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Engaging the U.N.  

Headshot of Hugh Dugan. In 1997, Seton Hall University aligned with the United Nations Association of the United States of America (UNA-USA) to establish the School of Diplomacy and International Relations. Now 20-years strong, this collaborative relationship provides elite opportunities for students to engage the United Nations community both professionally and academically. In addition to the association with UNA-USA, the School is recognized as a nongovernmental organization (NGO) affiliated with the United Nations Department of Public Information (UNDPI). This designation invites Diplomacy students to attend exclusive UNDPI events and discussions as Youth Representatives. It has also produced the intellectual space for the creation of a new class offering that is built around student participation in weekly UNDPI briefings, providing face-to-face interactions with leaders of the United Nations system and civil society alike.

Building on this strong foundational relationship, the School is proud to announce the creation of a new administrative position, the Director of U.N. Engagement. This position will provide support for the School's existing U.N. connection while simultaneously developing new opportunities for the faculty, administrators, and particularly students to analyze U.N. actions and activities and assist the institution in achieving its original mission. In speaking about his new role, Mr. Hugh Dugan noted his desire to build upon the School's name recognition in the United Nations community while cultivating new aspects of this relationship to create mutual benefits for the School and the U.N. Mr. Dugan also feels that the position creates the perfect opportunity for the School to further capitalize on its proximity to U.N. headquarters, and increase the "hands-on interaction" between Diplomacy students and the U.N. community. New opportunities will be alternatives to the typical semester-long internship, allowing students to participate in planning specific events or contribute to specific research projects, creating "envoyships" that utilize the skills of the students to increase in-depth engagement in a variety of formats.

Mr. Dugan highlights that the students of the School are specifically trained with an understanding of the U.N. body and its mission providing them with the ability and the knowledge to assist practitioners in assessing their policies through the lens of the Charter. This process can align modern day U.N. operations with the organization's original mission and help those in and out of the institution determine if the U.N. is truly keeping the promises it made to the international community in the fall of 1945. This is a new way that we, as a Diplomacy community, can make substantive contributions to the U.N.'s day-to-day operations.

Hugh Dugan, at the United NationsMr. Dugan is a thirty-two year veteran of the United States Diplomatic Corps. Serving as senior adviser to eleven U.S. Permanent Representatives to the U.N. over twenty-six years, he also was tapped as the lead negotiator for multiple American Delegations to the U.N. including those to the U.N. Peacebuilding Commission and the Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC). In addition to these responsibilities, Mr. Dugan also devoted himself to the Olympic Movement as founder and president of the Truce Foundation, a private nonprofit organization that seeks to promote and honor the spirit of the Olympic Truce through sporting events around the world. While serving at the U.N., Mr. Dugan connected with the School of Diplomacy's Senior Associate Dean, Courtney Smith, through the United Nations Foundation in the early years of the School, and served as an adjunct professor for the 2001-2002 year. He remained connected with the SHU Diplomacy community afterward; rejoining the faculty after his retirement from the U.S. Diplomatic Corps in 2015 as a Tom and Ruth Sharkey Distinguished Visiting Scholar. The natural connection between Mr. Dugan's professional experience and the work of the School's Center for U.N. and Global Governance Studies facilitated his decision to join the Center as a Fellow. In this role, he works to create distinctive events such as our Selecting the Next Secretary General panel, bringing together U.N. scholars and Diplomacy faculty and administrators to discuss this historic selection process. In addition to his work with the Center and the School, Mr. Dugan has maintained active participation in UN activities, including the recent civil society consultation facilitated by UN Non-governmental Liaison Service. Representing the School of Diplomacy, Mr. Dugan joined other leaders of non-governmental organizations, civil society organizations, philanthropy, and academia to provide analysis on measures the UN development system can take to deliver on the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. As he continues to nurture the School's long-lasting alliance with the U.N. in his new role, we are excited for Mr. Dugan to write a new chapter in this relationship as we begin our next twenty years.

Categories: Nation and World

For more information, please contact:

  • School of Diplomacy
  • (973) 275-2515