Deborah E. Lipstadt was confirmed by the U.S. Senate on March 30, 2022 as the Special Envoy to Monitor and Combat Antisemitism, with the rank of Ambassador. As Special Envoy, she leads efforts to advance U.S. foreign policy to counter antisemitism throughout the world.
Special Envoy Lipstadt has a storied career as a historian, academic, and author. At Emory University’s Tam Institute for Jewish Studies, which she helped to found, she served as the Dorot Professor of Modern Jewish History and Holocaust Studies. She has also taught at the University of Washington, UCLA and Occidental College. Special Envoy Lipstadt also served as the director of the Brandeis-Bardin Institute and was a research fellow at the Vidal Sassoon International Center for the Study of Antisemitism at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem.
Her numerous, award-winning books include: The Eichmann Trial; Denial: Holocaust History on Trial; Denying the Holocaust: The Growing Assault on Truth and Memory; and Beyond Belief: The American Press and the Coming of the Holocaust, 1933-1945. She received the National Jewish Book Award three times, most recently in 2019 for Antisemitism: Here and Now. Her biographical study of Golda Meir will be published by Yale University Press in 2023.
Special Envoy Lipstadt is probably best known for having been sued for libel by David Irving, one of the world’s leading Holocaust deniers. The case, which lasted for six years and was heard in court in a twelve-week trial, resulted in Irving being declared by the court to be “a right wing polemicist,” who engages in antisemitism, racism, and misogyny. That trial was depicted in the 2016 film Denial, which was based on her book History on Trial: My Day in Court with a Holocaust Denier.
Special Envoy Lipstadt was a historical consultant to the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, helping design the section of the Museum dedicated to the American Response to the Holocaust. She has held a Presidential appointment to the United States Holocaust Memorial Council (from Presidents Clinton and Obama) and was asked by President George W. Bush to represent the White House at the 60th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz.
Special Envoy Lipstadt holds a BA from the City College of New York and an MA and PhD from Brandeis University.