Indiana University has named Lee Feinstein founding dean of its School of Global and International Studies. He is a former U.S. ambassador to the Republic of Poland and has served under two secretaries of state.

December 6, 2013

News Release

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. – Ambassador Lee A. Feinstein, whose experience includes two decades serving in high-level positions in diplomacy and foreign affairs, has been appointed founding dean of Indiana University’s School of Global and International Studies.

Feinstein, the U.S. ambassador to the Republic of Poland from 2009 to 2012, has had a distinguished career in and out of government. A noted scholar-practitioner, Feinstein has served two secretaries of state and a secretary of defense and has worked at the nation's top research institutes, including the Council on Foreign Relations and the Brookings Institution.

IU President Michael A. McRobbie praised the efforts of the search committee in helping attract a person who will bring extensive diplomatic and policymaking experience to the school. The School of Global and International Studies was approved by the IU Trustees in August 2012 and will be housed in a new state-of-the-art building that is under construction in the heart of the IU Bloomington campus.

“We have great ambitions for the school, and it was imperative that we find a dean whose experience, intellect and understanding of the complex world into which we are sending our students match our aspirations for the school,” said McRobbie, who has called the school's creation one of the most important developments in IU's nearly 200-year history. “Ambassador Feinstein's extensive background and indisputable success at the highest levels of diplomacy and international affairs speak for themselves and make him an ideal candidate to serve as the school's first dean.”

Feinstein was national security director to former Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton during her 2008 presidential campaign and then served as a senior foreign policy advisor to President Barack Obama during the general election. Feinstein was principal deputy director of policy planning to Secretary of State Madeleine Albright and was previously senior advisor on peacekeeping policy in the Office of the Secretary of Defense.

In Poland, Feinstein was at the helm of one of the largest U.S. embassies in the European Union. During his tenure, he signed an agreement to establish a U.S. Aviation Air Force Detachment in Poland, the first permanent U.S. military presence in the country. In October 2012 in Warsaw, President Bronislaw Komorowski awarded him the Commander’s Cross with the Star of the Order of Merit “for his outstanding contributions to Polish-American relations by strengthening cooperation between the Republic of Poland and the United States.”

“I am honored to be joining this dynamic and dedicated community of scholars and students,” Feinstein said. “And I am excited to be joining President McRobbie in establishing a world-class institution that will build on Indiana's proud tradition in international studies. At this time of global change, the world needs what this university has to offer.”

Lauren Robel, IU executive vice president and provost of the Bloomington campus, said Feinstein is the right person to lead the school's work to create academic programs that reflect and respond to the changing socio-political and economic realities of today's world.

“Ambassador Feinstein brings a deeply informed perspective on today's global and international issues,” Robel said. “His extensive foreign policy experience will enable him to orient School of Global and International Studies' programs and resources toward critical questions of global scope. Our students and scholars will benefit tremendously from the connections that he has formed throughout his distinguished career, and we are looking forward to seeing the new bridges and partnerships SGIS will form under his leadership.”

Larry Singell, executive dean of the College of Arts and Sciences, noted that Feinstein has accepted an ambitious assignment: Within five years, the university expects that the School of Global and International Studies will exceed the size and scope of nearly every international studies program in the country.

“Ambassador Feinstein's impressive record of engagement in diplomacy and international affairs and his scholarly knowledge of foreign policy issues will enable him to work effectively on behalf of the school in academic, government and professional sectors,” Singell said. “He has both the vision and experience necessary to marshal the College's considerable global and international resources and to launch IU’ s new school into the top tier.”

Lee Hamilton, a former longtime Indiana congressman who serves as a distinguished scholar at SGIS and professor of practice in the School of Public and Environmental Affairs, worked with Feinstein when Hamilton was chair of the House Foreign Affairs Committee and Feinstein worked at the Pentagon and later at the Council on Foreign Relations.

“In my dealings with Lee, he demonstrated an ability to work effectively across partisan lines,” said Hamilton, who is also director of the Center on Congress at Indiana University. “As staff director of a Council on Foreign Relations blue ribbon panel report on the United Nations, which I co-chaired, Lee was instrumental in setting a forward-looking agenda for the U.N. that called for closer cooperation among the world's democracies, an important idea that was ahead of its time. I have a high regard for Lee and look forward to working closely with him as he prepares to lead SGIS at this critical stage in its development.”

Former U.S. senator and current SGIS distinguished professor and professor of practice Richard Lugar has worked with Feinstein on issues related to nuclear arms reduction and also praised his appointment.

“Ambassador Feinstein is one of the leading arms control scholar-practitioners in Washington and has worked in government and the private sector in support of agreements that have improved our national security and helped to make the world a safer place,” Lugar said. “His intimate knowledge of the major global issues of the day makes him an ideal founding dean of SGIS.”

For decades, IU has been a leader in international studies, teaching more foreign languages than almost any other American institution of higher education and housing 11 federally funded Title VI area studies centers, more than any other university. About 70 languages are taught at IU Bloomington regularly, which is home to federally funded Language Flagship programs in Chinese, Turkish and Swahili, and National Language Resource Centers in African and Central Asian languages.

The new interdisciplinary School of Global and International Studies brings together these strengths and will draw upon internationally focused resources in other schools and departments at IU to expand international education opportunities for all students.

In April, IU broke ground on the $53 million Global and International Studies Building on the Bloomington campus. The four-story, 165,000-square-foot structure will serve the needs of 320 core faculty members with technologically advanced learning and research environments. The new building is expected to open in time for the 2015-16 academic school year.

Feinstein has written widely on foreign policy and national security. He is the author of “Means to an End: U.S. Interest and the International Criminal Court” (Brookings, 2009) with Tod Lindberg of the Hoover Institution. An international lawyer, Feinstein is an authority on “The Responsibility to Protect” and authored the Council on Foreign Relations report “Darfur and Beyond: What Is Needed to Prevent Mass Atrocities,” which was featured in the Emmy Award-winning multimedia council project “Crisis Guide-Darfur.” Feinstein is the author of num

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