MSPP Thirty-Fourth Commencement, 2014
Doctorate of Humane Letters
Swanee Hunt, ThD
Swanee Hunt's mission is to achieve gender parity, especially as a means to end war and rebuild societies, as well as to alleviate poverty and other human suffering. At Harvard's Kennedy School of Government, Hunt is the Eleanor Roosevelt Lecturer in Public Policy. In 1997 she founded the Women and Public Policy Program, a research center concerned with domestic and foreign policy, which she directed for more than a decade. She teaches "Inclusive Security," exploring how women are systematically excluded from peace processes, the impact, and the policy steps needed to rectify the problem. At the Kennedy School she is also core faculty at the Center for Public Leadership and senior advisor to The Initiative to Stop Human Trafficking in the Carr Center for Human Rights. Hunt has taught "The Choreography of Social Movements" at Harvard College and "Peacebuilding from the Ground Up" at Harvard Law School, and lectured across the university campus including at the College, the School of Education, Divinity School, and Business School.
An expert on domestic policy and foreign affairs, Hunt is president of Hunt Alternatives Fund, through which she has committed more than $130 million in endowments and grants to provoking social change at local, national, and global levels. The Fund operates out of Cambridge, Massachusetts and is focused on strengthening youth arts organizations, supporting leaders of social movements, bolstering women's leadership in conflict regions, combating the demand for purchased sex, and increasing philanthropy.
From 1993 to 1997, Hunt served as ambassador to Austria, where she hosted negotiations and international symposia focused on stabilizing the neighboring Balkan states. Later, she became a specialist in the role of women in post-communist Europe; in July 1997, she launched "Vital Voices: Women in Democracy," a conference convening 320 women leaders in business, law, and politics from 39 countries.