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Press Release for Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Visiting Scholar Nancy Soderberg Named Connect U.S. Fund President

Contact: Joanna Norris, Assistant Director

Department of Media Relations and Events

(904) 620-2102


Ambassador Nancy Soderberg, Distinguished Visiting Scholar in the Department of Political Science and Public Administration and director of the Public Service Program at the University of North Florida, was named president of the Connect U.S. Fund, an alliance of foundations working to promote foreign-policy agenda characterized by international cooperation and progressive ideas.


Soderberg, a Jacksonville Beach resident, succeeded Eric Schwartz, who has been appointed assistant secretary of state for Population, Refugees and Migration, on July 8. She will work six days a month from Washington and will continue her job as a visiting scholar at UNF.

“I am delighted to join the effort by Connect U.S. Fund to encourage collaboration and stronger advocacy efforts in key foreign policy objectives,” said Soderberg. “The Obama administration faces an uphill battle in many of the key issues—climate change, nonproliferation, supporting ratification of important treaties—and the Connect U.S. Fund can play a role in helping the non-governmental organization (NGO) community speak with a stronger, more unified voice.”


Soderberg’s new position will also help her bring the current foreign policy debates to her political science classes at UNF and provide contacts for students looking to develop their own careers in foreign policy and the NGO world.

“Ambassador Soderberg offers our students unique opportunities to learn about U.S. foreign policy. This position will further enhance UNF’s ability to offer our students practical experience in diplomatic relations,” said Dr. Matthew Corrigan, chair of the Department of Political Science and Public Administration at UNF.


She ran the New York office of the International Crisis group as vice president for four years and served as alternate representative to the United Nations as a presidential appointee, with the rank of ambassador, from 1997 to 2001. She also functioned in the early- to mid-90s as the third-ranking official of the National Security Council at the White House as deputy assistant to the President for National Security Affairs.


Soderberg publishes and speaks regularly on national security policy. Her most recent book, “The Prosperity Agenda: What the World Wants from America—and What We Need in Return,” written with Brian Katulis, argues for American leadership in tackling the world’s challenges in exchange for the world assisting us with our threat.


She is a regular commentator on national and international television and radio, including NBC, ABC, CBS, CNN, FOX, BBC, National Public Radio, the “Lehrer News Hour,” “CNN Crossfire,” and “The Daily Show.” She is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations and served as president of the Sister Cities Program of New York City for four years.


Soderberg received her master’s degree from Georgetown University’s School of Foreign Service, concentrating on international economics and political risk analysis, and earned her bachelor’s degree from Vanderbilt University.

 The Connect U.S. Fund promotes responsible U.S. global engagement in an increasingly interdependent world through grant-making and operations that advance critical foreign policy objectives and support and effective, collaborative community of individuals and organizations working toward common objectives.