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Tepper School of Business

Ambassador Sarah E. Mendelson is Distinguished Service Professor of Public Policy at Carnegie Mellon University and Head of Carnegie Mellon’s Heinz College in Washington DC. She served as the US Representative to the Economic and Social Council at the United Nations until 20 January 2017. Confirmed by the Senate in October 2015, she was the US United Nations lead on international development, human rights, and humanitarian affairs. There she oversaw campaigns to get country-specific resolutions passed in the General Assembly and to get NGOs, including the Committee to Protect Journalists, accredited to the UN. She led efforts to elevate the issue of combating human trafficking and was senior lead for the President's Summit on Refugees. Prior to her appointment as Ambassador, she served as a Deputy Assistant Administrator at USAID from 2010 to 2014 where she was the agency lead on democracy, human rights, and governance.

A long-time policy entrepreneur, she has spent nearly 25 years working on development and human rights as a scholar and a practitioner. She worked in Moscow with the National Democratic Institute, served on the faculty of the Fletcher School at Tufts University, and spent over a decade as a senior adviser and the inaugural director of the Human Rights Initiative at the Center for Strategic and International Studies. While at the Washington-based think tank, she also worked as a senior fellow in the Russia and Eurasia Program overseeing focus groups, public opinion surveys, and social marketing campaigns in Russia on a range of issues. Her current work, funded by The Rockefeller Foundation, in collaboration with the International Youth Foundation, centres on growing and supporting the generation that will demand and deliver the Sustainable Development Goals—Cohort 2030.

A member of the Council on Foreign Relations and the author of over 70 scholarly and public policy publications, Ambassador Mendelson received her BA in History from Yale University and her PhD in political science from Columbia University

Heinz College
Distinguished Service Professor of Public Policy and Head of Heinz College in Washington, DC

Ambassador Sarah E. Mendelson served as the US Representative to the Economic and Social Council at the United Nations until January 20, 2017. Confirmed by the Senate in October 2015, she was the USUN lead on international development, human rights, and humanitarian affairs. There she oversaw campaigns to get country-specific resolutions passed in the General Assembly and to get NGOs, including the Committee to Protect Journalists, accredited to the UN. She led efforts to elevate the issue of combating human trafficking and was senior lead for the President''s Summit on Refugees. Prior to her appointment as Ambassador, she served as a Deputy Assistant Administrator at USAID from 2010-2014 where she was the Agency lead on democracy, human rights, and governance. A long time policy entrepreneur, she has spent over two decades working on development and human rights as a scholar and practitioner including in Moscow with the National Democratic Institute, on the faculty of the Fletcher School at Tufts University, and over a decade as senior adviser and inaugural director of the Human Rights Initiative at the Center for Strategic and International Studies. There she also worked as a senior fellow in the Russia and Eurasia Program where she over saw focus groups, public opinion surveys, and social marketing campaigns in Russia on a range of issues. A member of the Council on Foreign Relations and the author of over 70 scholarly and public policy publications, Ambassador Mendelson received her BA in History from Yale University and her PhD in political science from Columbia University.

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