Council on Foreign Relations president named commencement speaker

Wednesday, March 23, 2016
Richard Haass is UNH's 2016 commencement speaker

Council on Foreign Relations President Richard Haass will speak at commencement in May.

Richard Haass, the U.S. envoy to the most recent Northern Ireland peace process and currently the president of the Council on Foreign Relations, will deliver the University of New Hampshire commencement address on Saturday, May 21.

Haass is in his 13th year as president of the Council on Foreign Relations, an independent, nonpartisan organization dedicated to helping people better understand the foreign policy choices facing the United States and other countries. During his tenure he served as chair of the multi-party negotiations in Northern Ireland that provided the foundation for the 2014 Stormont House Agreement and as U.S. coordinator for policy on the future of Afghanistan.

For his efforts to promote peace and conflict resolution, he received the 2013 Tipperary International Peace Award.

Prior to the Council on Foreign Relations, Haass was director of policy planning for the Department of State, where he served as principal adviser to Secretary of State Colin Powell.

From 1989 to 1993 he was special assistant to President George H.W. Bush and senior director for Near East and South Asian affairs on the staff of the National Security Council. In 1991 he was awarded the Presidential Citizens Medal for his contributions to the development and articulation of U.S. policy during operations Desert Shield and Desert Storm.

A Rhodes scholar, Haass earned his bachelor’s in Middle Eastern studies from Oberlin College and master and doctor of philosophy degrees in international relations from Oxford University.