The School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS) was founded in 1943 by Paul H. Nitze and Christian Herter and became part of The Johns Hopkins University in 1950. The school was established during World War II by a group of statesmen who sought new methods of preparing men and women to cope with the international responsibilities that would be thrust upon the United States in the postwar world.
The founders assembled a faculty of scholars and professionals (often borrowed from other universities) to teach international relations, international economics, and foreign languages to a small group of students. The curriculum was designed to be both scholarly and practical. The natural choice for the location of the school was Washington, D.C., a city where international resources are abundant and where American foreign policy is shaped and set in motion.
In 1955, the school created the Bologna Center in Italy, the first full-time graduate school located in Europe under an American higher-education system. By 1963, SAIS outgrew its first quarters on Florida Avenue and moved to one of its present buildings on Massachusetts Avenue. In 1986, the Hopkins-Nanjing Center was created in Nanjing, China, completing the school's global presence.