Ambassador Miriam Sapiro is Named the Inaugural Polis Distinguished Fellow at Duke’s Sanford School of Public Policy

Miriam Sapiro has been chosen as the inaugural Polis Distinguished Fellow at Sanford’s School of Public Policy at Duke University. Ambassador Sapiro brings to Duke a wealth of experience as a senior government official and business leader. She has led teams at the White House and the State Department that addressed foreign policy, national security and economic challenges around the world. She has extensive experience working in the private sector with companies and non-governmental organizations on crisis management and international policy issues.

“I am absolutely thrilled to be joining with colleagues at Sanford and the Polis Center to explore how we can help bridge differences in an increasingly polarized country and world. I am looking forward to hosting a series of discussions with students during the Spring 2022 semester that will examine some of the biggest challenges the United States faces in formulating an effective foreign policy and what the next generation of leaders can do to help address them. America’s strength is more than military power; it’s also the power of example that we offer as we build a more inclusive and equitable society here at home.”

-Ambassador Miriam Sapiro

“Bringing outstanding practitioners such as Ambassador Sapiro to the Sanford School is so exciting” said Dean Judith Kelley. “Our community and our students in particular will benefit tremendously from having access to Ambassador Sapiro’s phenomenal experience as a U.S. negotiator and diplomat. Kudos to Polis for launching this promising program and a big welcome to Ambassador Sapiro."

Dr. Deondra Rose, Director of Polis: Center for Politics, added that “It is a distinct privilege for Polis to host Ambassador Sapiro as our inaugural Distinguished Fellow. Ambassador Sapiro brings keen intellect and rich insights regarding both international and domestic policy choices. Moreover, she is uniquely positioned to inspire our students to think both critically and creatively about U.S. foreign policy goals and ways to achieve them.”

Ambassador Sapiro served as Acting and Deputy U.S. Trade Representative (USTR) during the Obama Administration. Her previous roles in the U.S. Government included working in the White House at the National Security Council as Special Assistant and Counselor to the President and as a Director of European Affairs. She began her career in the Office of the Legal Adviser at the State Department before joining the Secretary of State's Policy Planning Staff. In the latter role, she helped negotiate the Dayton Peace Accords that ended the war in Bosnia. She is the recipient of two Superior Honor Awards from the Department of State.

Ambassador Sapiro is a Managing Director at the communications firm Sard Verbinnen, and a Senior Advisor (non-resident) at the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS). She serves on the Supervisory Board of the Lufthansa Group, the Board of Directors of Project HOPE, the Advisory Board of Asia House, and the Panel of Conciliators of the International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes at the World Bank. She has taught international law as an Adjunct Professor at NYU School of Law, Georgetown University Law Center, and Columbia University’s School of International and Public Affairs. She graduated Phi Beta Kappa from Williams College with highest honors in Political Science and received her J.D. from NYU School of Law, where she was an editor of the Law Review. She attended St. Antony’s College, Oxford University, as a Rotary Fellow. She is a frequent commentator for major news outlets, including The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, Financial Times, The Washington Post, NPR, CNBC, CNN, Newsweek and Bloomberg.