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Eric Schwartz
Eric Schwartz became dean of the Hubert H. Humphrey School of Public Affairs at the University of Minnesota in October 2011, after a 25 year career in senior public service positions in government, at the United Nations and in the philanthropic and non-governmental communities.

Prior to his arrival in Minnesota, he was U.S. Assistant Secretary of State for Population, Refugees, and Migration, having been nominated by President Obama and confirmed by the U.S. Senate in 2009. Working with Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, he served as the Department of State’s principal humanitarian official, managing a $1.85 billion budget, as well as State Department policy and programs for U.S. refugee admissions and U.S. international assistance worldwide.

From 2006 through 2009, Eric Schwartz directed the Connect U.S. Fund, a multi-foundation – NGO collaborative seeking to promote responsible U.S. engagement overseas, and which included the Hewlett Foundation, the Rockefeller Brothers Fund, the Open Society Institute, the Ford Foundation, the Atlantic Philanthropies and the Mott Foundation.

From August 2005 through January 2007, he served as the UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan’s Deputy Special Envoy for Tsunami Recovery. In that capacity, he worked with the Special Envoy, former President Clinton, to promote an effective recovery effort. Before that appointment, Mr. Schwartz was a lead expert for the congressionally mandated Mitchell-Gingrich Task Force on UN Reform. Prior to that, in 2003 and 2004, he served as the second-ranking official at the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights in Geneva.

From 1993 to 2001, Mr. Schwartz served at the National Security Council at the White House, ultimately as Senior Director and Special Assistant to the President for Multilateral and Humanitarian Affairs. He managed responses on international humanitarian, human rights and rule of law issues, as well as United Nations affairs, including peacekeeping.

From 2001 through 2003, Mr. Schwartz held fellowships at the Woodrow Wilson Center, the U.S. Institute of Peace and the Council on Foreign Relations. During this period, he also served as a contributor to the Responsibility to Protect Project of the International Commission on Intervention and State Sovereignty.

From 1989 to 1993, Mr. Schwartz served as Staff Consultant to the U.S. House of Representatives Foreign Affairs Subcommittee on Asian and Pacific Affairs. Prior to his work on the Subcommittee, he was Washington Director of the human rights organization Asia Watch (now known as Human Rights Watch-Asia). He holds a law degree from New York University School of Law, where he was a recipient of a Root-Tilden-Snow Scholarship for commitment to public service through law; a Master of Public Affairs degree from the Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs Princeton University; and a Bachelor of Arts degree, with honors, in Political Science from the State University of New York at Binghamton. Between 2001 and 2009, he also was a visiting lecturer of public and international affairs at the Woodrow Wilson School, teaching both undergraduate and graduate seminars, taskforces and workshops.

Entries by Eric Schwartz

Remembering Sergio Vieiro de Mello

(0) Comments | Posted August 16, 2013 | 10:31 AM

August 19 marks the tenth anniversary of the 2003 attack on UN headquarters in Baghdad, and the assassination of Sergio Vieira de Mello, who was serving as UN envoy to Iraq. The UN General Assembly has also designated August 19 as World Humanitarian Day, in honor of aid workers who...

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President Obama, Gun Violence and His Minnesota Visit

(28) Comments | Posted February 5, 2013 | 9:23 AM

President Obama brought his campaign to curb gun violence to Minnesota on Monday, and the North Star State offers valuable lessons for a nation in the midst of a critical public debate. If the president can make progress in Minnesota, there is reason to hope he can promote consensus on...

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Lessons from a Happy Warrior for Social Justice

(0) Comments | Posted July 20, 2012 | 12:16 PM

On August 4, a civil rights champion will be memorialized in a Minnesota ceremony that
merits the attention of anyone who cares about civil rights, social justice, and the future of our

On that date, a bronze statue of "the Happy Warrior," former Mayor, Senator and Vice

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Justice for Atrocity Victims

(9) Comments | Posted June 28, 2012 | 3:43 PM

This week marks the tenth anniversary of the start of world's first global court to prosecute genocide, war crimes and crimes against humanity -- widespread and systematic atrocities -- wherever they occur around the world.

Adopted at a diplomatic conference in Rome in 1998, the treaty establishing an International...

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Recognizing Statelessness

(17) Comments | Posted September 8, 2011 | 3:18 PM

The role of government in our lives is now the subject of pitched debate in Washington and throughout the country. But no matter your view on this contentious issue, nobody questions the profound responsibility of public institutions, here and abroad, to safeguard basic rights against discrimination, to equal justice and...

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Human Security Is National Security: Reflections From Liberia on Budget Battles and Saving Lives

(4) Comments | Posted February 25, 2011 | 12:07 AM

I'm writing from the remote town of Saclapea in the tropical rainforest of northern Liberia, a four-hour drive from the national capital, Monrovia. The lush hills on the edge of town are breathtaking, but it isn't the raw and untapped beauty that brings me here.

This is a largely hidden place...

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The Challenge of Disaster Response: Lessons on World Humanitarian Day

(3) Comments | Posted August 19, 2010 | 5:25 PM

More than ever before, our world seems engulfed in humanitarian crises, with overwhelming suffering from conflict, hurricanes and earthquakes, and enormous dangers faced by those trying to help people in need.

Only twelve days ago, ten dedicated medical aid workers were brutally murdered in Afghanistan. Pakistan now confronts devastating floods...

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