Senior Fellow, The Future of Diplomacy Project, Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, Harvard University
Ambassador Paula J. Dobriansky is a foreign policy expert and former diplomat specializing in national security affairs. She is a senior fellow at the Future of Diplomacy Project at Harvard Kennedy School’s Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs and is vice chair of the US Water Partnership’s national executive committee. As a member of IDS International’s advisory board, Ambassador Dobriansky brings nearly three decades of government and private sector experience in political-military affairs, US national security, and international diplomacy.
From 2010 to 2012, Ambassador Dobriansky 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 a corporate approach for engagement in Washington, DC and other key capitals around the globe. During this time, she was also appointed as the distinguished national security chair at the US Naval Academy.
From 2001 to 2009, Ambassador Dobriansky served as under secretary of state for democracy and global affairs. Among her primary accomplishments, she established and led the US-India, US-China, and US- Brazil Global Issues Fora, which advanced crucial work and international cooperation on environment, energy, health, development, and humanitarian issues. In this role, she also served as head of delegation and lead negotiator on US climate change policy.
In February 2007, as the president’s special envoy to Northern Ireland, Ambassador Dobriansky received the secretary of state’s highest honor, the Distinguished Service Medal, for her contribution to the historic devolution of power in Belfast. Throughout her career, Ambassador Dobriansky has held many Senate-confirmed and senior level positions in the US government including 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 US delegation to the 1990 Copenhagen Conference on Security and Cooperation in Europe (CSCE); advisor to the US delegation to the 1985 UN Decade for Women Conference in Nairobi, Kenya; and director of European and Soviet affairs at the National Security Council, the White House.
From 1997 to 2001, Ambassador Dobriansky served as senior vice president and director of the Washington office of the Council on Foreign Relations and was the first George F. Kennan Senior Fellow for Russian and Eurasian Studies. During this time, she also served on the presidentially-appointed US Advisory Commission on Public Diplomacy.
In addition to serving as an IDS International advisory board member, Ambassador Dobriansky is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations, the American Academy of Diplomacy, and serves on the boards of the Smith-Richardson Foundation and the Atlantic Council. She is also a trustee of the Trilateral Commission, on the board of visitors of Georgetown University’s School of Foreign Service and chair of the Bush Center’s Women’s Initiative Policy Advisory Council. Her previous board experience includes the Western NIS Enterprise Fund, National Endowment for Democracy (vice chair), George Mason University board of visitors and the World Affairs Councils of America, where she served as national board chairman.
Ambassador Dobriansky received a B.S.F.S. (Bachelor’s degree in foreign service) summa cum laude in international politics from Georgetown University School of Foreign Service and a Master’s degree and PhD in Soviet political/military affairs from Harvard University. She is a Fulbright-Hays scholar, Ford and Rotary foundation fellow, member of Phi Beta Kappa, and a recipient of various honors such as the Foreign Policy Association Medal for her service to country and leadership of the World Affairs Councils of America and the International Republican Institute’s Women’s Democracy Network Jeane J. Kirkpatrick Award (2008). She has received other high-level international recognition and Honorary Doctorates.