(612) 625-0669
300 Humphrey School
Office of the Dean
CV/Resume (26.45 KB)
Publications (20.91 KB)

Eric Schwartz

Professor and Dean
conflict prevention and response; global crises; human rights and rule of law; international humanitarian affairs and human rights; international migration; refugees; the United Nations; U.S. foreign policy and international relations
Eric Schwartz has served as dean of the Hubert H. Humphrey School of Public Affairs since October 2011, and has had a 30-year career in senior public service positions in government, at the United Nations, in the philanthropic and non-governmental communities, and in academia. Dean Schwartz serves as a member of the executive committee for the Association of Professional Schools of International Affairs (APSIA), which is dedicated to the improvement of professional education in international affairs and the advancement of international understanding, prosperity, peace, and security. In 2013, Schwartz was appointed by President Obama to serve on the United States Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF) and current serves as a Commission vice chair. 

 Prior to his arrival in Minnesota, Schwartz served as U.S. Assistant Secretary of State for Population, Refugees, and Migration, having been nominated by President Obama and confirmed by the U.S. Senate in 2009. Working with Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, he served as the Department of State’s principal humanitarian official, managing a $1.85 billion budget, as well as State Department policy and programs for U.S. refugee admissions and U.S. international assistance worldwide.

From 2006 through 2009, Schwartz directed the Connect U.S. Fund, a multi-foundation – NGO collaborative seeking to promote responsible U.S. engagement overseas, and which included the Hewlett Foundation, the Rockefeller Brothers Fund, the Open Society Institute, the Ford Foundation, the Atlantic Philanthropies and the Mott Foundation.

From August 2005 through January 2007, he served as the UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan’s Deputy Special Envoy for Tsunami Recovery.  In that capacity, he worked with the Special Envoy, former President Clinton, to promote an effective recovery effort. Before that appointment, Schwartz was a lead expert for the congressionally mandated Mitchell-Gingrich Task Force on UN Reform. Prior to that, in 2003 and 2004, he served as the second-ranking official at the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights in Geneva.

From 1993 to 2001, Schwartz served at the National Security Council at the White House, ultimately as Senior Director and Special Assistant to the President for Multilateral and Humanitarian Affairs. He managed responses on international humanitarian, human rights and rule of law issues, as well as United Nations affairs, including peacekeeping.

From 2001 through 2003, Schwartz held fellowships at the Woodrow Wilson Center, the U.S. Institute of Peace and the Council on Foreign Relations. During this period, he also served as a contributor to the Responsibility to Protect Project of the International Commission on Intervention and State Sovereignty.

From 1989 to 1993, Schwartz served as Staff Consultant to the U.S. House of Representatives Foreign Affairs Subcommittee on Asian and Pacific Affairs.  Prior to his work on the Subcommittee, he was Washington Director of the human rights organization Asia Watch (now known as Human Rights Watch-Asia). He holds a law degree from New York University School of Law, where he was a recipient of a Root-Tilden-Snow Scholarship for commitment to public service through law; a Master of Public Affairs degree from the Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs Princeton University; and a Bachelor of Arts degree, with honors, in Political Science from the State University of New York at Binghamton. Between 2001 and 2009, he also was a visiting lecturer of public and international affairs at the Woodrow Wilson School, teaching both undergraduate and graduate seminars, taskforces and workshops.