Nicholas Burns


Nicholas Burns is Professor of the Practice of Diplomacy and International Politics at the Harvard Kennedy School. Here, he also serves as Director of the Future of Diplomacy Project, Faculty Chair for the Programs on the Middle East and on India and South Asia, and on the Board of Directors of the Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs.

Professor Burns served in the United States Foreign Service for 27 years during which time he served as Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs (2005-2008), Ambassador to NATO (2001-2005), Ambassador to Greece (1997-2001), and State Department Spokesman (1995-1997). From 1990-1995, he worked on the National Security Council as Senior Director for Russia, Ukraine and Eurasia Affairs and Special Assistant to President Clinton and Director for Soviet Affairs for President George H.W. Bush.

Professor Burns has received twelve honorary degrees, the Secretary of State’s Distinguished Service Award, the Woodrow Wilson Award for Public Service, and the Boston College Alumni Achievement Award. He has a BA in History from Boston College and an MA in International Relations from the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies.
He is Director of the Aspen Strategy Group; a Senior Counselor at The Cohen Group; and a member of the Board of Directors of the Rockefeller Brothers Fund, the Center for a New American Security, the Atlantic Council, and several other non-profit organizations. He serves on the Panel of Senior Advisors at Chatham House: the Royal Institute of International Affairs and is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations and the Trilateral Commission.