Buffett Institute names first executive director

Peter Kotecki, Assistant Campus Editor

Former U.S. ambassador to Afghanistan Karl Eikenberry was named the inaugural executive director of the Buffett Institute for Global Studies.

Eikenberry, a graduate of the U.S. Military Academy, Harvard University and Stanford University, currently teaches at Stanford and served as the U.S. ambassador to Afghanistan from May 2009 to July 2011. His articles on U.S. and international security issues have been published in The New York Times and The Washington Post.

University President Morton Schapiro said he is thrilled that Eikenberry will be the first executive director of the Buffett Institute.

“He has played a highly visible role on the world stage with his frank and insightful ideas about some of the most critical issues of our day and will play a central role in taking the scope and impact of our global programs to an entirely new level,” Schapiro said in a news release.

University President Emeritus Henry Bienen, who served as chair of the search committee for the position, said Roberta Buffett Elliott’s more than $100 million gift in January made it possible for Eikenberry to join the institute.

“We are so fortunate to have Ambassador Eikenberry join us, and we have every confidence that he will make Northwestern’s ambitious plans for the new global institute a reality,” Bienen said in the release. “He has extraordinary intellectual heft and deep experience as a diplomat and military leader in China, Central and South Asia and Europe.”

Provost Daniel Linzer said Eikenberry has decades of experience analyzing complicated foreign policy issues.

“We are so pleased that he will play a pivotal role in advancing thinking, research and learning on global issues at Northwestern — top priorities of the Buffett Institute,” Linzer said in the release.

Eikenberry will join the Buffett Institute on Sept. 1.

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