Brussels: August 21-23, 2015

Join us for our GMAP 15th Anniversary Celebration and Alumni Weekend in Brussels, Belgium, from August 21-23, 2015.

  • Meet: Fellow Alumni and the March 2016 Class
  • Tour: Waterloo and Ghent
  • Enjoy: Executive Education offerings in European Security Issues and the Euro
  • Engage: in GMAP Conversation over Wonderful Food
  • Explore: Brussels in the Heart of Europe

This weekend event coincides with the midyear residency of the GMAP March Class of 2015-2016.

Brussels GMAP@15

To celebrate the outstanding achievements of GMAP during its first 15 years, we are returning to Brussels, in the heart of Europe, and invite you to join us for a spectacular weekend of engagement and exploration, camaraderie and festivities. For 15 years and counting, GMAP has been the premier program for innovative international affairs education, and you, our GMAP Alumni, have been making vital contributions to the world in your many and varied fields. What better way to celebrate this truly special community than with three days of conversing with prominent thought leaders, exploring beautiful and historic Belgium, forging new connections, and reliving the GMAP experience.


GMAP: BrusselsThe GMAP@15 event is an opportunity to celebrate everything we have achieved together over the past 15 years, and to look ahead to our next 15 years and beyond.

Nowhere but GMAP do professionals of this caliber come together to engage so deeply in the issues of our world, study so intensely a full range of critical subjects, and have such immediate impact and influence on the global stage. During the alumni weekend, you will be able to engage in meaningful discussions on current affairs, relax over excellent food and drink, explore a beautiful and historic country, all while reconnecting with old classmates and forging new connections and friendships. You will leave with an expanded professional network, and the incredible resource that is the GMAP community will become all the stronger.


Brussels floral carpet B' by Wouter Hagens - Own work. Licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0 via Wikimedia CommonsThroughout the GMAP@15 Alumni Weekend, you will not only hear from leading experts and thought leaders on a range of critical topics, but you will have the opportunity to engage them in conversation, helping to deepen your own thinking and knowledge.

There is a sense that we are facing a particularly turbulent and dangerous moment in history, with challenges as varied as the decidedly cruel brand of extremism looming in the Middle East to a global financial crisis that has been resisting international efforts for recovery. The European experiment is a unique one, uniting sovereign states despite daunting differences to create a formidable united actor. In such turbulent times, it is vital to examine closely these structures to understand how they might contribute to a more peaceful and prosperous world, and to think critically about the challenges that these structures face. There is no better vantage point from which to do so than Brussels, the “capital of the European Union.”


Photo: Gregd1957Of course, no GMAP event would be complete without taking the time to enjoy our surroundings. Belgium’s unique history as the meeting point between a Germanic northern European culture and Romantic southern one is beautifully reflected throughout the country from its art to its architecture, from its languages to its foods. With old friends and new connections, you will explore the historic streets of Brussels, where you can see masterpieces of Gothic architecture such as the city’s Town Hall, stroll through bustling marketplaces, and relax at a local café over a renowned Belgian beer and chocolate. There is no shortage of museums showcasing the masterful and influential Flemish style of painting, or the city’s vital Renaissance roots, and the panoramic views offered from attractions such as the Atomium let you take in this city that is both steeped in history and has a modern vibrancy.

From Brussels, we will take a trip out to the remarkable city of Ghent, in the heart of Flemish Belgium. Its beautifully preserved historic city center, with art and architecture displayed as it was originally intended, and the placid Leie River running through it, the medieval Gravensteen Castle, and the lush green spaces throughout the city make Ghent a perfect destination in which to tour and relax. No less impressive, a trip to Waterloo will allow you to take in the Walloon countryside, while contemplating the historical magnitude of the famed battle in its bicentennial year.


GMAPThe Brussels Residency and GMAP@15 Alumni Weekend will take place at the luxurious, 5-star Sofitel Brussels Le Louise, situated in the prestigious Avenue Louise district, nestled amid quiet streets lined with chestnut trees, designer boutiques, and art deco mansions.

A limited number of rooms are available to GMAP alumni during the GMAP@15 Alumni Weekend at a special discounted rate of 115 Euros +city taxes (including breakfast). The special rate will be available until July 1, 2015, subject to availability, and is for single occupancy (double occupancy is an additional 20 Euro per night).  Please book your stay directly with the hotel and let them know you are part of the Fletcher Alumni Group to receive the alumni rate.

Please contact the GMAP Team at with any questions, and help us stay in touch by updating your contact information today!


Thursday, August 20

3:00 – 4:00p.m. Early Registration

4:30 p.m. Bus departs Sofitel Brussels Le Louise for the U.S. Embassy reception

5:00 – 7:00 p.m. Reception at the U.S. Embassy in Brussels and Presentation by

Dean James Stravridis,
Admiral, USN (Ret), former NATO Supreme Allied Commander,
Dean, The Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy

(Dress Code: Business)

7:00 p.m. Bus departs U.S. Embassy to return to Sofitel Brussels Le Louise

Friday, August 21

7:30 – 8:00a.m. Registration & Welcome

8:00a.m. Bus departs Sofitel Brussels Le Louise for Waterloo

9:00 a.m. – 2:30p.m. Tour and Lunch in Waterloo with

Dean James Stravridis 
Dr. Gregory Pedlow,
Chief of the Historical Office, Supreme Headquarters Allied Power Europe (SHAPE)

(Dress code: Casual)

2:30 p.m. Bus departs Waterloo to return to Sofitel Brussels Le Louise

4:00 – 7:00p.m. Explore Brussels on Your Own*

7:00p.m. GMAP@15 Opening Dinner and Conversation with

Dean James Stravridis
H.E. Joyce Aluoch, GMAP08,
First Vice-President, International Criminal Court

(Dress code: Cocktail Attire)

Saturday, August 22

9:30 – 10:00a.m. Registration & Welcome

10:00a.m. – 12:00 p.m. Executive Education Session:

The European Union: Global Outlook

(Dress code: Business Casual)

12:00 – 2:00p.m. Networking Lunch with Alumni and Students

(Dress Code: Business Causal)

2:00 – 4:00p.m. Executive Education Session:

The Future of the European Project

(Dress code: Business Casual)

4:00 – 6:30p.m. Explore Brussels on Your Own*

6:30 p.m. Depart from Sofitel Brussels Le Louise for Egmont Palace (a pleasant 10 minute walk) 

7:00p.m. Celebratory Dinner at Egmont Palace with Keynote Address from

Ambassador Pierre Vimont,
First Executive Secretary General of the European External Action Service

(Dress code: Cocktail Attire)

Sunday, August 23

8:30 – 9:00a.m. Registration & Welcome

9:00a.m. Bus departs Sofitel Brussels Le Louise for Ghent

10:00a.m.-5:00p.m. Tour and Lunch at Belga Queen Restaurant in Ghent

(Dress code: Casual)

5:00p.m. Bus departs Ghent to return to Sofitel Brussels Le Louise

7:00p.m. Alumni Closing Dinner (Location TBD)

(Dress code: Casual)



Please note that the events schedule during the weekend are subject to change.  Unless otherwise noted, events and meals will be held at the Sofitel Brussels Le Louise.

*The “Top 10: Brussels, Bruges, Antwerp, & Ghent” book is included in the alumni weekend gift bag.