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Ambassador Richard Butler-U.N.’s Former Chief Iraq Weapons Inspector-Joins Faculty of NYU Center for Global Affairs

September 15, 2008

NEW YORK September 12, 2008-Richard Butler, an Australian diplomat who served as the United Nations’ chief weapons inspector in Iraq during the 1990s, has joined the faculty of the NYU Center for Global Affairs at the New York University School of Continuing and Professional Studies (NYU-SCPS).

Butler has been appointed as NYU’s first “Global Diplomat in Residence.” An expert in nuclear arms control, disarmament, international security, and the United Nations, he will teach these and other topics in the graduate global affairs program and play an active part in the Center’s public events programs, beginning fall 2008.

“Richard Butler’s international stature, breadth of experience and erudition, and the example of engagement that his life’s work represents in advancing the well-being of our global polity are certain to make a positive contribution to the education and professional development of our students and the reputation of our program within the international community,” said NYU-SCPS Dean Robert Lapiner.

During his nearly 40-year diplomatic career, Butler has held numerous international posts for both the government of Australia and for the United Nations. From 1997-1999, he was appointed by UN Secretary General Kofi Annan and the Security Council to serve as executive chairman of the United Nations Special Commission to Disarm Iraq (UNSCOM). In the wake of the first Gulf War, Butler was responsible for direct negotiations with Saddam Hussein’s government to “destroy, remove, or render harmless” Iraq’s weapons of mass destruction.

“Richard Butler brings to NYU a wealth of experience from the world of global diplomacy, having conducted negotiations and formulated policy at the highest levels of national governments and international organizations,” said Vera Jelinek, divisional dean of the NYU Center for Global Affairs. “Further, his extensive experience as a communicator-as an author, broadcaster, and media commentator-provides a special dimension to our curriculum. We are privileged and delighted to have him with us.”

On his appointment, Ambassador Butler said, “In a world where the lament ‘where are the leaders’ is heard frequently, the NYU Center for Global Affairs is doing what counts most-providing knowledge and skills to young people who will become the leaders of the future. I am immensely pleased to make a contribution to this work.”

Other appointments held by Butler were as Australian Ambassador for Disarmament (Geneva), to Thailand, and to Cambodia. As well, he served as president of the UN Economic and Social Council, chair of the UN’s working group to create UNAIDS (a global program on HIV/AIDS), and chair of the Preparatory Committee for the 50th Anniversary of the United Nations, among many other positions.

Additionally, Butler is well known for his policy statements and papers and is the author of these books: The Greatest Threat: Iraq, Weapons of Mass Destruction, and the Crisis of Global Security (PublicAffairs 2000); Saddam Defiant: The Threat of Weapons of Mass Destruction and the Crisis of Global Security (Weidenfeld & Nicolson 2000); and Fatal Choice: Nuclear Weapons, Survival or Sentence (Basic Books 2001).

He holds a B.Ec. from the University of Sydney, an M.Ec. (international relations) from the Australian National University, and has been awarded multiple honorary doctorates. In 1988, he was made a Member of the Order of Australia (AM), for service to international peace and disarmament. And, in 2003, Butler was made a Companion of the Order of Australia (AC), that nation’s highest civilian honor.


About the Center for Global Affairs and the NYU School of Continuing and Professional Studies-The NYU Center for Global Affairs (scps.nyu.edu/globalaffairs), one of several comprehensive academic divisions within the New York University School of Continuing and Professional Studies (NYU-SCPS), offers graduate and continuing education programs in global affairs and hosts a series of vibrant public events on related topics. Established in 1934, NYU-SCPS is among the 14 colleges and schools that comprise New York University, one of the largest private research universities in the United States. Through its faculty, curricula, and vibrant professional and academic networks, NYU-SCPS captures the expertise of key sectors where New York leads globally: Real Estate; Hospitality, Tourism, and Sports Management; Global Affairs; Philanthropy; Communications Media, Publishing, Design, and Digital Arts; Business, Marketing, and Finance; and the Liberal and Applied Arts, among others. Rigorous and timely programs in these and related areas attract undergraduate and graduate students immersed in university life, working professionals in 14 graduate degrees, and New Yorkers of all backgrounds enrolled in approximately 2,500 continuing education courses, certificate programs, conferences, and seminars annually. NYU-SCPS is widely considered to be the most complete example of NYU’s founding commitment to be “In and Of the City”-and Of the World.

This Press Release is in the following Topics:
School of Continuing and Professional Studies

Type: Press Release

Press Contacts:
Christopher James | (212) 998-6876
Ken Brown | (212) 998-9119


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