Cambridge, MA- The Future of Diplomacy Project at Harvard Kennedy School’s Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs has named Ambassador Douglas E. Lute a Senior Fellow. While at the Kennedy School, Ambassador Lute will initiate a research project focused on NATO and transatlantic relations that will address the multiplicity of challenges facing the alliance as it approaches its 70th anniversary. He will also share his expertise in security and diplomacy by conducting seminars and study groups with students and fellows.
“I am proud to welcome Ambassador Doug Lute to the Kennedy School’s Future of Diplomacy Project,” said Nicholas Burns, faculty director of the Future of Diplomacy Project and Goodman Family Professor of the Practice of Diplomacy and International Relations. “As a former U.S. Ambassador to NATO myself, I look forward to working with him on the project to strengthen our vital NATO alliance and transatlantic ties with Canada and Europe.”
Belfer Center Director Graham Allison said, “Doug has served the nation with distinction under two administrations and before that with 35 years of military service. It’s an honor to have such a distinguished public servant join the Center and share his experience and insights with the Harvard community.”
Appointed by President Obama, Lute served as the United States Permanent Representative to NATO from 2013-2017. During this period, he was instrumental in designing and implementing the Alliance’s responses to the most severe security challenges in Europe since the end of the Cold War. He received the State Department’s Distinguished Honor Award.
A career Army officer, Lute retired from active duty in 2010 as a lieutenant general after 35 years of service. In 2007, President George W. Bush named him Assistant to the President and Deputy National Security Advisor to coordinate the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. He was retained by incoming President Barack Obama and his focus on the National Security Council staff shifted to South Asia. Across these two administrations, he served a total of six years in the White House.
Before being assigned to the White House, Lute served as Director of Operations (J3) on the Joint Staff, overseeing U.S. military operations worldwide. From 2004 to 2006, he was Director of Operations for the United States Central Command with responsibility for U.S. military operations in 25 countries across the Middle East, eastern Africa and Central Asia, in which over 200,000 U.S. troops operated.
In earlier assignments, he served as Deputy Director of Operations for the United States European Command in Stuttgart, Germany; Assistant Division Commander in the 1st Infantry Division in Germany; Commander of U.S. Forces in Kosovo; and Commander of the Second Cavalry Regiment. Through his military career, he received numerous honors and awards, including three awards of the Defense Distinguished Service Medal.
Ambassador Lute holds degrees from the United States Military Academy at West Point and from Harvard Kennedy School. He is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations and a charter member of the Flag Officer Advisory Group of the United States Institute of Peace.
“With NATO challenged on its Eastern and Southern borders, Ambassador Lute will provide necessary perspective as we work toward developing functional policy solutions for the way ahead with our global community of students and expert faculty,” said Cathryn Cluver, Executive Director of the Future of Diplomacy Project. “His longstanding experience in multilateral negotiations will be a particular asset to our students preparing for careers as diplomats and frontline civilians.”
Douglas E. Lute joins eight distinguished leaders currently serving as Future of Diplomacy Project Senior Fellows: Douglas Alexander, former U.K. Shadow Foreign Secretary; Robert Danin, Senior Fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations; 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; Farah Pandith, former Special Representative to Muslim Communities at the U.S. Department of State; and Jake Sullivan, former Director of Policy Planning at the U.S. Department of State.