Visiting policy practitioners

Visiting adjunct professors of practice teach regular courses in our curriculum.

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The Ford School and Weiser Diplomacy Center engage expert senior practitioners for shorter-term instructional roles. Visiting adjunct professors of practice teach regular courses in our curriculum. For example, in spring 2020, Ambassador Richard Boucher and Carolyn Brehm co-taught a course on influence in foreign affairs. In fall 2020, Dr. Bama Athreya taught a course on gender, trade, and development. Visiting practitioners also teach shorter modules, simulations, and short courses. Recent visiting instructors include Carol Giacomo teaching a course on Writing Persuasively About International Relations and Ambassador (Ret.) Daniel Shields teaching a graduate course on U.S. Diplomacy in the Indo-Pacific. Stephen E. Biegun, former Deputy Secretary of State and U.S. Special Representative for North Korea taught a course on U.S. foreign policy and grand strategy in fall 2022. Ambassador (Ret.) Mark Pekala taught a course on U.S. Diplomacy in Europe in the second half of the winter 2023 term. 


Visiting policy practitioner

Stephen E. Biegun

Stephen E. Biegun is a Weiser International Policymaker in Residence with the Weiser Diplomacy Center at the University of Michigan's Gerald R. Ford School of Public Policy. He has more than three decades of international affairs experience in government and the private sector, including high-level government service with the Department of State, the White House, and the United States Congress. In 2021, Mr. Biegun concluded his most recent government service as the Deputy Secretary of State, to which he was confirmed by the Senate with a strong bipartisan vote of 90-3. Prior to that role, he served as U.S. Special Representative for North Korea, directing all U.S. policy on North Korea, leading negotiations, and spearheading U.S. diplomatic efforts on behalf of the Secretary of State.
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Headshot of Ambassador Dan Shields

Visiting policy practitioner

Ambassador (Ret.) Daniel Shields

Ambassador (Ret.) Daniel Shields consults, teaches courses and conducts simulations relating to diplomacy and U.S.-Asia relations. From 2015-18, while on detail from the U.S. State Department as the Diplomatic Advisor to the Commandant at the U.S. Army War College in Carlisle, Pennsylvania, he helped educate future strategic leaders on how to integrate the diplomatic, informational, military and economic (DIME) instruments of power to achieve national security objectives. He served as the U.S. Ambassador to Brunei from 2011-14, handling sensitive South China Sea-related issues in connection with Brunei’s hosting in 2013 of the various Summits involving the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN). Ambassador (Ret.) Shields led two other U.S. diplomatic Missions in Southeast Asia as Chargé d’Affaires.
Headshot of Carol Giacomo

Visiting policy practitioner

Carol Giacomo

Carol Giacomo, a former diplomatic correspondent for Reuters in Washington, covered foreign policy for the international wire service for more than two decades before joining the Times editorial board in August 2007. In her previous position, she traveled over 1 million miles to more than 100 countries with eight secretaries of state and various other senior U.S. officials. Her reporting for the editorial board involves regular independent overseas travel, including recent trips to North Korea, Iran and Myanmar. In 2009, she won the Georgetown University Weintal Prize for diplomatic reporting. She is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations. In 1999-2000, she was a senior fellow at the U.S. Institute of Peace, researching U.S. economic and foreign policy decision-making during the Asian financial crisis.

Visiting policy practitioner

Ambassador Mark Pekala

Ambassador Mark Pekala (BA Political Science '81) has served as Deputy Chief of Mission (DCM) in Paris, DCM in Tallinn, Deputy Assistant Secretary (DAS) in the State Department’s Bureau of European and Eurasian Affairs, and Senior Director for Russian Affairs on the National Security Council staff. From 1998 to 1999, Ambassador Pekala was a Rusk Fellow at Georgetown University, teaching graduate seminars on U.S.-Russian relations and European security. Ambassador Pekala has received nine State Department Superior Honor Awards, seven Senior Performance Awards, two Meritorious Honor Awards, the W. Averell Harriman Award, and the Matilda W. Sinclaire Language Award. From the Government of Estonia, he received the Order of the Cross of Terra Mariana, Third Class, and he received Latvia’s highest state decoration, the Order of the Three Stars.
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