Distinguished Visitors Program

About the Program

From senior government leaders to heads of nonprofits and international institutions, Distinguished Visitors bring their global experiences and insights to the Northwestern community, enriching learning and enhancing research across campus.

The Distinguished Visitors Program establishes new partnerships between Northwestern and international organizations, strengthens existing partnerships, and provides Northwestern students and faculty opportunities to interact with, and learn from, prominent global leaders.

The Distinguished Visitors Program furthers the Buffett Institute's commitment to collaborative research, public dialogue, and engaged scholarship.

To recommend potential distinguished visitors, or to inquire about the program, contact Ariel Schwartz at ariel.schwartz@northwestern.edu

Learn about our first Visitors' time on campus:

About Strobe Talbott

Strobe Talbott is the past president of the Brookings Institution, one of the nation's most prominent public policy organizations. Prior to joining Brookings in 2002, he was the founding director of the Yale Center for the Study of Globalization. Talbott was a long-time reporter for Time magazine before serving as U.S. Deputy Secretary of State from 1994 to 2001.

While on campus, Talbott participated in public conversations on topics such as D.C. politics, the policy relevance of academic research, and contemporary Russia.  

About Leila Sadat

Sadat is a professor of law at Washington University and director of its Whitney R. Harris World Law Institute. She is a human rights expert specializing in international criminal law and foreign affairs. As the founder and chair of the Crimes Against Humanity Initiative at the Harris Institute, she helped draft a convention on the prevention and punishment of crimes against humanity, which is currently being debated by the UN International Law Commission. In 2012, Sadat was named Special Adviser on Crimes Against Humanity to the International Criminal Court (ICC). 

Sadat’s areas of focus include international crimes and amnesties, gender crimes and sexual violence, legal questions surrounding America’s drone wars, and the war in Syria. She recently directed the documentary Never Again: Forging a Convention for Crimes Against Humanity.

About Ambassador Daniel Shapiro

Daniel Shapiro was the US ambassador to Israel from July 2011 to January 2017. Before that, he was the senior director for the Middle East and North Africa on the US National Security Council, where he served as President Obama’s senior adviser on US policy on Israel, Egypt, Jordan, Syria, Lebanon, Libya, Tunisia, Algeria, Morocco, and Palestine.

Shapiro advised the president through US responses to the Arab uprisings of 2011, including assembling the first post-revolution assistance package to Tunisia. He conducted missions to Syria in 2009 and 2010 to attempt to advance the president’s re-engagement plan.