Paula Dobriansky

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Paula Dobriansky at “A Global Dialogue about Cultural Diplomacy, National Security and Global Risks” (Washington D.C; June 26th - 28th, 2012)
Paula Dobriansky
3rd Under Secretary of State
for Democracy and Global Affairs
In office

May 1, 2001 – January 20, 2009

President George W. Bush
Preceded by Frank E. Loy
Succeeded by Maria Otero
Profession Diplomat
U.S. Special Envoy to Northern Ireland
In office

February 15, 2007 – January 20, 2009

President George W. Bush
Preceded by Mitchell Reiss
Succeeded by Declan Kelly
Profession Diplomat
Personal Details
Born September 14, 1955

Alexandria, Virginia, U.S.

Nationality American
Political Party Republican
Alma mater Georgetown University

Harvard University

Paula Dobriansky was born September 14, 1955. She is an American foreign policy expert who has served in key roles as a diplomat and policy maker in the administrations of five U.S. presidents, both Democrat and Republican. She is a specialist in the areas of Eastern Europe and the former Soviet Union, and in political-military affairs.


Paula Dobriansky has had a remarkable career from politics to television hosting. She has worked as the Senior Vice President and Global Head of Government and Regulatory Affairs at Thomson Reuters from 2010 until 2012, as well as simultaneously being a Distinguished National Security Chair at the U.S. Naval Academy. Dobriansky was the longest serving Under Secretary of State for Democracy and Global Affairs in history, she served from 2001 until 2009; prior to this she was the Senior Vice President and Director of the Washington Office of the Council on Foreign Relations for four years from 1997-2001. Amongst this, her previous employment includes 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 U.S. Delegation to the 1990 Copenhagen Conference on Security and Cooperation in Europe (CSCE); Advisor to the U.S. Delegation to the 1985 U.N. Decade for Women Conference in Nairobi, Kenya; Director of European and Soviet Affairs at the National Security Council, the White House; Member of the Council on Foreign Relations; Chair of the National Board of Directors of the World Affairs Councils of America. On top of her political career, she also tried her hand at television hosting as the hosted ‘Freedom’s Challenge’ and co-hosted ‘Worldwise’ which are international affairs programs that are broadcast on National Employment Television.

Dobriansky is on the board of numerous organisations such as Freedom House, the Australian-American Leadership Dialogue, the American University in Afghanistan, Western NIS Enterprise Fund, National Endowment for Democracy (Vice Chair) and the George Mason University Board of Visitors.


Paula Dobriansky has a strong educational background, she has been a Senior Fellow at Harvard University’s JFK Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs after a Bachelor of Science in Foreign Service (BSFS) as summa cum laude in International Politics from Georgetown University School of Foreign Service and her MA and PhD degrees in Soviet Political and Military Affairs from Harvard University. On top of all this, she was also a Fulbright-Hays scholar, Ford and Rotary Foundation Fellow and has received three Honorary Doctorates of Humane Letters and one Honorary Doctorate of Laws.

Notable Work[edit]

Paula Dobriansky made a great contribution to the historic devolution of power in Belfast in 2007 as the President’s Special Envoy to Northern Ireland where she received the Secretary of State’s highest honour which is the Distinguished Service Medal for her leadership during her time there. Dobriansky is also part of the Fulbright Program and has been awarded the Fulbright-Hays Scholarship which is one of the most prestigious of its type. Amongst these, she has also received national honours from several countries such as the Star of Romania; Hungary’s Commander’s Cross Order of Merit; Grand Cross of Commander of the Order of the Lithuanian Grand Duke Gediminas and Ukraine’s Order of Merit.

Further Information[edit]

Biography on America Abroad Media Article - Ambassador Paula Dobriansky Named Senior Fellow at Harvard Kennedy School’s Belfer Center

External Links and References[edit]

Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs

Diplomatic Offices
Preceded by
Frank E. Loy

Secretary of State for Democracy and Global Affairs

Succeeded by

Maria Otero