cambridge History of the Cold War, edited by Melvyn Leffler and Odd Arne Westad (Cambridge University Press, 2010) and that on “The United States and Europe, 1900-1914,” in American Foreign Relations since 1600: A Guide to the Literature Online, edited by Thomas Zeiler (ABC Clio for the Society for Historians of American Foreign Relations, 2007). Her articles have appeared in Cold War History, International History Review, Diplomatic History, Prologue: Quarterly of the National Archives, Journal of American History, H-Diplo, H-Pol, The News and Observer, The Washington Times, and The Christian Science Monitor. She received her PhD from the School of Advanced International Study of the Johns Hopkins University, and she is a professor of history at North Carolina State University where she was elected to the Academy of Outstanding Teachers.