Dr. Richard Ponzio joins The Hague Institute in March 2014 as Head of the Global Governance Program. He is formerly a Senior Adviser in the U.S. State Department’s Office of the Special Representative for Afghanistan and Pakistan, where he conceptualized and coordinated Secretary Hillary Clinton’s and later John Kerry’s New Silk Road initiative.
Earlier, as a Senior Strategy and Policy Officer in the State Department’s Bureau of Conflict and Stabilization Operations, he researched and advised fragile states on post-conflict governance and economic reform, authored a UN engagement strategy, and co-initiated a global network of peacebuilding organizations and practitioners.
Dr. Ponzio brings expertise in the areas of global and national democratic institution-building, global political economy, and security sector reform. His policy research interests span the role of international institutions in responding to state fragility, global financial volatility, and population displacement.
From 1999-2009, Dr. Ponzio served in a variety of senior policy and strategic planning positions for the United Nations in Afghanistan, Kosovo, Pakistan, Sierra Leone, the Solomon Islands, and New York. As a Senior Policy Analyst for the UN Peacebuilding Support Office, he authored and coordinated studies for the UN Peacbuilding Commission on strategic frameworks and transition planning, as well as supported the Secretary-General’s Report on Peacebuilding in the Immediate Aftermath of Conflict (2009) and the International Dialogue on Peacebuilding and Statebuilding.
Dr. Ponzio co-authored South Asia (1998, 1999), Global (2001, 2002), Kosovo (2004), and Afghanistan (2007) Human Development Reports. From 1997-1999, Dr. Ponzio was a Visiting Fulbright Fellow at the Mahbub ul Haq Human Development Centre in Islamabad, where his research focused on the governance-security-development nexus in South Asia.
He joined the Academic Council on the United Nations System (ACUNS) in 1993, has presented at several ACUNS Annual Meetings, and participated in the 2006 ACUNS/ASIL Summer Workshop for Young Scholars. Dr. Ponzio led or co-organized UN Charter Review Conference Simulations at Columbia University (1992 and 1993), international student conferences at the World Bank and IMF (1994) and on the UN in San Francisco (1995), The Fletcher Roundtable on a New World Order (1996), and The North-South Roundtables in 1998, 2000, 2002, and 2007. He has taught United Nations studies at the graduate level and has guest lectured at several leading international universities.
Dr. Ponzio has published widely in academic journals (including Global Governance), edited volumes, newspapers, UN policy reports, and monographs, including Democratic Peacebuilding: Aiding Afghanistan and other Fragile States (OUP, 2011). He completed his doctorate in politics and international relations at the University of Oxford and undertook earlier studies at The Fletcher School of Law & Diplomacy, The Graduate Institute for International Studies-Geneva, and Columbia University.