Eric P. Schwartz

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Eric P. Schwartz

Eric Paul Schwartz is the former United States Assistant Secretary of State for Population, Refugees, and Migration.


Eric P. Schwartz was educated at Binghamton University, receiving a B.A. in Political Science; at the Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs, receiving an M.P.A. with a specialization in International Relations; and at the New York University School of Law, receiving a J.D.

After law school, Schwartz worked for Asia Watch, a human rights organization dedicated to monitoring human rights in Asia. In 1989, he became a staff consultant of the United States House Foreign Affairs Subcommittee on Asia and the Pacific. He worked there until 1993, when he moved to the United States National Security Council, serving in a variety of functions, with his seniormost title being Senior Director and Special Assistant to the President for Multilateral and Humanitarian Affairs. There, he played a role in drafting the Clinton Administration's response to a number of peacekeeping, humanitarian and refugee issues, including U.S. involvement in the United Nations Transitional Administration in East Timor, the deployment of U.S. forces to train forces in Sierra Leone as part of a group of peacekeepers dispatched to Sierra Leone in 1998, the resettlement of Kurdish refugees in Northern Iraq, resettlement of the Vietnamese boat people, the admission of Haitian refugees and Operation Uphold Democracy, and U.S. relief efforts in Central America and Kosovo. He left the National Security Council in 2001.

From 2001 to 2003, Schwartz held fellowships at the Woodrow Wilson Center, the United States Institute of Peace and the Council on Foreign Relations. At the Council on Foreign Relations, he directed the Independent Task Force on Post-Conflict Iraq, working closely with co-chairs Thomas R. Pickering and James R. Schlesinger. He also worked with the International Commission on Intervention and State Sovereignty's Responsibility to Protect Project.

In 2003, United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights Sérgio Vieira de Mello invited Schwartz to join the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights. After Vieiera de Mello's assassination during the Canal Hotel bombing, Schwartz was the second highest ranking official in the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights. He served there until 2005 when Secretary-General of the United Nations Kofi Annan appointed Schwartz as his Deputy Special Envoy for Tsunami Recovery in the wake of the 2004 Indian Ocean earthquake and tsunami; in this capacity, Schwartz served under Bill Clinton, who was the Secretary-General's Special Envoy. He served as Deputy Special Envoy until 2007.

After leaving the United Nations, Schwartz became Executive Director of The Connect U.S. Fund.

President of the United States Barack Obama nominated Schwartz to be Assistant Secretary of State for Population, Refugees, and Migration. This appointment was confirmed by the United States Senate on June 19, 2009. Schwartz was sworn into office on July 9, 2009, and left office on October 4, 2011.

In October 2011 he took a job as the dean of the Hubert H. Humphrey School of Public Affairs at the University of Minnesota.[1]


  1. ^ "Eric P. Schwartz, Professor and Dean". University of Minnesota. Retrieved 6 April 2013. 
Government offices
Preceded by
Ellen Sauerbrey
Samuel M. Witten (acting)
Assistant Secretary of State for Population, Refugees, and Migration
July 9, 2009 – October 4, 2011
Succeeded by
Anne C. Richard