U.S. State Department

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President Obama Nominates Lawrence University Alumnus for U.S. Ambassadorship

The White House has announced Lawrence University graduate Walter North has been nominated by President Obama as U.S. Ambassador to Papua New Guinea, the Solomon Islands and the Republic of Vanuatu.

Walter North '72

A 1972 graduate of Lawrence originally from Mount Hermon, Mass., North is a career member of the Senior Foreign Service and currently serves as Mission Director for the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) in Egypt.  He previously served as USAID Mission Director in Indonesia (2007-2011); India (2000-2004); and Zambia (1996-2000), as well as Deputy Mission Director in Ethiopia (1992-1996).

North’s positions at USAID’s Washington headquarters have included interim assistant administrator for the Bureau for Africa (2006-2007); deputy assistant administrator for the Bureau for Policy and Program Coordination (2005-2006); and deputy assistant administrator for the Bureau for Asia and the Near East (2004-2005).

Prior to joining USAID in 1980, North was a project manager for the non-profit, humanitarian organization, CARE in India and Bangladesh, and a Peace Corps Volunteer in Ethiopia.

After earning a bachelor’s degree in theatre-drama at Lawrence, North earned a juris doctor degree from George Washington University Law School and a master of public administration degree from Harvard University.

Christopher Murray, a 1975 Lawrence graduate, is currently the U.S. Ambassador to the Republic of the Congo. David Mulford, a 1959 Lawrence graduate, served as U.S. Ambassador to India from 2004-2009. Shaun Donnelly, a 1968 Lawrence graduate, served as U.S. Ambassador to Sri Lanka from 1997-2000.  From the U.S. Embassy in Colombo, Sri Lanka, Donnelly concurrently served as non-resident U.S. Ambassador to the Republic of the Maldives.

About Lawrence University
Founded in 1847, Lawrence University uniquely integrates a college of liberal arts and sciences with a world-class conservatory of music, both devoted exclusively to undergraduate education. Ranked among America’s best colleges by Forbes, it was selected for inclusion in the book “Colleges That Change Lives: 40 Schools That Will Change the Way You Think About College.” Individualized learning, the development of multiple interests and community engagement are central to the Lawrence experience. Lawrence draws its 1,450 students from nearly every state and more than 50 countries. Follow Lawrence on Facebook.

Former U.S. Ambassador, Visiting Scarff Professor Discusses Status, Future of Eastern Europe

With the perspective of a 35-year career as a U.S. foreign service officer, former Ambassador Rudolf Perina shares his insights on the current state of affairs and prospects for the future for Eastern Europe in the opening address of the 2010-11 Povolny Lecture Series in International Studies.

Perina presents “Europe’s Post-Cold War Conflicts: The Prospects for Peace in the Successor States to Yugoslavia and the Soviet Union,” Monday, Nov. 8 at 7 p.m. in the Wriston Art Center auditorium. The event is free and open to the public.

Ambassador Rudolph Perina

Drawing upon his experiences as head of the U.S. Embassy in Belgrade in the mid-1990s and as U.S. Special Negotiator for Eurasian Conflicts from 2001-04, Perina will discuss the major regional wars — the Bosnia and Kosovo conflicts in Yugoslavia, the Transnistria conflict in what is now Moldova, the Abkhazia conflict in Georgia, and the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict between Armenia and Azerbaijan — which accompanied” the break-up of Yugoslavia and the Soviet Union.

The talk also will explore what the conflicts shared in common and examine the prospects for the future given the varying degrees of stalemate and uneasy truce that exists in the region.

Perina is spending the fall term teaching in the Lawrence government department as the Distinguished Visiting Scarff Professor. The professorship was established in 1989 by Edward and Nancy Scarff in memory of their son, Stephen, a member of the Lawrence class of 1975, who died in an automobile accident in 1984. It brings civic leaders and scholars to Lawrence to provide broad perspectives on the central issues of the day.

Born in Tabor, Czechoslovakia, four months before the end of World War II in Europe, Perina immigrated to the United States with his family in 1951. Growing up in New York, Cleveland and Seattle, he graduated from the University of Chicago and earned a Ph.D. in European history from Columbia University. Inspired by German-born Henry Kissinger, he joined the U.S. Department of State in 1974, specializing in Russian, East European, German and NATO affairs.

During his career, he served in Moscow, Berlin and Brussels and spent 1998-2001 as the U.S. Ambassador to the Republic of Moldova.

Perina retired from the U.S. foreign service in 2006, but continues to accept occasional assignments from the state department. Earlier this year he served two months as the Chargé d’Affaires at the U.S Embassy in Reykjavik, Iceland.

Other career appointments include:
• U.S. Embassy in Ottawa (1975-76)
• State Department NATO desk (1976-78)
• U.S. Embassy in Moscow (1979-81)
• U.S. Mission in Berlin, 1981-85,
• U.S. Mission to NATO in Brussels, 1985-87
• Director, European and Soviet Affairs, National Security Council staff, 1987-89
• Deputy Chairman, U.S. Delegation to the Vienna Negotiations on Confidence & Security Building Measures in Europe, 1989-1992
• Chief of Mission at the U.S. Embassy in Belgrade, 1993-96
• Senior Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for European and Canadian Affairs, 1996-97
• Deputy Director, State Department’s Policy Planning Staff, 2004-06
• Chargé d’Affaires, U.S Embassy, Chisinau, Moldova, 2006
• Chargé d’Affaires, U.S Embassy, Yerevan, Armenia, 2007
• Senior State Department inspector, 2008