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Paula Dobriansky

Boston, USA

Senior Fellow at Harvard Kennedy School’s (2009-present)

US Under Secretary of State for Democracy and Global Affairs (2001-09)

Expert on foreign policy, human rights, and environmental policy

Ambassador Paula Dobriansky is a leading American academic and former diplomat specialising in national security affairs. She is a Senior Fellow at Harvard University’s JFK Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs and Chair of the National Board of Directors of the World Affairs Councils of America. From 2010-12, she was Senior Vice President and Global Head of Government and Regulatory Affairs at Thomson Reuters responsible for designing and implementing corporate strategy in Washington, DC, and other key capitals around the globe and developing the company’s financial regulatory strategy.

From 2001-09, as Under Secretary of State for Democracy and Global Affairs (the longest serving in history), she established and led the U.S.- India, U.S. – China and U.S.-Brazil Global Issues Fora — which advanced crucial work and international cooperation on environment, health, and energy matters. For 8 years, she was the US head of delegation and lead negotiator on climate change policy. Also, as the President’s Special Envoy to Northern Ireland, she contributed to the historic devolution of power in Belfast. Prior to her Presidential appointments, she served as Senior Vice President and Director of the Washington Office of the Council on Foreign Relations was also the Council’s first George F. Kennan Senior Fellow for Russian and Eurasian Studies.

During her more than 25 years in national security affairs working for both Democratic and Republican presidents, she has held many high level Senate confirmed positions including Associate Director for Policy and Programs at the United States Information Agency, and Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Human Rights and Humanitarian Affairs. From 1997-2001, she served on the Presidentially appointed U.S. Advisory Commission on Public Diplomacy.

Our Comment

"Ambassador Dobriansky is a world-leading expert on all aspects of US foreign relations. In particular, she is perfectly placed to discuss how America’s attitude towards human rights, humanitarian intervention and climate change affects its legitimacy in the international community at a time when its power is in relative decline."

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