DLS History

DLS History

In 1985, globalization and rapidly-developing technology were making the world a smaller place in many ways, but there was a corresponding need for more, high-quality language services options. Recognizing this need, John Ratliff III, a former Associate Dean at the Foreign Service Institute, opened Diplomatic Language Services, Inc.

The next 25 years were a time of expansion for DLS. Building on our core values of quality, responsiveness, and forward thinking, DLS developed strong partnerships with numerous government agencies, including the Department of State and the Department of Defense. In the private sector, “going global” has shifted from a competitive advantage to a must-do, and DLS has clients ranging from GMAC to Bloomberg TV.

Highlights include:

  • 2016 — DLS expands Herndon location
  • 2014 —DLS develops mission-focused, integrated Language, Regional Expertise, and Culture (LREC) curriculum and subsequent teacher training in four languages (modern Standard Arabic, French, Tagalog, and Indonesian) for the Marine Special Operations Command (MARSOC).
  • 2014 — DLS moves Herndon office to a larger facility, doubling number of classrooms
  • 2014 — DLS moves MD office from Hanover to expanded facility in Elkridge, MD (Dorsey Station)
  • 2013 — DLS opens a satellite office in Herndon, VA
  • 2013 — DLS provides interpretation services to President of Peru during his first visit to the United States
  • 2013 — DLS develops a performance-based (vs. proficiency-based) language training curriculum, on contract with the Navy Special Warfare Center
  • 2012 — 650 students graduate from our AFPAK program (phase I) with 52% exceeding training goals
  • 2011 — DLS makes the transition from Small to Large Business
  • 2009 — DLS opens an English language program in the UAE
  • 2009 — AFPAK Hands, a leading language training program for military in Afghanistan, launches at DLS
  • 2008 — DLS opens a satellite office in Hanover, MD
  • 2001 — DLS linguists translate the Osama bin Laden tapes
  • 1999 — DLS is the first language services company to be awarded a GSA schedule
  • 1995 — DLS wins first contract with the Defense Language Institute-Washington (DLI-W)
  • 1986 — DLS begins providing language training to Foreign Service Officers and other USG personnel

What attracts both government and commercial clients is our reputation for listening and then tapping into our pool of highly-qualified experts to tailor our offerings to specific client needs. For more information please visit our service pages.


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