Hugh Dugan is the Principal Deputy Special Presidential Envoy for Hostage Affairs and a member of the U.S. Senior Executive Service. As a political appointee of the Trump Administration, he advances U.S. national interests through diplomatic measures to secure the recovery of Americans held captive overseas and to dis-incentivize hostage-taking. This involves leadership and coordination among foreign entities, the White House’s Hostage Response Group, and the all-of-government Hostage Recovery Fusion Cell at the FBI.
Mr. Dugan served in the U.S. diplomatic corps with distinction as U.S. Delegate to the United Nations and as Senior Adviser to eleven U.S. Ambassadors to the UN. One of history’s longest-serving delegates there from 1989 to 2015, Mr. Dugan promoted U.S. national interests creatively and boldly, strengthening U.S. participation and effectiveness at the UN. Having witnessed 911 personally, he was recruited as senior fellow to the U.S. Senate Foreign Relations Committee’s Subcommittee on International Operations and Terrorism for the year 2002. Prior postings included the State Department’s Bureau of Economic and Business Affairs, the American Consulate General in Bermuda, and the American Embassy in Mexico City. His negotiation expertise and creativity on a wide variety of issues were recognized by the State Department through five awards and commendations.
A noted professor of practice on the UN Security Council, Mr. Dugan held the Sharkey Distinguished Visiting Scholar Chair at Seton Hall University’s School of Diplomacy from 2015-2018. He appeared frequently on television and major media with original commentary on international topics. Since 1992 the International Olympic Committee has collaborated with Mr. Dugan for reviving and promoting the Olympic Truce for the modern era for which he was awarded its Médaille Centenaire. In the arts, he oversaw the production of the ground-breaking International Illustrated Encyclopedia of Dance (6-volumes, Oxford University Press). Mr. Dugan has consulted pro-bono for major cancer treatment-related organizations. He served as chair of the largest membership YMCA in New York City. He has held various civic leadership roles and is sought out as a key thought and opinion leader.
Mr. Dugan earned degrees and honors from the School of Foreign Service at Georgetown University (BSFS), the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy (MALD) as S. Pinkney Tuck Fellow, the Wharton School of Business (MBA) as a State Department Fellow, and the International Olympic Academy (Olympia, Greece). He resides with his family in Washington DC, Princeton, New Jersey, and Southampton, New York.