Dartmouth Professor Selected as Advisor to the UN


Dirk Vandewalle, associate professor of government and adjunct associate professor at the Tuck School of Business, has been appointed Political Advisor to United Nations Special Advisor Ian Martin. Martin is coordinating the U.N.’s post-conflict planning for Libya.

Associate Professor Dirk Vandewalle, an expert on modern Libya, has been appointed as Political Advisor to United Nations Special Advisor Ian Martin. (photo by Joseph Mehling ’69)

Vandewalle’s task through July 2011 is to provide expertise and advice on initial and final drafts of proposals made by U.N. departments. Then, depending on the political situation in Libya, he will be asked to provide political guidance to the U.N. team on the ground in Libya.

“As an academic specializing in Libya, the chance to be involved in shaping the U.N.’s future involvement in a country that I know so intimately has been a tremendous privilege—and quite a challenge,” says Vandewalle. “Working at the U.N. and being asked to provide insightful advice, under very tight deadlines, and with literally dozens of people from around the world providing multiple reports, has been a logistical feat that requires long hours and a high level of interpersonal skills.”

Vandewalle has been a heavily sought-after expert on the small North African country since February, when citizens revolted under the 42-year dictatorship of Moammar Gadhafi. Vandewalle has done more than 200 television, radio, and newspaper interviews with national and international media outlets and has had his opinion pieces published in Foreign Affairs, Foreign Policy, Newsweek, and The New York Times. In April he testified before the U.S. Senate Foreign Relations Committee, chaired by John Kerry (D-Mass.), on the situation in Libya.

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Latarsha Gatlin