Award for Global Engagement

2014 Recipient

J. Brian Atwood
Professor and Chair of Global Policy, Former Dean
Humphrey School of Public Affairs

J. Brian Atwood has a long record of distinguished public service to the Humphrey School, the University of Minnesota, and the United States.

Following his early work in the U.S. Foreign Service, Professor Atwood served as diplomat, leader, educator, and mentor. He brought his unique public service experience and skills to the University of Minnesota when he became dean of the Humphrey School of Public Affairs in 2002. Professor Atwood raised the profile of the Humphrey School, enabling it to attract world-recognized practitioners and acknowledged experts to campus.

Professor Atwood has provided his colleagues and students the benefit of his global leadership and experience, which has propelled the Humphrey School and the University of Minnesota toward greater excellence in the area of global engagement. Under his leadership as dean, he established the Master of Development Practice, an interdisciplinary program that has added to the school’s global reputation. As dean and now professor, he is a tireless adviser for students, fellows, visiting scholars, and prospective students, and generously shares his wealth of knowledge and experience. Professor Atwood has also pushed the Humphrey School to become a place where solid research and teaching go hand-in-hand with the "real world" experience of practitioners.

A sought-after speaker, he has given invited presentations in five countries in the last four years. As a scholar, he has published in the National Defense University Journal, Foreign Affairs, Foreign Service Journal, New England Journal of Public Policy, and Huffington Post to name a few. He is also currently a senior fellow in the Global Economy and Development program at the Brookings Institution in Washington D.C.

In 2010 Professor Atwood took a leave of absence from the Humphrey School to assume the chair of the Development Assistance Committee of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), a notable position to which he was nominated by the U.S. government and unanimously elected by the 24 member states. As chair, he oversaw policies to promote economic growth and poverty reduction to improve the living standards in developing countries.

Professor Atwood has touched the lives of people around the globe, advocating for the U.S. to expand its role in the world as a sponsor of peace, democracy, and global economic justice. As an educator, he has ensured the University of Minnesota and the Humphrey School will prepare the next generation of professionals ready to meet the challenges of the world beyond our shores.