John Shattuck

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John Shattuck
John Shattuck CEU.jpg
John Shattuck, inauguration as Central European University President and Rector. November 2, 2009
3rd United States Ambassador to the Czech Republic
In office
October 22, 1998 – December 16, 2000
President Bill Clinton
Preceded by Jenonne R. Walker
Succeeded by Craig Roberts Stapleton
Personal details
Born 1943 (age 70–71)
Alma mater Yale University
Yale Law School

John Shattuck (born 1943)[1] is an international legal scholar and human rights leader, became the fourth President and Rector of Central European University (CEU) in August 2009. CEU is a research-intensive global institution of graduate education in the social sciences, the humanities, law, business, environmental studies, government and public policy, with students from over 100 countries and a faculty from 40 countries. Under Shattuck's leadership, CEU is opening a new School of Public Policy in the fall of 2013, expanding its Business School, redeveloping its campus in Budapest, and strengthening partnerships with other international universities in Europe, the United States, Turkey, India and China.[2] Shattuck is also Professor of Legal Studies and International Relations, and teaches an interdisciplinary course entitled "U.S. Foreign Policy, Human Rights and The Rule of Law."[3]


Prior to his appointment as President and Rector of CEU, Shattuck served as Chief Executive Officer of the John F. Kennedy Library Foundation from 2001 to 2009, and Senior Fellow at Tufts University, where he taught international relations. At the Kennedy Library Foundation, Shattuck As CEO, Shattuck delivered 200 forums, conferences, curricula and study projects in areas including presidential history, political participation and public service, democracy and the arts, civil rights and human rights, international relations, terrorism, nuclear weapons, strategies for peace, and other topics. In 2001 and 2002, the Library and Foundation delivered a widely broadcast series of public events, "Responding to Terrorism," that examined issues of international security and human rights following the September 11 attacks.[4]

Shattuck has had a distinguished diplomatic career. As United States Assistant Secretary of State for Democracy, Human Rights and Labor from 1993 to 1998, under President Bill Clinton, he played a key role in the establishment by the United Nations of the International Criminal Tribunals for Rwanda and former Yugoslavia, working closely with Secretary of State Madeleine Albright.

Shattuck was the first international diplomat to reach survivors of the Srebrenica genocide in Bosnia in July 1995, assembling evidence later introduced in the UN Security Council prior to a vote authorizing NATO intervention in Bosnia. Shattuck participated with Ambassador Richard Holbrooke in negotiating the Dayton Peace Agreement and other efforts to end the war in Bosnia. Shattuck's other policy initiatives included human rights reporting leading to the deployment of multinational force to facilitate the return of democratically-elected government to Haiti; assistance for administration of justice in post-genocide Rwanda; diplomatic strategies to press for human rights improvements in China, Indonesia, Nigeria, Colombia, and Guatemala; development of U.S. aid programs to promote democracy in post-conflict countries such as Haiti, Guatemala, Bosnia, Rwanda, Albania, and Cambodia.

Shattuck served as U.S. Ambassador to the Czech Republic from 1998 to 2000. There his initiatives included working with the Czech government to prepare the country's accession to NATO in March 1999; facilitating Czech support for NATO military action to stop genocide and crimes against humanity in Kosovo during spring of 1999; promoting Czech military and civilian contributions to international peacekeeping operations in Bosnia and Kosovo; advancing U.S. and NATO nonproliferation policies with the Czech Republic; developing a U.S.-sponsored regional judicial training institute in Prague; helping U.S. businesses seek trade and investment opportunities; supporting the growth of Czech nongovernmental organizations; and providing U.S. assistance to Czech civic education programs in primary and secondary schools.

Shattuck was Vice President of Government, Community and Public Affairs at Harvard University from 1984-1993. His primary areas of responsibility included federal research funding and federal financial aid; federal tax policy affecting charitable giving; academic freedom issues; Harvard policy regarding investments in companies doing business in South Africa; preparation of case materials for Harvard's $2 billion development campaign; media relations and university communications; university publications; university relations with communities in Cambridge and Boston; and student public service programs. He founded the Cambridge Partnership for Public Education,[5] a collaboration among Harvard, MIT, businesses and public schools in Cambridge to support public education.

His career began at the American Civil Liberties Union, where he served as Executive Director of the Washington office and national staff counsel, and handled a number of prominent civil rights and liberties cases, including Halperin v. Kissinger,[6] a successful challenge to the warrantless wiretapping program conducted by the Nixon White House.

Shattuck is the author of three books, including Freedom on Fire, a study of the international response to genocide and crimes against humanity in the 1990s and has published more than 50 articles on human rights, civil liberties, international relations, public service and higher education. In 2007, he was elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.

A graduate of Yale Law School, where he received a JD degree, Shattuck was awarded an MA from Clare College, Cambridge University, with First Class Honors in International Law, and a BA from Yale College, magna cum laude and Phi Beta Kappa. He has received honorary degrees from Kenyon College, the University of Rhode Island, the John Jay College of Criminal Justice at the City University of New York, and the University of Western Bohemia in the Czech Republic. He received the Ambassador's Award from the American Bar Association Central and East European Law Initiative, the Human Rights Award from the United Nations Association of Boston, and the Yale Law School Public Service Award. At Yale, he was a member of Skull and Bones.[7]


  1. ^ Elfstrom, Gerard, International ethics: a reference handbook, ABC-CLIO, 1998.
  2. ^ Shattuck, John. "State of the University 2013". Central European University. Retrieved 18 April 2013. 
  3. ^ "US Foreign Policy, Human Rights and the Rule of Law". Central European University. Retrieved 18 April 2013. 
  4. ^
  5. ^
  6. ^
  7. ^ Robbins, Alexandra (July 2004). "Powerful Secrets". Vanity Fair. p. 116. 

External links[edit]

Government offices
Preceded by
Patricia Diaz Dennis
Assistant Secretary of State for Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor
June 2, 1993 – November 13, 1998
Succeeded by
Harold Hongju Koh
Diplomatic posts
Preceded by
Jenonne R. Walker
U.S. Ambassador to the Czech Republic
Succeeded by
Craig Roberts Stapleton