The Arnold A. Saltzman Institute of War and Peace Studies and the SIPA Office of Alumni Affairs, School of International and Public Affairs present:

From SIPA to Statecraft: The Journey of an American Diplomat

A Discussion with Ambassador Nancy McEldowney, Director, Foreign Service Institute

Moderated by Richard Betts, Director, Arnold A. Saltzman Institute of War and Peace Studies

Amb. McEldowney will discuss how the Foreign Service Institute prepares diplomats for careers in foreign service and will also discuss her own distinguished career.  A question and answer period will follow her remarks.


Among many distinctions, Ambassador McEldowney received her M.A. from the School of International and Public Affairs at Columbia University. In February, 2013, she was appointed by U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry to her current position as Director of the Foreign Service Institute. In this role she oversees the education and professional development of America’s diplomats and U.S. Government foreign affairs professionals.

During her thirty-year career in the Foreign Service, Ambassador McEldowney served in a range of roles overseas and in Washington.  She was President and Senior Vice President of the National Defense University.  Ambassador McEldowney has also been the Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary in the Department of State’s Bureau of European and Eurasian Affairs and the White House Director of European Affairs on the National Security Council Staff.  Overseas, she served as U.S. Ambassador to the Republic of Bulgaria and as Chargé and Deputy Chief of Mission in Turkey and Azerbaijan.

Ambassador McEldowney holds degrees from New College, Columbia University, and the National War College.  She received her Masters of Arts from Columbia’s School of International and Public Affairs, where she studied at the Harriman Institute of Russian, Eurasian and Eastern European Studies.

Richard K. Betts is the Arnold A. Saltzman Professor of War and Peace Studies in the political science department, Director of the Saltzman Institute of War and Peace Studies, and Director of the International Security Policy program in the School of International and Public Affairs at Columbia University. He was Director of National Security Studies at the Council on Foreign Relations for four years and is now an adjunct Senior Fellow there. Previously he was a Senior Fellow at the Brookings Institution and adjunct Lecturer at the Johns Hopkins University’s Nitze School of Advanced International Studies. He also served at different times on the Harvard University faculty as Lecturer and Visiting Professor. He received his B.A., M.A., and Ph.D. in Government from Harvard.

A former staff member of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, the National Security Council, and the Mondale Presidential Campaign, Betts has been an occasional consultant to the National Intelligence Council and Departments of State and Defense, served on the Military Advisory Panel for three Directors of Central Intelligence in the 1990s and later on the External Advisory Board for the Director of the Central Intelligence Agency, and was a member of the National Commission on Terrorism. He lectures occasionally at schools such as the National War College, Foreign Service Institute, and service academies. He served briefly as an officer in the U.S. Army.

Betts’ first book, Soldiers, Statesmen, and Cold War Crises, originally published by Harvard University Press, was issued in a second edition by Columbia University Press. He is author of two other Columbia University Press books: Enemies of Intelligence and American Force; three books published by the Brookings Institution: Surprise Attack, Nuclear Blackmail and Nuclear Balance, and Military Readiness; coauthor and editor of three other Brookings books: The Irony of Vietnam, Nonproliferation and U.S. Foreign Policy, and Cruise Missiles; editor of Conflict After the Cold War, published by Pearson; and coeditor of Paradoxes of Strategic Intelligence, from Cass. Betts has published numerous articles on foreign policy, military strategy, intelligence, conventional forces, nuclear weapons, arms trade, collective security, strategic issues in Asia and Europe, terrorism, and other subjects in professional journals. His writings won five prizes, and he received the International Studies Association’s ISSS Distinguished Scholar Award in 2005 and MIT’s Doolittle Award in 2012.