J. Brian Atwood is a Senior Fellow at the Watson Institute at Brown University and Professor Emeritus and former dean at the Humphrey School at the University of Minnesota, where he is widely credited for raising the school’s profile and national ranking. He served for six years as Administrator of the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) during the Administration of President William Clinton, prior to which he led the transition team at the State Department and was Under Secretary of State for Management.
During the Carter Administration, Mr. Atwood served as Assistant Secretary of State for Congressional Relations. He was Dean of Professional Studies and Academic Affairs at the Foreign Service Institute (1981 to 1982) and the first president of the National Democratic Institute for International Affairs (1986 to 1993). He also served on UN Secretary General Kofi Annan’s Panel on Peace Operations in 2001. He writes and speaks frequently on international development, post-conflict reconstruction, foreign policy, the role of the United Nations and other multilateral organizations in international affairs, and the United States’ role in the world order.
Mr. Atwood holds a bachelor’s degree in government and history from Boston University and received an Honorary Doctorate of Laws from American University. He joined the Foreign Service in 1966 and served in the American Embassies in Cote d’Ivoire and Spain. In January 2011, Mr. Atwood took a leave from the University to serve as chair of the Development Assistance Committee (DAC).