Watson Institute at Brown University
International and Public Affairs
J. Brian Atwood

J. Brian Atwood

+1 612 749 8482
Brown in Washington, National Press Club, 9th Floor

Downloadable CV

J. Brian Atwood

Senior Fellow in International and Public Affairs

Areas of Interest: US Foreign Policy, Diplomacy, International Development Cooperation, Congressional War Powers, Conflict Resolution and Post-Conflict Transitions, Europe and Africa.


J. Brian Atwood is a Senior Fellow and a member of the Board of Governors of the Watson Institute at Brown University. He was Dean of the University of Minnesota’s Humphrey Institute of Public Affairs from 2003 to 2010. Atwood served for six and one-half years as Administrator of the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) during the Clinton Administration. In 1992/93 he led the Clinton transition team at the State Department and served as Under Secretary of State for Management prior to his appointment to head of USAID. He was elected Chair of the Development Assistance Committee of the OECD in 2010. During the Carter Administration Atwood served as Assistant Secretary of State for Congressional Relations. He was President of the National Democratic Institute from 1985 to 1993, and served on the UN Secretary General’s Panel on Peace Operations in 2000. He joined the Foreign Service in 1966, and was Senator Tom Eagleton’s legislative advisor for foreign policy from 1972 to 1977. He was Dean of Professional Studies at the Foreign Service Institute in 1981–82. Atwood received the Secretary of State’s Distinguished Service Award in 1999.


International development cooperation; poverty and its relationship to conflict; war powers in the US, the politics of US foreign policy; the global context for development cooperation; inequity and its impact on the less developed countries.


Washington Post re President's authority to hold aid to Ukraine, Development Cooperation: Threatened but Durable (Georgetown Inernational Relations Journal)


Diplomacy: An Art That Isn't Dead (IAPA 1801B)
Diplomacy and Development: Related But Different Missions (IAPA 1801V)

Talks & Media

Foreign Assistance and Conflict Resolution-- Tufts Fletcher School December 9, 2019

Coast Guard Academy, November 7, 2017 

Brookings Institution Panel on USAID and the Department of State, June 11, 2017

Marshall Plan Speech Anniversary, Harvard Law School, June 3, 2017

Kate Hamburger Lecture, June 20, 2017

Society for International Development, Washington, D.C., June 2, 2017