Senior Fellow, JFK Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, Harvard University
Dr. Paula J. Dobriansky is a Senior Fellow with the Future of Diplomacy Project 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 2010-2012, she was Senior Vice President and Global Head of Government and Regulatory Affairs at Thomson Reuters. In this position, she was responsible for designing and implementing corporate strategy in Washington, DC and other key capitals around the globe. During this time, she also held the Distinguished National Security Chair at the U.S. Naval Academy.
From 2001 to 2009, Dr. Dobriansky served as Under Secretary of State for Democracy and Global Affairs (longest serving in history.) Among her primary achievements, she established and led the US-India, US-China, and US-Brazil Global Issues Fora — which advanced crucial work and international cooperation on environment, health, development and humanitarian issues. Additionally, she was head of delegation and lead negotiator on US climate change policy.
In February 2007, as the President’s Special Envoy to Northern Ireland, Dr. Dobriansky contributed to the historic devolution of power in Belfast. For her leadership, she received the Secretary of State’s highest honor, the Distinguished Service Medal. From 1997 – 2001, Dr. Dobriansky served as Senior Vice President and Director of the Washington Office of the Council on Foreign Relations. She was also the Council’s first George F. Kennan Senior Fellow for Russian and Eurasian Studies.
Her other government appointments include Associate Director for Policy and Programs at the United States Information Agency, Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Human Rights and Humanitarian Affairs, Deputy Head of the U.S. Delegation to the 1990 Copenhagen Conference on Security and Cooperation in Europe (CSCE), Advisor to the U.S. Delegation to the 1985 U.N. Decade for Women Conference in Nairobi, Kenya, and Director of European and Soviet Affairs at the National Security Council, the White House. From 1997-2001, she served on the Presidentially-appointed U.S. Advisory Commission on Public Diplomacy.
Dr. Dobriansky received a B.S.F.S. summa cum laude in International Politics from Georgetown University School of Foreign Service and an M.A. and Ph.D. in Soviet political/military affairs from Harvard University. She is a Fulbright-Hays scholar, Ford and Rotary Foundation Fellow, a member of Phi Beta Kappa and a recipient of high level international honors such as the Commander and high-level international recognition such as the Commander Cross of the Order of Merit of Poland, Poland’s Highest Medal of Merit, Grand Cross of Commander of the Order of the Lithuanian Grand Duke Gediminas, National Order “Star of Romania”, Hungary’s Commander’s Cross Order of Merit and Ukraine’s Order of Merit. She has also received three Honorary Doctorates of Humane Letters and one Honorary Doctorate of Laws.
As a member of the Council on Foreign Relations, Dr. Dobriansky serves on various boards, including Freedom House, the Australian-American Leadership Dialogue, and American University in Afghanistan. She is also a Trustee of the Trilateral Commission and on the Board of Visitors of Georgetown University’s School of Foreign Service. Previous boards have included the Western NIS Enterprise Fund, National Endowment for Democracy (Vice Chair), and George Mason University Board of Visitors. She has lectured and published articles, book chapters, and op-ed pieces on foreign affairs-related topics. For three years, she hosted Freedom’s Challenge and co-hosted Worldwise, the international affairs programs on National Empowerment Television. She has been interviewed widely on television and radio and has testified frequently before the Senate Foreign Relations and House International Relations Committees.