This biography is no longer current; at present, no other official U.S. Department of State biographical information is available.
Eric P. Schwartz was confirmed by the Senate as Assistant Secretary of State for Population, Refugees and Migration on June 19, 2009, and took the oath of office on July 8, 2009.
Prior to his appointment, Mr. Schwartz served as Executive Director of the Connect U.S. Fund, a foundation/NGO partnership focused on foreign policy and international affairs. From 2005 to 2007, he served as the UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan’s Deputy Special Envoy for Tsunami Recovery. In that role, he worked under the UN’s Special Envoy, former President Bill Clinton, to promote coordination, accountability to donors and beneficiaries, and best practices in the recovery effort. Before that appointment, Mr. Schwartz served as a lead expert for the Congressionally mandated Mitchell-Gingrich Task Force on United Nations Reform.
In 2003, Mr. Schwartz served at the UN Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights, after then-High Commissioner, Sergio Vieira de Mello asked him to join the organization. In the year following Vieira de Mello’s 2003 assassination in Baghdad, Mr. Schwartz served as second-ranking official at UNHCHR headquarters, overseeing a variety of planning and budget activities during an exceptionally difficult transition period. From 2001 through 2003, Mr. Schwartz held fellowships at the Woodrow Wilson Center, the U.S. Institute of Peace and the Council on Foreign Relations, completing articles and book chapters on peace operations, humanitarian issues, and refugee policy. As a senior fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations, he directed the Independent Task Force on Post-Conflict Iraq, working closely with Ambassador Thomas Pickering and Dr. James Schlesinger, co-chairs of the Task Force. During this period, he also served as a contributor to the Responsibility to Protect Project of the International Commission on Intervention and State Sovereignty.
From 1993 to 2001, Mr. Schwartz served at the National Security Council, ultimately as Senior Director and Special Assistant to the President for Multilateral and Humanitarian Affairs. He played a central role in managing Administration responses on a range of peacekeeping, humanitarian and refugee issues, including U.S. support for and involvement in the international, UN-mandated deployment in East Timor, the U.S. train and equip program for West African troops in Sierra Leone, the rescue of Kurdish refugees from Northern Iraq, the resettlement of Vietnamese boat people, the safe haven program for Haitian refugees and U.S. relief efforts in Central America and Kosovo.
From 1989 to 1993, Mr. Schwartz served as Staff Consultant to the U.S. House of Representatives Foreign Affairs Subcommittee on Asian and Pacific Affairs. Prior to his work on the Subcommittee, he served as Washington Director of the human rights organization Asia Watch (now known as Human Rights Watch-Asia). He holds a law degree from New York University School of Law, where he was a recipient of a Root-Tilden Scholarship for commitment to public service through law; a Master of Public Affairs degree (with a specialization in International Relations) from the Woodrow Wilson School at Princeton University (where he also taught periodically between 2001 and 2009); and a Bachelor of Arts degree, with honors, in Political Science from the State University of New York at Binghamton.