Julia Taft

Julia Taft, former U.S. Assistant Secretary of State and Special Coordinator for Tibetan Issues.

Julia Taft, former U.S. Assistant Secretary of State and Special Coordinator for Tibetan Issues, has joined the Board of Directors of the International Campaign for Tibet in July 2005.

“I know from my work with Julia that she has both knowledge and tremendous energy to contribute to ICT. I very much look forward to her taking a hands-on share of the Board’s responsibilities,” said Richard Gere, ICT Board Chairman.

Taft, a leading authority on refugee and humanitarian affairs, has held senior positions in both government and the private sector throughout her career. In the recent past, she served as Assistant Administrator and Director of the Bureau for Crisis Prevention and Recovery (BCPR) in the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP). Secretary of State Albright appointed Taft to be the second U.S. Special Coordinator for Tibetan Issues on January 20, 1999, when she was tasked with coordinating U.S. programming for Tibetans, promoting human rights in Tibet, and making efforts to advance dialogue between the Chinese leadership and the Dalai Lama or his representatives. She resigned from the State Department in January 2001 following the transition from the Clinton presidency to the Bush presidency.

“The entire ICT organization is honored by the recognition of the importance of Tibetan issues inherent in Julia Taft’s decision to join the ICT Board,” said Mary Beth Markey, ICT Executive Director.

Taft served as Assistant Secretary of the Bureau of Population, Refugees and Migration at the United States State Department from 1997 to 2001. She has also been Director of the Office for U.S. Disaster Assistance in USAID and President and Chief Executive Officer of InterAction, a coalition of 156 US-based private, voluntary organizations working on international development, refugee assistance and humanitarian relief.

Taft has received several awards, including the Presidential End Hunger Award (1989) and the AID Distinguished Service Award for Personal Courage for her relief efforts in the Armenian earthquake (1990). She also served on the Board of the National Endowment for Democracy for three years.