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Executive Diplomacy Certificate

During this eight-part workshop, expand your global competency and acquire practical skills and proven strategies for corporate and personal diplomacy.

The world is more closely-knit than it once was, our society is more diverse, decisions made on one continent have repercussions around the world, and all business seems to be global business. The stakes are higher, but the opportunities are also more plentiful. In this certificate program, learn an easy tool for developing strategic relationships with applications and benefits for everyone, from the executive suite to your global sales force. Feel confident working with people from any culture and with any title. This is a practical guide to protocol practices that will ensure successful interaction with international clients, government officials, and visitors, and will yield more productive multi-cultural exchanges.


  • Corporate, non-profit, and government leaders engaged in the global arena and those who support them
  • Those responsible for the success of international initiatives, visits, and programs
  • Individuals who want to develop skills for success in the international market
  • Those who want to learn techniques for building a global relationship portfolio

This course takes place in our live-instruction online format for the fall 2020 session.

Module 1 The Fundamentals of Protocol—provides overview

  • Activity: Participant Expectation
  • Terms to Know
  • Six Principles
  • Purpose and People
  • Guiding Lessons
  • Rules of Engagement

Module 2 Cultural Awareness: Why Culture Matters

  • What is Culture?
  • What Does Culture Impact?
  • Culture Clash
  • Effective Engagement
  • Some Tools and Resources: Cultural Dimensions and Cultural Profiles

Module 3 Rank and the Order of Precedence

  • Terms to Know
  • Basic Rules
  • Practical Applications
  • Exercise: Various Scenarios; Groups Work Together

Module 4 Relationship Building—The Business of Diplomacy

  • Terms to Know
  • Principles of Diplomacy
  • A Plan for Executive and Corporate Diplomacy
  • Building Your Global Relationship Portfolio
  • Networking Tips & Event Engagement Checklist
  • Exercise: Relationship Audit and Relationship Plan


  • Winning the Influence Game: What Every Business Leader Should Know About Government, Michael Watkins, Mickey Edwards, & Usha Thakrar
    • Chapter 4 Cultivating Relationships
    • Chapter 8 Globalization: The Rise of Corporate Diplomacy

Module 5 Names, Titles, and Forms of Address

  • Terms to Know
  • Basic Rules
  • Using Honorific and Courtesy Titles
  • Introductions
  • Exercise: practice introducing officials with different names, titles, and forms of address

Module 6 Working with the World—Diplomats and Consular Officers

  • The Language of Diplomacy—terms to know
  • Common Misconceptions
  • Key Functions
  • How You Can Work with Diplomats and Consular Officers
  • Pronto Protocol: Speed Quiz

Module 7 The Global Executive

  • Greetings Around the World
  • Business Cards
  • Escorting Guests
  • Small Talk Around the World
  • Body Language Best Practices
  • Seating and Positions of Honor
  • Some Gift-Giving Practices
  • The Diplomat’s Code of Conduct—List of Best Practices
  • Exercise: variety of group exercises—business card exchange, escorting guests, seating

The cost of attendance (COA) is $1950.

Financial assistance information can be found on Rice Financial Aid's Visiting and Continuing Education Students page.

Due to the high demand for courses, registrations are considered final as of 10 working days before class starts. No refunds will be issued after these dates and credits will not be given for future classes. No refunds will be granted for participants who miss a portion of a program. Refund requests before the deadline are subject to a 10% processing fee and must be made in writing to If books have been issued, the cost of the books and any shipping fees will be deducted. Refunds for credit card payments will be processed as credits to the accounts from which they were paid and may not appear as a credit until the following statement. Refunds for enrollments paid by check take up to four weeks to be processed and mailed by the Rice University accounting office. There is a $30 charge for any check returned for insufficient funds.

Sonia Garza-Monarchi has more than 19 years of senior executive experience and has held the roles of CEO, president, GM, and executive director in small to mid-size organizations. Ms. Garza-Monarchi provides CEO advising, senior executive coaching, and C-suite consulting. She leverages her experience in international protocol, diplomacy, and event management for clients seeking strategic corporate diplomacy, community relations, distinguished visitor programs, intercultural communication training, and management of international events. In 2004, Garza-Monarchi established Garza Protocol Associates, LLC (GPA) to help corporations, government agencies, and non-profit organizations successfully conduct business in the international arena. Prior, she was vice president and general manager of the Greater Houston Convention and Visitors Bureau (GHCVB) with oversight for the organization’s 80 employees and $12M annual budget. As executive director of the Houston International Protocol Alliance, a division of the GHCVB, Garza-Monarchi also served as the city’s chief protocol officer. Beginning her career in 1988 with the Houston International Protocol Alliance, Garza-Monarchi became executive director in 1993 and spearheaded an increase in the city’s consular representation from 53 countries to 81 in 2004. She oversaw more than 3,000 trips by distinguished visitors including numerous chiefs of state, heads of government, royalty, cabinet ministers, ambassadors, and trade delegations. She also advised four mayors and numerous city council members on all matters of protocol and international affairs and participated in various economic development missions abroad. Garza-Monarchi played key roles in the planning and execution of major international events held in Houston such as the World Economic Summit, the World Energy Council’s world congress, and the Corporate Council on Africa Summit. She has consulted with several municipal and state governments on establishing protocol departments and has provided training for corporations including the Federal Reserve Bank, Wal-Mart Stores, Inc., Coca-Cola, Duke Energy, and the National Lieutenant Governors Association. Garza-Monarchi has also managed international events and coordinated head of state and other visits for clients including Cheniere Energy and Marathon Oil. In 2008, Garza-Monarchi served as executive director of the host committee for the Latin GRAMMY® Awards, which were held in Houston. She oversaw the local fundraising and marketing efforts, facilitated travel, security, and other logistical support, and coordinated a series of events leading up to the multi-day celebration. Garza-Monarchi is the immediate past president of Protocol & Diplomacy International’s Protocol Officers Association, a national association of protocol officers. She sits on the board of the Greater Houston Convention & Visitors Bureau and is on the advisory board of the Asia Society-Texas. Garza-Monarchi is a native Houstonian and a graduate of Rice University.

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