Swanee Hunt is the Eleanor Roosevelt Lecturer in Public Policy and the Founding Director of the Women and Public Policy Program at Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government. She is core faculty at the Center for Public Leadership and senior advisor at the Carr Center for Human Rights.
While US Ambassador to Austria (1993-1997), she hosted negotiations to stop the Bosnian genocide. Her books This Was Not Our War: Bosnian Women Reclaiming the Peace and Worlds Apart: Bosnian Lessons for Global Stability draw from those years.
Her fourth book, Rwandan Women Rising (Duke University Press, 2017) explores how, when women helped heal their country after the 1994 genocide, they set a powerful example worldwide—including for our own divided nation.
In Vienna Ambassador Hunt convened 320 women leaders from 39 countries to create “Vital Voices: Women in Democracy,” a conference that explored the role of women in post-communist Europe and spawned an NGO co-chaired by Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison (R-TX) and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. Later, within her private foundation, she formed Inclusive Security, a Washington-based institute advancing women leaders to stop deadly conflicts and build stability in fragile communities.
She has founded many other initiatives. Demand Abolition is ending commercial sexual exploitation by eradicating the demand (actual buyers) for illegal purchased sex. The program convenes survivors of the sex trade, conducts and disseminates research, consults with criminal justice professionals, educates policymakers, and spurs public action. Prime Movers supports 64 leaders of US social movements. A specialist on women in politics, she conducts research, training, and consultations with women leaders in some 60 countries.
A Dallas native, Swanee Hunt holds two master’s degrees, a doctorate in theology, and seven honorary degrees.