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R. Nicholas Burns

Professor and Director, Future of Diplomacy Project at Harvard Kennedy School;

Former Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs, US Department of State


Nicholas Burns is the Roy and Barbara Goodman Family Professor of the Practice of Diplomacy and International Relations at the Harvard Kennedy School of Government. He is Director of the Future of Diplomacy Project and Faculty Chair for the Programs on the Middle East and on India and South Asia. He serves on the Board of Directors of the School’s Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs and is a Faculty Associate at Harvard’s Weatherhead Center for International Affairs. Professor Burns served in the US government for twenty-seven years. As a career Foreign Service Officer, he was Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs from 2005 to 2008; the State Department’s third-ranking official when he led negotiations on the US–India Civil Nuclear Agreement; a long-term military assistance agreement with Israel; and was the lead US negotiator on Iran’s nuclear program. He was US Ambassador to NATO (2001–2005), Ambassador to Greece (1997–2001) and State Department Spokesman (1995–1997). Professor Burns has a B.A. in History from Boston College and an M.A. in International Relations from the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies.

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