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Former President, Refugees International and former U.S. Assistant Secretary of State; and Professor, Hubert H. Humphrey School of Public Affairs, University of Minnesota

Kurt Viermetz Distinguished Visitor - Class of Fall 2022

Eric P. Schwartz is a professor and former dean (2011-17) of the Humphrey School of Public Affairs at the University of Minnesota and was the president of Refugees International for five years, until August 2022.


Schwartz served during the first Obama Administration as US Assistant Secretary of State for Population, Refugees, and Migration, as the United Nations Secretary General’s Deputy Special Envoy for Tsunami Recovery (2005-07), and as Chief of Office in Geneva for the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (2003-04). A member of the US National Security Council, from 1993 until 2001, Schwarz ultimately rose to Special Assistant to the President for National Security Affairs and Senior Director for Multilateral and Humanitarian Affairs, where he managed US humanitarian responses to crises in places such as Northern Iraq, East Timor, Kosovo, and Central America. He worked on Capitol Hill between 1986 and 1989 and began his career as the founding program director of Asia Watch, the forerunner of Human Rights Watch-Asia.


In May 2022, Washingtonian Magazine named Schwarz one of Washington, DC’s 500 Most Influential People.

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