Douglas Davidson, a member of the Senior Foreign Service, became Special Envoy for Holocaust Issues in April 2010. As such he is responsible for developing and implementing U.S. policy pertaining to the return of Holocaust-era assets to their rightful owners, compensation for wrongs committed during the Holocaust, and Holocaust remembrance.
From 2004 to 2008 Davidson was Head of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe’s (OSCE) Mission to Bosnia and Herzegovina. This 600-person mission worked to strengthen human rights and rule of law, to return displaced persons and refugees to their pre-war homes, and to help build the institutions of democracy.
From 2001 to 2004, Davidson was Deputy U.S. Representative to the OSCE in Vienna. In that capacity he participated in a number of multilateral negotiations, including those that led to the first OSCE Conference on Anti-Semitism in 2003.
His other overseas diplomatic assignments have included Kosovo (also on detail to the OSCE) in the immediate aftermath of its most recent conflict; Zagreb and Belgrade from the end of the war in former Yugoslavia to the eve of the NATO bombing campaign against Serbia; and Peshawar in the early nineteen-eighties during the Soviet-Afghan war. From late 1989 until early 1993 he was an Assistant Press Secretary for Foreign Affairs at the White House.
He has also been a Distinguished Visiting Transatlantic Fellow at the German Marshall Fund of the United States. He was most recently Senior State Department Advisor to the U.S. Commission on Security and Cooperation in Europe (“the Helsinki Commission”).
Davidson holds a B.A. from Lawrence University and an A.M. from Brown University, both in Classics. From 2000 to 2001 he was a member of the Senior Seminar, the State Department’s executive leadership and management training program.