Press Release

Ambassador Paula Dobriansky Named Senior Fellow at Harvard Kennedy School’s Belfer Center

| Mar. 03, 2009

Dobriansky, former under secretary of state for democracy and global affairs, plans to teach global issues seminar series ranging from climate change policy to Tibet

CAMBRIDGE, Mass. – Ambassador Paula Dobriansky, former under secretary of state for democracy and global affairs under President George W. Bush, will join Harvard Kennedy School’s Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs as a senior fellow, Belfer Center director Graham Allison announced today.

At the State Department, Dobriansky’s portfolio encompassed a broad range of critical foreign policy issues, including democracy, human rights, labor, refugee and humanitarian relief matters, and environmental/science issues. She led the U.S. delegation in international negotiations that focused on a successor to the Kyoto Protocol, the current global climate agreement whose first commitment period ends in 2012. She also was designated as the Special Coordinator for Tibetan Issues and the President's Special Envoy on Northern Ireland, with the rank of Ambassador.

Dobriansky will start at the Belfer Center on Wednesday. She plans to teach a seminar series at the Harvard Kennedy School that draws on the global issues she oversaw at the State Department. Discussions will range from health as a national security issue to democracy promotion to international climate policy. A full list of Dobriansky’s seminars can be found below.

“We are thrilled Paula Dobriansky will join the Belfer Center,” Allison said. “As the public face of the State Department on international climate change policy, Tibet, Northern Ireland, human rights, and a variety of other important issues, Paula will bring highly valuable expertise to the Belfer Center. I am sure her seminars will be extremely well-attended.”

“I am looking forward to sharing my experience, amassed over the years of government service, with the students and Harvard community,” Dobriansky said. “Having spent several wonderful years at Harvard myself as a graduate student, I am particularly excited about coming back and being part of the Belfer Center’s unique academic environment.”

Dobriansky, who was the president’s special envoy on Northern Ireland, also plans to engage Boston’s Irish-American community on the lessons derived from the devolution of power in Northern Ireland and its application to conflict situations across the globe.

Dobriansky served as under secretary of state for global affairs for eight years – the longest tenure for that position in the State Department’s modern history. She was appointed by President George W. Bush on March 12, 2001.

From 1997-2001, she served as senior vice president and director of the Washington office of the Council on Foreign Relations and was the Council’s first George F. Kennan senior fellow for Russian and Eurasian Studies. She is also a member of the Trilateral Commission.

Her prior government appointments include associate director for policy and programs at the United States Information Agency, deputy assistant secretary of state for human rights and humanitarian affairs, deputy head of the U.S. delegation to the 1990 Copenhagen Conference on Security and Cooperation in Europe (CSCE), advisor to the U.S. delegation to the 1985 U.N. Decade for Women Conference in Nairobi, Kenya, and director of European and Soviet affairs at the National Security Council, the White House. She also served on the presidentially appointed U.S. Advisory Commission on Public Diplomacy from 1997-2001.

She holds an M.A. and Ph.D. in Soviet political/military affairs from Harvard University, as well as a B.S.F.S. summa cum laude in International Politics from Georgetown University School of Foreign Service.

Ambassador Dobriansky serves on various boards, including Freedom House, Hungary’s International Center for Democratic Transitions, and the Australia-American Dialogue. Previous boards have included the Western NIS Enterprise Fund, National Endowment for Democracy (Vice Chairman), American Council of Young Political Leaders, and the American Bar Association Central/East European Law Initiative.

The full list of the “global issues” seminars that Dobriansky plans to teach at the Harvard Kennedy School:

  • Health as a National Security Issue
  • Climate Change:  The Road Ahead (From Bali through Poznan to Copenhagen)
  • Women as Agents of Change
  • Science Diplomacy
  • Democracy Promotion:  The Most Effective Strategies
  • Lessons of Northern Ireland
  • Trafficking in Persons:  A Global Challenge
  • Corporate Social Responsibility:  The Effective Use of Public/Private Partnerships
  • Polar Diplomacy:  The Future of the Arctic and Antarctica
  • The Future of Tibet

The Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs is the hub of research, teaching, and training in international security affairs, environmental and resource issues, science and technology policy, and conflict studies at Harvard’s John F. Kennedy School of Government in Cambridge, Massachusetts. The Center’s mission is to provide leadership in advancing policy-relevant knowledge about the most important challenges of international security and other critical issues where science, technology, environmental policy and international affairs intersect.

For more information on this publication: Please contact the Belfer Communications Office
For Academic Citation:Ambassador Paula Dobriansky Named Senior Fellow at Harvard Kennedy School’s Belfer Center.” Press Release, March 3, 2009.

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