An AFS student in Luxembourg, Atwood has chaired the AFS International Board of Trustees. He served as the Head of the world’s largest bilateral foreign aid agency, the US Agency for International Development and has chaired the OECD Development Assistance Committee. He has been a professor at Harvard, Brown and dean of the Hubert Humphrey School at the University of Minnesota. He believes that the key to world peace is intercultural understanding foreign relations.
Brian Atwood is a Visiting Scholar of International Studies and Public Affairs at Brown University’s Thomas Watson Institute for International Studies, and Professor Emeritus at the University of Minnesota’s Hubert H Humphrey School of Public Affairs. From 2010 to 2012, Atwood was the member-elected Chair of the Development Assistance Committee of the Organization of Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD). He was dean of the Humphrey School from 2002 to 2010. Atwood led the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) during the Administration of President William Clinton serving as its Administrator for six and one half years. He earlier led the Clinton-Gore transition team at the State Department in 1992, and was Under Secretary of State for Management prior to his appointment as head of USAID. During the Carter Administration Atwood was Assistant Secretary of State for Congressional Relations. In 2001, Atwood served on UN Secretary General Kofi Annan’s Panel on Peace Operations. Atwood was the first President of the National Democratic Institute for International Affairs (NDI) (1986 to 1993). He received the Secretary of State’s Distinguished Service Award in 1999. He has served as Chair of the AFS International Board of Trustees.