J. Brian Atwood is a Senior Fellow for International Studies and Public Affairs at Brown University’s Thomas Watson Institute for International Studies, and Professor Emeritus at the University of Minnesota’s Hubert H Humphrey School of Public Affairs. He served as Chair of Global Policy Studies and Professor of Public Policy at the Humphrey School from 2012 to 2015. He was dean of the Humphrey School from 2002 to 2010, and was elected President of the Association of Professional Schools of International Affairs in 2009. He was also the Chair of the University of Minnesota’s Deans’ council and a recipient of the University’s Distinguished Service Award. From 2010 to 2012, Atwood was the member-elected Chair of the Development Assistance Committee of the Organization of Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD).
Atwood led the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) during the Administration of President William Clinton. He earlier led the Clinton-Gore transition team at the State Department in 1992, and was Under Secretary of State for Management prior to his appointment as head of USAID. He received the Secretary of State’s Distinguished Service Award in 1999. During the Carter Administration Atwood was Assistant Secretary of State for Congressional Relations. In 2001, Atwood served on UN Secretary General Kofi Annan’s Panel on Peace Operations. He was legislative advisor for foreign and defense policy to Senator Thomas F. Eagleton (D–Mo) (1972 to 1977). Atwood was the first President of the National Democratic Institute for International Affairs (NDI) (1986 to 1993). He was a career diplomat before joining Senator Eagleton and later became Dean of Professional Studies and Academic Affairs at the Foreign Service Institute (1981-82). He is currently Chair of the Population Services International board, Vice Chair of the AFS Intercultural Programs board and a member of the board of the National Democratic Institute and of the Watson Institute Board of Overseers.
Foreign policy, statecraft, international development, US Congress and Executive. Follow international relationships in Africa, Europe and Middle East.
Washington Post re President's authority to hold aid to Ukraine, Development Cooperation: Threatened but Durable (Georgetown Inernational Relations Journal)
- Bilateral and Multilateral Policy and Diplomacy, US Foreign Policy: The Institutional Basis
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
December 10, 2019
In December 2019, Senior Fellow J. Brian Atwood wrote an article on foreign assistance titled, Development Cooperation: Threatened but Supported by a Durable Consensus, in which he makes the case that the program continues to have bipartisan support despite the Trump Administration’s effort to cut it by 30%. Atwood suggests that part of the reason is the support Carter and Reagan gave to human rights and democracy promotion, soft power initiatives that reflect American values.
November 25, 2019
In November 2019, J Brian Atwood penned "Yes, presidents can hold up military aid. But not like Trump did with Ukraine" - a column explaining how presidents have broad authority to condition the release of assistance packages, but they still have to follow the law.
November 25, 2019
The Washington Post
J Brian Atwood, senior fellow at the Watson Institute for International and Public Affairs, penned this column explaining how presidents have broad authority to condition the release of assistance packages, but they still have to follow the law.
January 3, 2019
Senior Fellow Brian Atwood is among the authors of a letter to the OECD/DAC on efforts to give countries Official Development Assistance (ODA) credit for private development expenditures.
September 4, 2018
Senior Fellow Brian Atwood shares a brief history of the United States foreign assistance program, that he presented at the Aspen Institute in Colorado in early August.
August 1, 2018
Senior Fellow J. Brian Atwood joined WPRO to discuss President Trump's indication that he would consider turning over a former U.S. ambassador to the Russians for questioning.
December 6, 2017
Modernizing Foreign Assistance Network
Senior Fellow Brian Atwood weighs in on a proposal for consolidating development and humanitarian relief in the United States government.