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Stephen Bosworth

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Stephen Bosworth

Senior Fellow, Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs



Stephen W. Bosworth is a Senior Fellow at The Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs at the John F. Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University.  He is also the Chairman of the U.S.-Korea Institute at the Johns Hopkins University Paul H. Nitze School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS).  From 2001-2013, he served as Dean of The Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University, where he now serves as Dean Emeritus.  He has also served as the United States Ambassador to the Republic of Korea from 1997-2001.

From 1995-1997, Mr. Bosworth was the Executive Director of the Korean Peninsula Energy Development Organization [KEDO], an inter-governmental organization established by the United States, the Republic of Korea, and Japan to deal with North Korea.  Before joining KEDO, he served seven years as President of the United States Japan Foundation, a private American grant-making institution.  He also taught International Relations at Columbia University’s School of International and Public Affairs from 1990 to 1994.  In 1993, he was the Sol Linowitz Visiting Professor at Hamilton College.  He has co-authored several studies on public policy issues for the Carnegie Endowment and the Century Fund, and, in 2006, he co-authored a book entitled “Chasing the Sun, Rethinking East Asian Policy.” 

Ambassador Bosworth has had an extensive career in the United States Foreign Service, including service as Ambassador to Tunisia from 1979-1981 and Ambassador to the Philippines from 1984-1987.  He also served in a number of senior positions in the Department of State, including Director of Policy Planning, Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Inter-American Affairs, and Deputy Assistant Secretary for Economic Affairs.  Most recent, from March 2009 through October 2011, he served as U.S. Special Representative for North Korea Policy for the Obama Administration. 

He is the recipient of many awards, including the American Academy of Diplomacy’s Diplomat of the Year Award in 1987, the Department of State’s Distinguished Service Award in 1976 and again in 1986, and the Department of Energy’s Distinguished Service Award in 1979.  In 2005, the Government of Japan presented him with the Order of the Rising Sun, Gold and Silver Star. 

Mr. Bosworth is a graduate of Dartmouth College where he was a member of the Board of Trustees from 1992 to 2002 and served as Board Chair from 1996 to 2000.  He is married to the former Christine Holmes; they have 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, 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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