Amb. Swanee Hunt

Former United States Ambassador to Austria, Founder of the Institute for Inclusive Security

Worlds Apart: The Chasm between the Policy Table and Life on the Ground in Africa and Beyond

About the Speaker

Ambassador Swanee Hunt advances innovative and inclusive approaches to social change at local, national, and global levels. Hunt founded Hunt Alternatives Fund, which operates out of Cambridge, Massachusetts. The foundation supports leaders of social movements, combats the demand for prostituted sex, aims for gender political parity in high-level offices, promotes arts as a vehicle for social change, and encourages philanthropy among high-net-worth women. Key among those programs is the Washington D.C.-based Institute for Inclusive Security, which conducts research, training, and advocacy to integrate women into peace processes in more than 40 countries, including Burundi, Congo, Ghana, Liberia, Rwanda, South Africa, Sierra Leone, Sudan and Uganda.

Dr. Hunt is the Eleanor Roosevelt Lecturer in Public Policy, founder of the Women and Public Policy Program, and senior fellow at the Center for Public Leadership, all at Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government. She has taught at Harvard College and lectures widely across that campus and internationally.

From 1993 to 1997, Hunt served as President Clinton’s ambassador to Austria, where she hosted negotiations and international symposia focused on stabilizing the neighboring Balkan states. She also led the US delegation to the EU conference on trafficking. Building on her extensive work with US non-governmental organizations, she became a specialist in the role of women in post-communist Europe, leading to the July 1997 “Vital Voices: Women in Democracy” conference of 320 leaders in business, law, and politics, from 39 countries.

 Hunt is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations. She has authored articles for Foreign Affairs, Foreign Policy Magazine, International Herald Tribune, Chicago Tribune, Boston Globe, Dallas Morning News, Huffington Post, et al. She has authored three books for Duke University Press: This Was Not Our War: Bosnian Women Reclaiming the Peace, won the 2005 PEN/New England Award for non-fiction; a memoir, Half-Life of a Zealot; and Worlds Apart: Bosnian Lessons for Global Security (July 2011). She is currently finishing Rwandan Women Rising.

A photographer and composer, Hunt was married for 25 years to international conductor Charles Ansbacher. Her world includes their three children and a menagerie of cat, parrot, horses, bison, and grandchildren.