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Stephen Bosworth

Stephen Bosworth

Senior Fellow, Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs



Stephen W. Bosworth died on January 4, 2016.

At the time of his death, Ambassador Stephen W. Bosworth was a Senior Fellow at the Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs at Harvard's John F. Kennedy School of Government. He was also Chairman of the U.S.-Korea Institute at the Johns Hopkins’ Paul H. Nitze School of Advanced International Studies. He served as Dean of The Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University from 2001-2013 and as the Payne Lecturer at FSI Stanford, Shorenstein APARC from 2013-2014.

Ambassador Bosworth had an extensive career in the United States Foreign Service, including service as Ambassador to Tunisia (1979-1981), to the Philippines (1984-1987), and to the Republic of Korea (1997-2001).  He also served in a number of senior positions in the Department of State, including Director of Policy Planning and, most recently, U.S. Special Representative for North Korea Policy for the Obama Administration (2009-2011).

Amb. Bosworth was the founding Executive Director of the Korean Peninsula Energy Development Organization from 1995-1997 and the President of the United States Japan Foundation from 1987-1995. In 2006, he co-authored the book, “Chasing the Sun: Rethinking East Asian Policy.”

Amb. Bosworth was a member of the American Academy of Arts & Sciences, the American Academy of Diplomacy, the Trilateral Commission, and a director of the Tunisian-American Enterprise Fund. He was also on the Board of Governors of the Boston Museum of Fine Arts and a trustee of the Austen Riggs Center. He was a graduate of Dartmouth College where he served on the Board of Trustees from 1992 -2002. He was married to the former Christine Holmes, with two daughters and two sons.



By Date


AP/Yomiuri Shimbun/Taro Konoshi

Winter 2013-14

"Spotlight: Stephen Bosworth"

Newsletter Article, Belfer Center Newsletter

By James F. Smith, Former Communications Director, Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs and Stephen Bosworth, Senior Fellow, Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs

As an American diplomat, Stephen Bosworth stared down dictators (Ferdinand Marcos in the Philippines) and cajoled repressive regimes (North Korea). Then he had a second career as dean of Tufts University’s Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy. But he wasn’t able to retreat to the quiet halls of academia. President Obama appointed him the U.S. special envoy on North Korea, a role he filled from 2009 to 2011 even while he was leading the Fletcher School.

James F. Smith, director of communications for the Belfer Center, interviewed newly appointed senior fellow Stephen Bosworth for this profile.



AP Images

October 27, 2013

"Reasons to Talk to North Korea"

Op-Ed, The New York Times

By Stephen Bosworth, Senior Fellow, Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs and Robert Gallucci

As officials in charge of American policy toward North Korea during the Clinton and Obama administrations, we met last month in Europe with senior representatives of the North Korean government to discuss relations between our countries. We believe that the current impasse, which only buys time for North Korea to develop its nuclear program, is unstable and that matters will only get worse if not addressed directly. It’s time for the Obama administration to reopen dialogue with Pyongyang.

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