Stpehen Schlesinger

Current Position: Director of the World Policy Institute at The New School in New York City

Brief Bio: Stephen Schlesinger is Director of the World Policy Institute at The New School in New York City since 1997. Mr. Schlesinger received his BA from Harvard University and his JD from Harvard Law School. In the early 1970s, he edited and published The New Democrat Magazine and also served as speechwriter for George McGovern during his campaign for the presidency in 1972. Thereafter he spent four years as a staff writer at Time Magazine. In the next twelve years, he served as Governor Mario Cuomo’s speechwriter and foreign policy advisor. In the mid 1990s, he worked at the United Nations at Habitat, the agency dealing with global cities. He is the author of three books, including Act of Creation: The Founding of the United Nations, which won the 2004 Harry S. Truman Book Award; Bitter Fruit: The Story of the U.S. Coup in Guatemala (with Stephen Kinzer), and The New Reformers. He is a specialist on foreign policy of the Clinton and Bush Administrations and a frequent contributor to magazines and newspapers, including The Washington Post, The Los Angeles Times, The Nation Magazine, and The New York Observer. In 1978 he was a finalist for the National Magazine Award.

Research Interests: American foreign policy; Latin America; European policy; United Nations

Sample Publications:
  • Schlesinger, Stephen, C. Act of Creation: The Founding of the United Nations. Westview Press, 2003.
  • Schlesinger, Stephen, C. & Stephen Kinzer. Bitter Fruit: The Story of the American Coup in Guatemala. Expanded ed.,1st David Rockefeller Center for Latin American Studies, Harvard University Press, 1999.


Perspective on Conference Themes: Among some of the questions to be addressed: did Nuremberg retard or advance the rule of international law? Have the shortcomings of Nuremberg diminished or improved the importance and conduct of war crime trials? How have domestic and global politics accentuated or damaged the Nuremberg principles?