Swanee Hunt, former Director of the Women and Public Policy Program, is currently the Eleanor Roosevelt Lecturer at the Center for Public Leadership at Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government. An internationally recognized expert on foreign affairs and diplomacy, Ambassador Hunt is heralded for her trailblazing work to increase the participation and inclusion of women in peace processes around the world. She is also Founder and Chair of Hunt Alternatives Fund, a private foundation committed to advancing social change at local, national and global levels.
From 1993-1997, Ambassador Hunt served as Ambassador to Austria. During her tenure, she hosted negotiations and several international symposia to focus efforts on securing the peace in the neighboring Balkan states.
Ambassador Hunt’s work in Europe inspired the creation of The Initiative for Inclusive Security (formerly known as Women Waging Peace), an initiative she incubated at the Kennedy School, which advocates for the full participation of all stakeholders, especially women in formal and informal peace processes. Ambassador Hunt teaches “Inclusive Security” at the Kennedy School, exploring why women are systematically excluded from peace processes and the policy steps needed to rectify the problem.
A member of the Council on Foreign Relations, Ambassador Hunt consults with government officials and civil society leaders around the world. She has authored numerous chapters for edited books, and articles for newspapers and journals including Foreign Affairs, Foreign Policy, International Herald Tribune, Chicago Tribune, Boston Globe, San Francisco Chronicle, Denver Post and Dallas Morning News. She also writes a nationally syndicated column. Her book, This Was Not Our War: Bosnian Women Reclaiming the Peace, won the 2005 PEN/New England Award for non-fiction and includes a foreword by former President Clinton. Ambassador Hunt also has provided news commentary and analysis on a number of international and domestic programs, including CNN, MSNBC, PBS and CBS “Evening News.”
Swanee Hunt has had more than a dozen one-woman shows of her photographs in five countries. Her musical composition, “The Witness Cantata,” for five soloists and chorus, has had nine performances in six cities. Ambassador Hunt holds two masters degrees, a doctorate in theology and three honorary degrees. She was married to the late symphony conductor Charles Ansbacher. They have three children.