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Ambassador Wendy R. Sherman

Ambassador Wendy R. Sherman

Senior Fellow, Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs

 

Experience

Wendy R. Sherman is non-resident Senior Fellow at Harvard Kennedy School's Belfer Center. Ambassador Sherman is also Senior Counselor at Albright Stonebridge Group, where she brings decades of experience in business, government, international affairs, and politics to help ASG clients gain understanding of geopolitical developments, navigate international markets, and constructively address policy challenges around the world.

Ambassador Sherman rejoined ASG after her distinguished service as Undersecretary of State for Political Affairs at the U.S. Department of State. In this global role, she oversaw the bureaus for Africa, East Asia and the Pacific, Europe and Eurasia, the Near East, South and Central Asia, the Western Hemisphere, and International Organizations. She also led the U.S. negotiating team and was a central player in reaching a successful conclusion of the Iran nuclear agreement. In recognition of her diplomatic accomplishments, she was awarded the National Security Medal by President Barack Obama.

Prior to her most recent service at the State Department, Ambassador Sherman was Vice Chair of the Albright Stonebridge Group, having helped to found and grow the firm for a decade.

Ambassador Sherman previously served as Counselor for the State Department (1997-2001), as well as Special Advisor to President Clinton and Policy Coordinator on North Korea. In that role, she worked as a close advisor to then Secretary of State Madeleine Albright on every major foreign policy and national security issue, and also managed numerous special assignments including negotiations on nuclear non-proliferation.

From 1993–1996, Ambassador Sherman served as Assistant Secretary for Legislative Affairs under Secretary of State Warren Christopher.

Earlier in her career, she managed Senator Barbara Mikulski's first successful campaign for the U.S. Senate and served as Director of EMILY’s List.

Ambassador Sherman served as Chair of the Board of Directors of Oxfam America and was also on the U.S. Department of Defense’s Defense Policy Board, a group tasked with providing the Secretary of Defense with independent, informed advice and opinion, concerning matters of defense policy. In 2008, she was appointed by Congressional Leadership to serve on the Commission on the Prevention of Weapons of Mass Destruction, Proliferation and Terrorism. She is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations and of the Aspen Strategy Group. Ambassador Sherman is a frequent commentator and analyst for both international and domestic media.

She attended Smith College and received a B.A. cum laude from Boston University and a master’s degree in Social Work, Phi Kappa Phi, from the University of Maryland.

 

 

By Date

 

2016

AP Photo

June 2016

"On Political Forgiveness: Some Preliminary Reflections"

Policy Brief

By Ambassador Wendy R. Sherman, Senior Fellow, Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, Isabella Bennett and Ali Wyne, Former Research Assistant, Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs

This policy brief examines political forgiveness, when countries or groups are able to reconcile or set aside historic enmities.

Ambassador Wendy Sherman makes the case that insights from frameworks of personal forgiveness can help nations seize the moment when their interests align and, accordingly, move to achieve political forgiveness. First, the process of forgiveness requires a sense of justice—victims must feel that perpetrators have been held accountable and will no longer be able to hurt them. It must also be a deep, extended undertaking: when perpetrators offer only superficial acknowledgments of the victims’ pain and attempt to move on quickly, victims perceive those efforts as perfunctory, even disingenuous.

Additionally, countries must reestablish genuine, ongoing contact to overcome narratives of “the other” that inhibit forgiveness. They should not assume, however, that political forgiveness will proceed as a linear, three-part process in which the perpetrator issues an apology, the victim accepts the apology, and the two subsequently cultivate their ties on the basis of aligned national interests.

 

 

Dan Smith

April 23, 2016

"President Obama, go to Hiroshima"

Op-Ed, CNN.com

By Ambassador Wendy R. Sherman, Senior Fellow, Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs

Secretary of State John Kerry made history earlier this month by becoming the first sitting cabinet official to visit Hiroshima, where he paid his respects to the victims of the atomic bomb dropped by the United States on the Japanese city at the end of World War II.

Kerry's visit was rich in symbolism, but the real question it triggered is whether President Obama will himself make a trip to Hiroshima when he travels to Japan in May. New reports indicate that Obama may indeed be planning such a trip. This would be a profound act, as no president, while in office, has ever visited the city, and the prospect of this president traveling there has already caused controversy at home and in Japan.

 

 

(Photo by Martha Stewart)

Fall/Winter 2015-2016

"Center Welcomes Global Leaders"

Newsletter Article, Belfer Center Newsletter

By Hedi Larbi, Kuwait Foundation Visiting Scholar, Middle East Initiative, Robert D. Blackwill, International Council Member, Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, James A. Winnefeld, Jr., Non Resident Senior Fellow, Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, Ambassador Wendy R. Sherman, Senior Fellow, Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, Robert M. Danin, Senior Fellow, Middle East Initiative, Rt. Hon. Douglas Alexander, Senior Fellow, The Future of Diplomacy Project, Jairam Ramesh and Anders Fogh Rasmussen, Former Fisher Family Fellow 2014-2015, Future of Diplomacy Project

This fall, the Belfer Center welcomed a number of distinguished leaders as new senior fellows and visiting scholars. Eight new arrivals come from a range of high-profile public policy backgrounds, and each brings significant and varied expertise to Harvard Kennedy School and the Belfer Center.

 

2007

October 2007

Reducing Nuclear Threats and Preventing Nuclear Terrorism

Report

By Ashton B. Carter, Former Co-Director, Preventive Defense Project, Harvard & Stanford Universities, Dr. William J. Perry, Former Co-Director, Preventive Defense Project, Graham Allison, Director, Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, Harvard Kennedy School, Joseph Cirincione, Tom Donilon, Senior Fellow, Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, Robert Einhorn, Leon Fuerth, Amb. Robert Gallucci, Ernest Moniz, George Perkovich and Ambassador Wendy R. Sherman, Senior Fellow, Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs

This National Security Advisory Group report provides a new comprehensive strategy for reducing nuclear threats and preventing nuclear terrorism.

 

2006

January 25, 2006

The U.S. Military: Under Strain and at Risk

Report

By Dr. William J. Perry, Former Co-Director, Preventive Defense Project, Ashton B. Carter, Former Co-Director, Preventive Defense Project, Harvard & Stanford Universities, Secretary Madeleine K. Albright, Graham Allison, Director, Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, Harvard Kennedy School, Samuel R. Berger, General Wesley K. Clark, Former Senior Advisor, 2001-2009, Preventive Defense Project, Tom Donilon, Senior Fellow, Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, John D. Podesta, Susan E. Rice, General (ret.) John M. Shalikashvili, Former Founding Senior Advisor, Preventive Defense Project, Ambassador Wendy R. Sherman, Senior Fellow, Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, Dr. Elizabeth D. Sherwood-Randall, Former Founding Senior Advisor, Preventive Defense Project and Dr. James B. Steinberg

The National Security Advisory Group sounds a warning, raising awareness about the state of our ground forces today and the very real risk that poses to our future security. The group also proposes an action plan for restoring the health and vitality of the U.S. military.

 

2005

July 20, 2005

Worst Weapons in Worst Hands: U.S. Inaction on the Nuclear Terror Threat Since 9/11, and a Path of Action

Report

By Dr. William J. Perry, Former Co-Director, Preventive Defense Project, Ashton B. Carter, Former Co-Director, Preventive Defense Project, Harvard & Stanford Universities, Secretary Madeleine K. Albright, Graham Allison, Director, Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, Harvard Kennedy School, Samuel R. Berger, General Wesley K. Clark, Former Senior Advisor, 2001-2009, Preventive Defense Project, Tom Donilon, Senior Fellow, Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, John D. Podesta, Susan E. Rice, General (ret.) John M. Shalikashvili, Former Founding Senior Advisor, Preventive Defense Project, Ambassador Wendy R. Sherman, Senior Fellow, Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, Dr. Elizabeth D. Sherwood-Randall, Former Founding Senior Advisor, Preventive Defense Project and Dr. James B. Steinberg

The gravest threat facing Americans today is a terrorist detonating a nuclear bomb in one of our cities. The National Security Advisory Group (NSAG) judges that the Bush administration is taking insufficient actions to counter this threat.

 
Events Calendar

We host a busy schedule of events throughout the fall, winter and spring. Past guests include: UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, former Vice President Al Gore, and former Soviet Union President Mikhail Gorbachev.