February 21, 2021 The Institute mourns the passing of long-time Institute member Professor Edward C. Luck, the Arnold A. Saltzman Professor of International and Public Affairs, Director of SIPA’s degree specialization in International Conflict Resolution, and more recently,  Director of the Kent Global Leadership Program on Conflict Resolution.

Professor Luck was a deeply valued member the Institute and the Columbia University community for more than 50 years. He led an exemplary career as a scholar-practitioner in the finest tradition of our academic community. He was among the world’s foremost experts on international conflict and the workings of the United Nations system, particularly the UN Security Council.


Edward C. Luck MIA ’72, who served from 2008 to 2012 as United Nations assistant secretary-general and special advisor to Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, has joined the Saltzman Institute as the Arnold A. Saltzman Professor of Professional Practice in International and Public Affairs. Luck, who previously held a professorship of professional practice at SIPA from 2001 through 2010, will also direct SIPA’s specialization in international conflict resolution.

While serving as special advisor to the UN Secretary-General, Luck was instrumental in developing and implementing the doctrine of the Responsibility to Protect (R2P), which underscores the responsibility of the international community, as well as the state, to prevent and halt genocide and other mass atrocities. He is currently developing the parallel principle of the individual responsibility to protect (IR2P).

A leading expert on the UN Security Council, UN reform, and US relations with the world body, Luck previously served as senior vice president of the International Peace Institute, a New-York based policy research center, and as president and CEO of the United Nations Association of the USA. He has taught at Sciences Po in Paris and at Princeton University, as well as directing an NYU-Princeton research center and serving as a dean at the University of San Diego.

Luck is the author or editor of five books and hundreds of chapters, reports, and scholarly articles. A second edition of his most recent book, The UN Security Council: Practice and Promise, is scheduled for publication in spring 2016. Luck has advised numerous countries around the world, U.S. government agencies, and foundations, as well as a number of UN secretaries-general and presidents of the General Assembly. He is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations, the Century Association, and the boards of several non-profit organizations.

A native of Illinois, Luck received an AB from Dartmouth College. In addition to his MIA at SIPA, he earned the Certificate of the Russian institute and a PhD in Political Science from Columbia.


The UN Security Council: Practice and Promise (Abingdon, UK: Routledge, 2016).