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J. Brian Atwood
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J. Brian Atwood is the dean of the Hubert H. Humphrey Institute of Public Affairs, University of Minnesota. Atwood served for six years as Administrator of the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) during the Administration of President William Clinton. In the Clinton Administration, Atwood led the transition team at the State Department and was Under Secretary of State for Management prior to his appointment as head of USAID. In 2001, Atwood served on UN Secretary General Kofi Annan's Panel on Peace Operations. He joined the Foreign Service in 1966 and served in the American Embassies in Cote d'Ivoire and Spain. He served as legislative advisor for foreign and defense policy to Senator Thomas F. Eagleton (D'Mo) from 1972 to 1977. During the Carter Administration Atwood served as Assistant Secretary of State for Congressional Relations. He was Dean of Professional Studies and Academic Affairs at the Foreign Service Institute in 1981-82. Atwood was the first President of the National Democratic Institute for International Affairs (NDI) from 1986 to 1993. Atwood received the Secretary of State's Distinguished Service Award in 1999.

Blog Entries by J. Brian Atwood

The Future of USAID

(16) Comments | Posted July 14, 2010 | 4:56 PM

One would imagine that a national investment that pays dividends in the forms of greater national security, economic growth, and revitalized American values would be a wise investment in the future of our country. Yet the International Affairs budget -- which funds America's vital development and diplomacy programs -- is...

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Haiti's Tragedy and the Inevitable Controversy

(20) Comments | Posted January 20, 2010 | 1:53 PM

The Haiti earthquake has produced an overwhelming humanitarian response from governments and people everywhere. This disaster has occurred in one of the world's poorest countries, a nation whose infrastructure and governmental institutions were fragile to begin with. The relief challenge is extraordinary, requiring the removal of bodies, the treatment of...

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In Defense of War to Advance Peace: The Obama Paradox

(11) Comments | Posted December 14, 2009 | 4:48 PM

"Most of the coverage of President Obama's Nobel Peace Prize award focused on the irony of it all. Here was a man with a brief record of accomplishment in his first year of office, a President of the United States, inheriting and now commanding two wars, receiving a prize for...

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World Hunger Requires Research, Not Rancor

(6) Comments | Posted December 8, 2009 | 10:01 AM

While many Americans are worrying about not gaining weight during the holiday season, one-sixth of our planet's population is in danger of malnutrition, not obesity. As the U.N. World Food Program recently reported, more than a billion people do not get enough food to be healthy. Even more alarmingly, as...

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The Afghanistan Decision

(4) Comments | Posted December 7, 2009 | 9:43 AM

Conservative critics have observed a lack of passion in the delivery of the President's decision on Afghanistan. This is one I may agree with them on. Frankly, I wanted to see a very sober Commander in Chief rather than one who pursued this fateful decision with arrogant self confidence. Afghanistan,...

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The Importance of 'Democracy Promotion'

(11) Comments | Posted November 16, 2009 | 6:42 AM

"Out with the old; in with the new." This aphorism has produced some strange results over the years as one administration succeeds another as the curator of American foreign policy.

In the Reagan era, for example, it was forbidden to use the phrase "human rights," a term identified...

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Troop Increases? What About the Other Side of the Foreign Policy Coin?

(5) Comments | Posted November 2, 2009 | 1:07 PM

More than eight months after President Obama took office, the US Agency for International Development (USAID) remains without an Administrator. While an announcement could happen imminently, the agency -- and indeed the entire US government -- has lacked a politically-empowered figure dedicated solely to U.S. global development policy during a...

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