Stephen W. Bosworth


Stephen W. Bosworth

  • Payne Distinguished Lecturer, Shorenstein Asia-Pacific Research Center, Freeman Spogli Institute for International Studies


Stephen W. Bosworth was a Payne Distinguished Lecturer at the Walter H. Shorenstein Asia-Pacific Research Center in Freeman Spogli Institute for International Studies. He was a Senior Fellow at The Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs at the John F. Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University. He was also the Chairman of the U.S.-Korea Institute at the Johns Hopkins University Paul H. Nitze School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS). From 2001-2013, he served as Dean of The Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University, where he then served as Dean Emeritus. He also served as the United States Ambassador to the Republic of Korea from 1997-2001.

From 1995-1997, Bosworth was the Executive Director of the Korean Peninsula Energy Development Organization [KEDO], an inter-governmental organization established by the United States, the Republic of Korea, and Japan to deal with North Korea. Before joining KEDO, he served seven years as President of the United States Japan Foundation, a private American grant-making institution. He also taught International Relations at Columbia University’s School of International and Public Affairs from 1990 to 1994. In 1993, he was the Sol Linowitz Visiting Professor at Hamilton College. He co-authored several studies on public policy issues for the Carnegie Endowment and the Century Fund, and, in 2006, he co-authored a book entitled Chasing the Sun, Rethinking East Asian Policy

Ambassador Bosworth had an extensive career in the United States Foreign Service, including service as Ambassador to Tunisia from 1979-1981 and Ambassador to the Philippines from 1984-1987. He served in a number of senior positions in the Department of State, including Director of Policy Planning, Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Inter-American Affairs, and Deputy Assistant Secretary for Economic Affairs. Most recently, from March 2009 through October 2011, he served as U.S. Special Representative for North Korea Policy for the Obama Administration. 

He was the recipient of many awards, including the American Academy of Diplomacy’s Diplomat of the Year Award in 1987, the Department of State’s Distinguished Service Award in 1976 and again in 1986, and the Department of Energy’s Distinguished Service Award in 1979. In 2005, the Government of Japan presented him with the Order of the Rising Sun, Gold and Silver Star. 

Bosworth was a graduate of Dartmouth College where he was a member of the Board of Trustees from 1992 to 2002 and served as Board Chair from 1996 to 2000. He was married to the former Christine Holmes; they have two daughters and two sons.


July 2016

Parting Observations on American Foreign Policy

cover link Parting Observations on American Foreign Policy

In The News

Bosworth 2010 HEADLINE

Career diplomat reflects, emphasizes complexity of statecraft

cover link Career diplomat reflects, emphasizes complexity of statecraft

Former ambassador explores U.S.-Asia relations at Stanford

cover link Former ambassador explores U.S.-Asia relations at Stanford