Distinguished Professor in the Practice of Diplomacy
Cynthia P. Schneider teaches, publishes, and organizes initiatives in the field of cultural diplomacy, with a focus on relations with the Muslim world. For the Brookings Institution she leads the Arts and Culture Initiative within the Saban Center for Middle East Policy. The Initiative’s activities include research, convening meetings in the U.S. and abroad and catalyzing projects, such as the Muslims on Screen and Television Initiative (MOST), which Schneider co-directs, and which provides valuable resources and accurate information on Islam and Muslims for the U.S. entertainment community. Dr. Schneider also has consulted in the area of cultural diplomacy for ADACH (Abu Dhabi Authority for Culture and Heritage).
Professor Schneider teaches courses in Diplomacy and Culture in the School of Foreign Service at Georgetown University, where, from1984-2005, she was a member of the art history faculty, and published on Rembrandt and seventeenth century Dutch art. She also organized exhibitions at the National Gallery of Art and the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston.
Dr. Schneider publishes and speaks frequently on topic related to arts, culture, and media and international affairs, particularly the Muslim world. Her writings range from blogs for the Huffington Post and CNN.com to policy papers for the Brookings Institution. She held a Research Fellowship from the USC Center on Public Diplomacy to write a policy paper, 'Public Diplomacy and Culture in Afghanistan and Pakistan.'
Her talks include a TED presentation on the global impact of American Idol, as well as speeches on the role of arts and culture in the U.S. –Islamic world relationship in venues from Kurdistan to Cairo.
From 1998-2001 she served as U.S. Ambassador to the Netherlands, during which time she led initiatives in cultural diplomacy, biotechnology, cyber security, and education. In 2001 she was awarded the Office of the Secretary of Defense Exceptional Public Service Award (highest civilian award given by Pentagon, in recognition of support for the U.S. military during ambassadorship).
Dr. Schneider serves on the Board of Directors of Wesley Theological Seminary and Imagine Schools, and the Advisory Boards of the Institute of Cultural Diplomacy, the Sustainable Preservation Initiative, Books Without Borders, and Singapore Technologies Telemedia (ST Telemedia) Eircom Advisory Board. Schneider received her B.A. and Ph.D. from Harvard University.
- Ph.D. (1984) Harvard University , Fine Arts
- BA Magna cum Laude (1977) Harvard University , Fine Arts