Cambridge, MA -- The Future of Diplomacy Project at Harvard Kennedy School’s Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs is announcing the appointment of its fall 2015 Fisher Family Fellows.  They are former NATO Secretary General and Danish Prime Minister Anders Fogh Rasmussen; former UK Shadow Foreign Secretary Douglas Alexander; and former Indian Minister of Environment and Forests and chief climate change negotiator Jairam Ramesh.

“The Fisher Family Fellowship allows us to bring leading international practitioners to campus to engage with our students on the most critical questions of our time,” said R. Nicholas Burns, Roy and Barbara Goodman Family Professor of the Practice of Diplomacy and International Relations and faculty director of the Future of Diplomacy Project.

“To have senior European politicians Douglas Alexander and Anders Fogh Rasmussen at the Kennedy School during a decisive moment for Europe, which faces the simultaneous challenge of the Ukraine, Eurozone and refugee crises, challenges our students to think creatively about current policy options. Our fellows explore these questions in their study groups and public presentations,” Burns said. “Jairam Ramesh, India’s former Chief Climate Negotiator, will add a valuable and necessary perspective to our inaugural Climate Change Diplomacy Week a series of focused discussions ahead of the UN Convention on Climate Change that begins in Paris in late November. The wealth of experience our fellows bring to campus enhances our ability to teach and train the next generation of international leaders.”

Rasmussen and Alexander will be in residence with the Future of Diplomacy Project in October and lead study groups with Kennedy School degree students. Rasmussen will teach two seminars on transatlantic power and Russian assertiveness in Eastern Europe. Alexander will lead two seminars on the rise of populism in Europe and the state of UK-EU relations. Ramesh will direct two seminars on climate change and participate in a panel discussion on climate change negotiations in the lead-up to Paris during Climate Change Diplomacy Week  (November 9 – 13). In addition, all fellows will deliver public addresses to the wider Harvard University community and engage in research for upcoming book projects.


Anders Fogh Rasmussen was appointed 12th NATO Secretary-General on August 1, 2009. Prior to this appointment, he served as Prime Minister of Denmark from 2001 to 2009. While acting as Danish Prime Minister, he assumed the rotating Presidency of the European Union in 2002 and was influential in completing accession negotiations with ten candidates for EU membership, among them Poland and Cyprus. He previously held numerous high-level governmental posts, including as Minister for Economic Affairs in the Conservative-Liberal coalition Government (1990-1992) and as Minister for Taxation (1987-1992), and acted as Danish negotiator of and signatory to the Maastricht Treaty while Minister for Economic Affairs and member of the EU’s ECOFIN-council. Rasmussen is currently the Founder and CEO of Rasmussen Global, a geopolitical strategic consulting firm. Rasmussen is a returning Fisher Family Fellow after working with the Project in the spring semester of 2015.

Douglas Alexander is the former 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 was former Labour MP for Paisley and Renfrewshire South in the UK. Alexander 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. Alexander is a returning Fisher Family Fellow, having worked with the Project in 2013.

Jairam Ramesh is a Member of Parliament from Andhra Pradesh and a leader in international climate negotiations. He was chief negotiator for India at the 2009 United Nations Climate Change Conference held in Copenhagen, Denmark, and has been a leading figure in international climate diplomacy for years. He held numerous high-level government posts, including as Indian Union Cabinet Minister for Rural Development and Union Minister of State for Environment and Forests. Minister Ramesh has written columns for the Telegraph and for India Today and published a number of books on U.S.-India relations and the effects of globalization on India, including most recently “Making Sense of Chindia” (India Research Press, 2005). Ramesh returns as a Fisher Family Fellow after his appointment in fall 2014.

The Fisher Family 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 Shivshankar Menon, India’s former National Security Advisor and Foreign Secretary (Spring 2015); Karel de Gucht, former European Union Commissioner for Trade (Spring 2015); Farah Pandith, former U.S. Special Representative to Muslim in Communities (Fall 2014); Josette Sheeran, then-Vice Chairman of the World Economic Forum (Spring 2013); Christopher de Bellaigue, author and journalist (Spring 2013); Javier Solana, former Secretary General of NATO (Spring 2013); Soli Özel, professor of international relations and columnist (Spring 2013); C. Raja Mohan, senior associate in Carnegie’s South Asia Program (Fall 2013); Shyam Saran, former Foreign Secretary of India (Spring 2013); David Manning, Former UK Ambassador to the US and NATO (Fall 2012); Anna Diamantopoulou, former EU Commissioner for Employment and Social Affairs (Fall 2012); Tim Shriver, President and CEO of Special Olympics (Fall 2012); Celso Amorim, Brazilian Minister of Foreign Affairs (Spring 2011 and 2015); Kai Eide, former UN Special Representative to Afghanistan (Spring 2011); Roger Cohen, columnist for the New York Times (Fall 2011); David Miliband, former UK Secretary of Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs (Fall 2010); Said T. Jawad, former Afghan Ambassador to the United States (Fall 2010).


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