Future of Diplomacy Project Selects Senior European Officials as Spring 2013 Fisher Family Fellows

Contact: Doug Gavel
Phone: (617) 495-1115
Date: February 15, 2013

Cambridge MA -- The Future of Diplomacy Project at the Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs at Harvard Kennedy School has appointed Professor Soli Özel, author and journalist Christopher de Bellaigue, British Shadow Foreign Secretary Douglas Alexander, and Josette Sheeran, Vice Chairman of the World Economic Forum (WEF) as spring 2013 Fisher Family Fellows. In addition, two former Fisher Family Fellows -- former Indian Foreign Secretary Shyam Saran, and former NATO Secretary General Javier Solana -- will be returning to campus in March and April 2013.

Current and returning Fisher Family Fellows will teach, meet with faculty and students and conduct research during their time on campus.

Douglas Alexanderis the Shadow Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, serving in Ed Miliband’s opposition Labour Party government in the UK House of Commons. He previously served in senior UK ministerial positions between 2001 and 2010, including as UK Secretary of State for International Development (2007-10), as UK Governor of the World Bank and as Minister of State for Europe (2005-06). In addition, Alexander coordinated the Labour Party’s 2001 general election campaign for then-Prime Minister Tony Blair. He will conduct a number of seminars and public discusisons on the future of trans-Atlantic relations as part of the Project’s second annual Europe Week beginning March 25, 2013.

Christopher de Bellaiguehas worked as a journalist in South Asia and the Middle East, writing for the Economist and the Financial Times, the Independent, and the New York Review of Books. His first book, In the Rose Garden of the Martyrs, was short-listed for the Royal Society of Literature's Ondaatje Prize, and his second, Rebel Land, was short-listed for the 2010 Orwell Prize. His 2012 book, Patriot of Persia chronicles the life of Iranian leader Mohammed Mossadegh and the 1953 coup. De Bellaigue will be in residence with the Project in April 2013 and will conducting a study group on Iran.

Soli Özelis a professor of International Relations at Kadir Has University and foreign news editor and a columnist for the Gazete Habertürk, one of Turkey’s largest daily newspapers. From 1998 until 2007, he was the Editor-in-chief of Foreign Policy-Türkiye, and is currently the Editor-in-Chief of Private View, the quarterly publication of TUSIAD, Turkey’s top business association. He taught at the University of California, Santa Cruz and Johns Hopkins SAIS before returning to teach in Turkey at Bogazici University and Bilgi University. Professor Özel is currently in residence with the Project, teaching a study group on contemporary Turkey. He will be delivering a public address on Turkey’s foreign policy priorities on February 20, 2013.

Josette Sheeranis vice chairman of the World Economic Forum and former executive director of the United Nations World Food Program, the world’s largest humanitarian agency. She previously served as US Under Secretary of State and deputy US Trade Representative. Before entering public service she was President and CEO of Empower America, a Washington D.C. think tank, where she pursued an agenda of economic empowerment for inner cities and developing nations. She is the recipient of the 2012 Nigata Japan International Food Award, the Commandeur de l'Ordre du Mérite Agricole, France and Brazil`s highest civilian award, the Grand Official Order of the `Rio Branco` and USAID’s Vision Award. Sheeran will be in residence with the Project from April – May 2013.

Nicholas Burns, Professor of the Practice of Diplomacy and International Politics and founder of the Future of Diplomacy Project at the Kennedy School’s Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, said: “We are very pleased to welcome these distinguished individuals to the Harvard Kennedy School. Our students, faculty and fellows will benefit from their wisdom and experience.”

The Fellows’ work at Harvard Kennedy School is made possible through The Richard and Nancy Fisher Family Fellows Program, created by Nancy and Richard W. Fisher, AB ’71, long-time supporters of Harvard University’s international engagement and teaching. The fellowship was created in 2010. Previous fellows include Said T. Jawad, former Afghan Ambassador to the United States (Fall 2010); Celso Amorim, Minister of Defence of the Republic of Brazil (Spring 2011); Roger Cohen, Columnist, New York Times (Fall 2011); Shyam Saran, former Foreign Secretary of India; Javier Solana, former Secretary General of NATO; David Miliband, former UK Secretary of Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs and Tim Shriver, President and CEO of Special Olympics (September 2012).

Led by R. Nicholas Burns (Director) and Cathryn Clüver (Executive Director), the Future of Diplomacy Project at the Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs is dedicated to promoting the study and understanding of diplomacy, negotiation and statecraft in international politics today. The Project aims to build Harvard Kennedy School’s ability to teach in this area, to support research in modern diplomatic practice and to build public understanding of diplomacy’s indispensible role in an increasingly complex and globalized world.

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