Announcement - Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, Harvard Kennedy School

Ash Carter Congratulates Nicholas Burns on Nomination as U.S. Ambassador to China

| Aug. 24, 2021

Dear Friends and Colleagues: 

By now you’ve heard the wonderful news that President Biden has nominated Nick Burns as the new U.S. Ambassador to China.  

How fitting that the nation’s premiere scholar-diplomat should be nominated to the nation’s most consequential diplomatic post. I first worked with Nick more than 25 years ago in government, and I’ve worked with him in and out of government uninterruptedly and admiringly ever since. We’ll miss Nick, but this is what the Belfer Center is all about.  

Nick, of course, was already one of America’s most respected diplomats when he came to Harvard in 2008. He was State Department spokesman, U.S. Ambassador to Greece, U.S. Ambassador to NATO, and then Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs, serving as lead U.S. negotiator on Iran’s nuclear program.  

At Harvard, Nick made diplomacy a central element of our teaching, programming, and leadership development. As he put it: “We hoped to elevate in the minds of the Harvard community the importance of diplomacy and the need for the U.S. to make a greater commitment to it.”   

Thanks to the devotion of Nick and his terrific team, countless students have been inspired to pursue careers in public service. In addition to his teaching and program work with the Future of Diplomacy Project and the Project on Europe and the Transatlantic Relationship, Nick has done pioneering work with his colleagues Bob Mnookin and Jim Sebenius in drawing out lessons from studies and lengthy interviews with every single one of America’s living Secretaries of State. No doubt he’ll leverage this scholarship now on behalf of advancing America’s values and interests in our relationship with China.   

Please join me in congratulating Nick on this high honor and wishing him well in his important work ahead.  

Ash  

For more information on this publication: Belfer Communications Office
For Academic Citation: Carter, Ash.“Ash Carter Congratulates Nicholas Burns on Nomination as U.S. Ambassador to China.” Announcement, Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, Harvard Kennedy School, August 24, 2021.