Albert Santoli, founder and president of the non-profit Asia America Initiative (AAI), uses his extensive professional experience as a basis for the courses he teaches at IWP: Peace, Strategy, and Conflict Resolution (IWP 625), Cultural Intelligence for Strategy and Analysis (IWP 640), and Counterterrorism through Cultural Engagement and Development (IWP 670). His unique background informs his courses on cultural intelligence and engagement.
Through AAI, Prof. Santoli has worked on developing communities in the Philippines and building “peace zones” in Muslim tribal areas there, an ongoing accomplishment for which he was honored by Philippine Presidents Gloria Macapagal Arroyo and Benigno Aquino.
Prof. Santoli is a U.S. military veteran of conventional and unconventional operations in the Vietnam War. During the Iraq War, Prof. Santoli put his cultural awareness knowledge to use when he trained U.S. Marine Corps officers at the Marine Corps Command and Staff College at Quantico, Virginia and at Pacific Command in Hawaii for global terror deterrence and natural disaster response. Now, Prof. Santoli provides that same knowledge to IWP students who take his courses.
Past students have found value in his teachings that extend beyond the classroom and into their professional lives. One student, Shawn T., commented: “Professor Santoli’s courses on cultural intelligence apply not only to development and engagement with foreign entities, but to everyday life. In fact, I was able to utilize lessons learned in his classes in multiple job interviews for highly technical positions. When asked what value my degree from IWP would hold in a scientific- and engineering-heavy field, I was able to reply with examples from Professor Santoli’s classes (as well as many others at IWP). This type of out-of-the-box thinking resulted in multiple career offers over more technically-skilled candidates.”
The classes also provide new insight for careers in relation-building between America and other countries. Braeden, another student stated: “Too often the United States underappreciates cultural intelligence: a detriment to our treasure and blood. Professor Santoli’s courses are a beachhead for expanding American influence. He will help build your intuition and critical thinking; exploring yourself for the ‘X factor’; and highlight how Americans can build relationships of trust and honor, better understand adversaries, and think cross-culturally.”
The importance that Santoli’s courses place on cultural intelligence and engagement is part of IWP’s commitment to providing its students with an understanding of statecraft and all its elements. The applications of cultural intelligence can range from peacebuilding and diplomacy to counterterrorism and conflict resolution, and more. Videos describing his courses can be accessed here: