Centennial Fellow


Georgetown University’s Walsh School of Foreign Service is pleased to announce the appointment of Ambassador Mark P. Lagon as SFS Centennial Fellow and Distinguished Senior Scholar. Lagon most recently served as President of Freedom House, an international nonprofit devoted to research and programs advancing human rights and democratic governance.

Lagon is the first appointment in the Centennial Fellows program in which Dean Joel Hellman will bring prominent thought leaders and practitioners in residence to Georgetown, in honor of the coming 100th anniversary of the SFS in 2019-2020. “Our Centennial Fellow program will bring exceptional intellectual engagement and mentorship to SFS students, both undergraduate and graduate, and will enrich the dialogue in our community and in Washington, D.C.,” Dean Hellman said. “Ambassador Lagon brings to SFS unique experience in practice and scholarship on critical human rights issues.”

His work will focus on writing and convening stakeholders around the topics of his 2014 book Human Dignity and the Future of Global Institutions, co-authored with Senior Associate Dean Anthony Clark Arend. He will also help launch a lecture series on ethics, international law, and human rights, and teach classes on global institutions and the United Nations.

Lagon previously served at the U.S. Department of State as Ambassador-At-Large to Combat Trafficking in Persons, Deputy Assistant Secretary for International Organizations, and a member of Secretary Colin Powell’s Policy Planning Staff. He worked on Capital Hill as a senior staffer at the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. In addition to Freedom House, Lagon has also been CEO of the anti-trafficking nonprofit, Polaris. Lagon is the winner of the 2015 Louis B. Sohn Award of the United Nations Association’s National Capital Area chapter, its highest honor for career contributions in human rights.

Lagon has deep Georgetown roots, having received his Ph.D. from Georgetown in 1991 and serving as Concentration Chair for Global Politics and Security in the Master of Science in Foreign Service Program from 2010 to 2104. “At the nexus of analysis, ethics, and practice,” explained Professor Arend, “Ambassador Lagon is a great asset at important turning points in the world and for the SFS.”

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