Secretary Kerry Designates Under Secretary Sarah Sewall as Special Coordinator for Tibetan Issues

Media Note
Office of the Spokesperson
Washington, DC
February 21, 2014

Secretary of State John Kerry has designated the Under Secretary of State for Civilian Security, Democracy, and Human Rights, Dr. Sarah Sewall, to serve concurrently as United States Special Coordinator for Tibetan Issues.

As Special Coordinator, Under Secretary Sewall will coordinate the U.S. Government’s policies, programs, and projects on Tibetan issues globally, and particularly within the context of our bilateral relationships with the People’s Republic of China, India, and Nepal, where there are significant populations of Tibetans.

Dr. Sewall will work to promote substantive dialogue between the Chinese Government and the Dalai Lama or his representatives. She will maintain close ties with Congress and civil society groups with an interest in preserving the distinct cultural, religious, and linguistic heritage of Tibetans and in safeguarding Tibet’s fragile environment.

Under Secretary Sewall’s predecessors also served concurrently as Special Coordinator.

Dr. Sarah Sewall, formerly a Senior Lecturer in Public Policy at the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University, was sworn in as the Under Secretary of State for Civilian Security, Democracy, and Human Rights on February 20, 2014.

In addition to her responsibilities as Special Coordinator for Tibetan Issues, the Under Secretary oversees and coordinates the work of the Bureau of Population, Refugees, and Migration; the Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor; the Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs; the Bureau of Conflict and Stabilization Operations; the Bureau of Counterterrorism; the Office to Monitor and Combat Trafficking in Persons; the Office of Global Criminal Justice; and the Office of Global Youth Issues.

For further information, please contact Brooke Spelman at or (202) 647-8703.