Wendy Chamberlin

Wendy Jean Chamberlin (born 12 August 1948) is a veteran diplomat who has served in the United States Department of State and USAID, worked for the UN High Commissioner on Refugees (UNHCR), and now serves as President of the Middle East Institute.

Wendy Chamberlin
Wendy Chamberlin, May 2003 cropped.jpg
United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees
In office
February 24, 2005 – June 2, 2005
Secretary GeneralBan Ki-moon
Preceded byRuud Lubbers
Succeeded byAntónio Guterres
United States Ambassador to Pakistan
In office
September 13, 2001 – May 29, 2002
PresidentGeorge W. Bush
Preceded byWilliam Milam
Succeeded byNancy Jo Powell
United States Ambassador to Laos
In office
September 5, 1996 – June 14, 1999
PresidentBill Clinton
Preceded byVictor L. Tomseth
Succeeded byDouglas A. Hartwick
Personal details
Born (1948-10-12) October 12, 1948 (age 71)
Bethesda, Maryland, U.S.
Children2 daughters
EducationNorthwestern University (BS)
Boston University (MS)


US Department of StateEdit

  • 1975 – Foreign Service officer
  • Various offices:
    • Office of Israel and Arab-Israeli Affairs
    • Acting Director of Regional Affairs
    • Director of Press and Public Affairs in the Near Eastern Affairs Bureau
    • Special Assistant for South Asian Affairs to the Under Secretary for Political Affairs
    • Staff worker for Deputy Secretary of State and Assistant Secretary of State for East Asian Affairs
  • 1993 – 1996 – Deputy Chief of Mission at the U.S. Embassy in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.
  • 1996 – 1999 – Ambassador to Laos (Lao People's Democratic Republic).
  • 1999 – July, 2001 – Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary in the Bureau for International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs (INL)
  • July 18, 2001 – June, 2002 – United States Ambassador to Pakistan.


  • December 2, 2002 – Appointed Assistant Administrator. Served as head of the USAID Asia and Near East Bureau.[1]
  • December 22, 2003 – Ends tenure with USAID to move to UNHCR.[2]

UN High Commissioner on Refugees (UNHCR)Edit

  • December 12, 2003 – Appointed as Deputy High Commissioner on Refugees by High Commissioner for Refugees Ruud Lubbers.[3]
  • January 19, 2004 – Officially welcomed as Deputy High Commissioner.[4]
  • February 24 – June 2, 2005 – Appointed as acting High Commissioner on the retirement of Ruud Lubbers. Served until the appointment of former Portuguese Prime Minister António Guterres.[5][6]
  • February 25, 2005 – Called for donations and humanitarian aid to prevent suffering in South Sudan.[7]
  • April 1–22, 2005 – Toured refugee camps in Sudan and Chad, where women expressed their fears of returning home. She urged Sudan to protect its own citizens.[8][9][10]
  • April 25, 2005 – Speaking from Geneva, she emphasized the need for funding and to bring security to the war-torn region of Darfur in Sudan.[11]
  • June 22, 2005 – Presented the Nansen Refugee Award to Marguerite "Maggie" Barankitse, known as the "Angel of Burundi." [12]
  • April 16–21, 2006 – Traveled to Pakistan to view earthquake survivors and Afghan refuge camps.[13][14]
  • December 18, 2006 – Visits refugee camps in Kenya where Somalis have fled both war and flooding.[15]

Middle East InstituteEdit


  1. ^ Wendy Chamberlin Sworn in as Head of USAID's Asia and Near East Bureau USAID
  2. ^ USAID Assistant Administrator Appointed United Nations Deputy High Commissioner for Refugees USAID
  3. ^ Wendy Chamberlin appointed Deputy High Commissioner UNHCR
  4. ^ UNHCR welcomes veteran diplomat as new Deputy High Commissioner UNHCR
  5. ^ High Commissioner Lubbers departs UNHCR UNHCR
  6. ^ New UNHCR chief meets staff in Geneva UNHCR
  7. ^ Chamberlin urges quick donor response to avoid further human misery in South Sudan UNHCR
  8. ^ We are terrified to go home, Darfur women tell Chamberlin UNHCR
  9. ^ Sudan must protect own citizens, says Chamberlin after visiting IDP camps UNHCR
  10. ^ Chamberlin concludes Sudan/Chad trip UNHCR
  11. ^ Security, funding crucial for Sudan/Chad situation, says Chamberlin UNHCR
  12. ^ Statement by Wendy Chamberlin, United Nations Deputy High Commissioner for Refugees, at the 2005 Nansen Refugee Award, Brussels, June 22, 2005 UNHCR
  13. ^ Quake survivors share concerns, hopes with UNHCR deputy chief UNHCR
  14. ^ Chamberlin completes Pakistan visit with registration deal for Afghans UNHCR
  15. ^ Deputy High Commissioner Chamberlin visits flood-hit camps in Kenya UNHCR
  16. ^ "Wendy J. Chamberlin President Emeritus". Middle East Institute. Retrieved 24 December 2019.
  17. ^ Ambassador Wendy Chamberlin Named New President of the Middle East Institute Middle East Institute

External linksEdit

Diplomatic posts
Preceded by
Victor L. Tomseth
United States Ambassador to Laos
Succeeded by
Douglas A. Hartwick
Preceded by
William Milam
United States Ambassador to Pakistan
Succeeded by
Nancy Jo Powell
Diplomatic posts
Preceded by
Ruud Lubbers
United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees

Succeeded by
António Guterres