Cambridge, MA – Ambassador Jeffrey DeLaurentis, former Chief of Mission at the U.S. Embassy in Havana, Cuba, and José Antonio Sabadell, former Ambassador of the European Union to Mauritania, have been named Fellows with the Future of Diplomacy Project at Harvard Kennedy School’s Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs. DeLaurentis has been named Senior Diplomatic Fellow and Sabadell will be the first Rafael del Piño-MAEC (Spanish Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation) Fellow at the Future of Diplomacy Project. His fellowship is supported by a grant by the Rafael del Piño Foundation based in Madrid, Spain.

“I am delighted to welcome Ambassadors DeLaurentis and Sabadell to Harvard for this new academic year,” said Nicholas Burns, Goodman Family Professor of the Practice of Diplomacy and International Relations at Harvard Kennedy School and faculty director of the Future of Diplomacy Project. “Both have practiced diplomacy at high levels and will be valued resources for our students, fellows and faculty at the Kennedy School.”

DeLaurentis and Sabadell will share their expertise with Kennedy School students and fellows through seminars and study groups on campus, and contribute to the Project’s goal of advancing the public understanding of diplomatic practice through research and analysis of United States and European Union foreign policy. They join nine distinguished leaders currently serving as Future of Diplomacy Project Senior Fellows: Douglas Lute, former U.S. Permanent Representative to NATO; Jake Sullivan, Martin R. Flug Visiting Lecturer in Law at Yale Law School and former Director of Policy Planning, U.S. Department of State; Douglas Alexander, Senior Advisor to Bono and former U.K. Shadow Foreign Secretary; Robert Danin, Council on Foreign Relations Middle East Fellow; Paula Dobriansky, former U.S. Under Secretary of State for Democracy and Global Affairs; Ayaan Hirsi Ali, bestselling author and founder of the AHA foundation; David Ignatius, author and Washington Post columnist; Cameron Munter, former U.S. Ambassador to Pakistan; and Farah Pandith, former State Department Special Representative to Muslim Communities.

Ambassador Jeffrey DeLaurentis is a career member of the U.S. Foreign Service. Most recently, he served as the Chief of Mission at the U.S. Embassy in Havana, Cuba from 2014-17 where he implemented the Obama Administration’s diplomatic opening to the country. Prior to taking up this position, Ambassador DeLaurentis served as the Alternate Representative for Special Political Affairs at the U.S. Mission to the United Nations. Before this assignment, he was Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for the Bureau of Western Hemisphere Affairs.

DeLaurentis was previously Minister Counselor for Political Affairs and Security Council Coordinator at the U.S. Mission to the United Nations. Since beginning his State Department career in 1991, DeLaurentis has served in a number of overseas posts including two previous tours of service in Havana, first as consular officer from 1991-93, then as Political-Economic Section Chief from 1999-2002. He also served as Political Counselor at the U.S. Mission to the United Nations in Geneva, and Political Counselor at the U.S. Embassy in Bogota, Colombia.

In Washington, Ambassador DeLaurentis served as Executive Assistant to the Under Secretary of State for Democracy and Global Affairs, Special Assistant to the Assistant Secretary of State for Western Hemisphere Affairs, Director of Inter-American Affairs at the National Security Council, and as an International Relations Officer in the Bureau of International Organizations.

Ambassador José Antonio Sabadell has been a Spanish diplomat since 1993. Until taking up his fellowship at Harvard Kennedy School, he served as the Ambassador and Head of the European Union Delegation to Mauritania, beginning in September 2013. Prior to this post, Sabadell was Deputy Director General for North Africa from 2012-13. Before serving in this position, he was Deputy Chief of Staff, Cabinet of the Minister of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation. Earlier in his career, he served in a number of other capacities including as Deputy Head of Mission at the Embassy of Spain in Saudi Arabia, advisor at the Cabinet of the Minister of Foreign Affairs, and Consul General at the Consulate General of Spain in Quito, Ecuador. 

While in residence, Ambassador Sabadell’s research will focus on how radical Islamic groups use biased presentations of the West to attract followers and support their objectives. He will focus on cases in Spain and propose approaches to counter this discourse from a transatlantic perspective.


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