Holbrooke ’62 expected to keep Watson appointment

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Richard Holbrooke ’62 is expected to remain a professor-at-large at the Watson Institute for International Studies despite his recent appointment by President Obama to the position of special envoy to Afghanistan and Pakistan, according to Watson Deputy Director Geoffrey Kirkman ’91.

Kirkman said he did not believe Holbrooke, a former Herald editor-in-chief, would leave his post at Watson in light of the appointment.

“I would expect that he would remain a professor-at-large, unless, from the Department of State side of things, it would represent some conflict of interest,” he said. “But I can’t see how it would.”

Holbrooke, who is currently out of the country according to his State Department office, could not be reached for comment.

Watson Interim Director David Kennedy ’76 said the Institute was happy to learn of Holbrooke’s appointment.

“We’re very excited that he’s taken this new position,” Kennedy said, adding that Holbrooke is a “great friend of the Institute.”

“Holbrooke has been a very effective participant in teaching and research at the Watson Institute for some time,” Kennedy said. “He has led student working groups, participated in classes, spoken at the Institute and – in general – supported our teaching in international affairs.”

Kirkman called the position of professor-at-large a “very flexible category of faculty,” adding that, because most professors-at-large are not based on campus, they often “do other things with their time.”

Kirkman said Holbrooke came to campus “a few times a semester” in his first year. Foreign-based professors-at-large often choose to visit the Watson Institute less frequently, but for longer periods of time, Kirkman said.

“I would imagine (Holbrooke) is busier than he was before,” said Kirkman, “and his travel schedule will be even crazier.”