SFS Welcomes 2017-2018 Centennial Fellows

The Walsh School of Foreign Service is pleased to announce the 2017-2018 Centennial Fellows: Nasser S. Judeh, the former Minister of Foreign Affairs in Jordan (2009-2017); Anne C. Richard, former U.S. Assistant Secretary of State for Population, Refugees and Migration (2012-2017); Richard Verma, former U.S. Ambassador to India (2014-2017), and Claudia Escobar, former magistrate of the Court of Appeals of Guatemala and respected legal scholar.

The SFS Centennial Fellows Program brings important global practitioners to Georgetown for a one-semester residency. Fellows will be participating in events for the Georgetown community, making their expertise available to classes, interacting with Georgetown alumni, and holding office hours for students. Additionally, they will work directly with a small cohort of SFS students who are chosen as Junior Fellows. The 2017-2018 fellows specialize in a wide range of important global issues, and will bring their experience as practitioners to The Hilltop.

“We are honored to have such a distinguished group of foreign affairs practitioners joining us on the Hilltop as SFS Centennial Fellows this year. We look forward to sharing their expertise and experience with SFS students and the entire Georgetown community,” says Anthony Clark Arend, Senior Associate Dean for Faculty and Graduate Affairs.


The Honorable Nasser S. Judeh (SFS’83, P’18) — Fall 2017

Nasser JudehSenator Nasser S. Judeh was appointed to the Senate of the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan on July 9th, 2017. He served as Minister of Foreign Affairs from 2009 to 2017 as well as Deputy Prime Minister from 2015 to 2017. Upon leaving office on January 15th, 2017, Minister Judeh was the longest serving Foreign Minister in Jordan’s history. Nasser Judeh had previously held cabinet positions serving as Minister of Information (1998 to 1999), Minister of State for Media and Communications (2007 to 2009) and official spokesman for the government of Jordan (1998-1999, 2005 to 2007 and 2007-2009).

During his time in office as Foreign Minister, Judeh helped promote Jordan’s bilateral relations with many countries and participated in numerous regional and international conferences. He presided over the United Nations Security Council several times during Jordan’s two year membership on the Council in 2015 and 2016 Jordan also held the presidency of the 143rd Arab League ministerial council for six months in 2015.

Nasser Judeh worked, and continues to work tirelessly and passionately to address the key challenges facing the Middle East today and the world; the pursuit of peace between Palestinians and Israelis; finding a political solution in war-ravaged Syria and dealing with the danger and threat of radicalisation, extremism and global terrorism. In office, he advocated His Majesty King Abdullah’s vision of peace and dialogue on regional and international issues, and in explaining the true message of Islam as a religion of peace and acceptance.

Earlier in his career, Judeh was the Director General of the Jordan Radio and Television Corporation (the national broadcaster) (1994–1998) and served in the Royal Hashemite Court (1985–1992), with His Majesty the late King Hussein’s, and Crown Prince Hassan. He established and directed the Jordan Information Bureau in London 1992-1994.

On September 13, 2017 he was invited by the UN Secretary-General, Antonio Guterres to join the High-Level Advisory Board on Mediation comprising 18 “internationally-recognized personalities who will bring experience and skills, deep knowledge and extensive contacts to this extremely important task”. The new board will contribute to the new initiative proposed by the Secretary General in this regard.

Judeh graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Foreign Service from the Walsh School of Foreign Service at Georgetown University. Nasser Judeh has four children;  Tariq and Zein el Sharaf (twins born in 1994), Ali (born in 1996) and Sukayna (born in 1998).

Ambassador Richard Verma (L’98)— Fall 2017

Ambassador Richard VermaRichard Verma is Vice Chairman and Partner at The Asia Group and co-chairs the Center for American Progress’ U.S.-India Task Force. He previously served as the U.S. Ambassador to India (2014-2017), where he led one of the largest U.S. diplomatic missions and championed historic progress in bilateral cooperation on defense, trade, and clean energy. Ambassador Verma also oversaw an unprecedented nine meetings between President Obama and Prime Minister Modi – leading to over 100 new initiatives and more than 40 government-to-government dialogues. Ambassador Verma was previously the Assistant Secretary of State for Legislative Affairs and served for many years as the Senior National Security Advisor to the Senate Majority Leader. He was a member of the WMD and Terrorism Commission and a co-author of their landmark report, “World at Risk.” He is a veteran of the U.S. Air Force, and his military decorations include the Meritorious Service Medal and Air Force Commendation Medal. Ambassador Verma is the recipient of the State Department’s Distinguished Service Award, the Council on Foreign Relations International Affairs Fellowship, and was ranked by India Abroad as one of the 50 most influential Indian Americans. He holds degrees from the Georgetown University Law Center (LLM), American University’s Washington College of Law (JD), and Lehigh University (BS).

Claudia Escobar— Fall 2017

Dr. Claudia Escobar is a former magistrate of the Court of Appeals of Guatemala. Reelected in 2014 to a second term, she resigned due to executive and legislative interference in the judiciary and relocated to the United States owing to intimidation back home. Escobar, was born when the internal armed conflict started in Guatemala. The civil war lasted more than 36 years. Having grown up in a region mark by impunity, corruption and violence, she has dedicated her life to work for the respect of law and justice. She is also a respected legal scholar, who has taught at Guatemalan universities. In addition, she is founder of the Judiciary Institute and the Association for the Development of Democratic Institutionality and Comprehensive Development for Central America – Asociación FIDDI-, two organizations dedicated to promoting the rule of law in Guatemala. Dr. Escobar obtained her Phd at the Universidad Autónoma de Barcelona, her law degree at the Universidad Francisco Marroquín in Guatemala and did college in Louisiana State University. During 2015 – 2016 she was a fellow at Harvard University, becoming the first Central American to be awarded a fellowship at the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study.

Anne C. Richard (SFS’82)— Spring 2018

Anne Richard served as the Assistant Secretary of State for Population, Refugees and Migration in the Obama Administration (2012-2017). Previously, she was Vice President of Government Relations and Advocacy for the International Rescue Committee. In addition to the State Department, she served at Peace Corps Headquarters and the U.S. Office of Management and Budget earlier in her career. She has enjoyed fellowships from the Council on Foreign Relations and the Robert Bosch Stiftung. Ms. Richard is a graduate of Georgetown University’s School of Foreign Service and has a Master’s degree in Public Policy Studies from the University of Chicago. Since leaving office in January, 2017, she has taught at Georgetown University and been a visiting fellow at the University of Pennsylvania’s Perry World House.