Barbara K. Bodine
Director, Scholars in the Nation's Service Initiative
Ambassador Barbara K. Bodine is lecturer in public and international affairs and Director of the Scholars in the Nation's Service Initiative, an innovative program at the Woodrow Wilson School that encourages and supports students committed to careers in career federal public service through scholarships, intensive language training, internships, fellowships and mentoring. She lectures on US diplomacy in the Persian Gulf region and on Yemen.
Ms. Bodine's over 30 years in the US Foreign Service were spent primarily on Arabian Peninsula and greater Persian Gulf issues, specifically US bilateral and regional policy, strategic security issues, counterterrorism, and governance and reform. Her tour as Ambassador to the Republic of Yemen 1997-2001, saw enhanced support for democratization and increased security and counterterrorism cooperation, the establishment of a coast guard, resumption of Fulbright scholarships for Yemeni students, initiation of a $40 million/year economic assistance and development program, and an indigenous landmine awareness and demining program. Ms. Bodine also served in Baghdad as Deputy Principal Officer during the Iran-Iraq War, in Kuwait as Deputy Chief of Mission during the Iraqi invasion and occupation of 1990-1991, and again, seconded to the Department of Defense, in Iraq in 2003 as the senior State Department official and the first coalition coordinator for reconstruction in Baghdad and the central governorates.
In addition to several assignments in the State Department's Bureau of Near Eastern Affairs, she was Associate Coordinator for Counterterrorism Operations and subsequently acting overall Coordinator for Counterterrorism, Director of East African Affairs, Dean of the School of Professional Studies at the Foreign Service Institute, and Senior Adviser for International Security Negotiations and Agreements in the Bureau of Political-Military Affairs.
Since leaving the government, Ambassador Bodine has been Senior Research Fellow and Director of the Governance Initiative in the Middle East at the Kennedy School, Harvard University, Fellow at the School's Center for Public Leadership and Institute of Politics, and the Robert Wilhelm Fellow at MIT's Center for International Studies. She also taught at the University of California, Santa Barbara, lectures at universities and civic groups across the country and abroad, and is a frequent media commentator.
Ambassador Bodine is the recipient of a number of awards, including the Secretary's Award for Valor for her work in occupied Kuwait, the Secretary's Career Achievement Award and Distinguished Service Award, the Distinguished Alumni Award from UC Santa Barbara and from the Fletcher School, and has been recognized for her work by other agencies. She is past President of the Mine Awareness Group, America, a global NGO that provides technical expertise for the removal of remnants of conflict worldwide.
Ms. Bodine is a graduate of the University of California, Santa Barbara, Phi Beta Kappa and magna cum laude, and the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy. She is a Regent Emerita of the University of California.