News Release

Brookings Senior Fellow Roberta Cohen Receives Award for “Exemplary Writing on Foreign Affairs and Diplomacy”

November 12, 2002

Roberta Cohen, a senior fellow at the Brookings Institution and an expert on refugees and internally displaced persons, has received the Fiftieth Anniversary Award for Exemplary Writing on Foreign Affairs and Diplomacy from the Diplomatic and Consular Officers, Retired (DACOR).

DACOR, a Washington, D.C.-based nonprofit association of retired officers from the U.S. Foreign Service and other foreign affairs agencies, recognized Cohen for her published work, including op-eds in major newspapers and articles in foreign affairs journals. A statement from the organization praised her writing, which has “drawn attention to multilateral humanitarian issues, particularly refugees and internally displaced persons.”

The statement said these are “non-traditional areas of concern for practitioners of diplomacy,” and that Cohen’s writing encourages “effective international humanitarian action.”

Cohen accepted the award today from DACOR Vice President Robert L. Funseth at a luncheon in Washington, D.C.

“I’m pleased that DACOR is recognizing Roberta’s extraordinary contribution to the search for a solution to a problem of global importance. Largely due to her work, the issue of internally displaced persons is finally beginning to get the attention it deserves from national governments, international institutions, NGOs, and the public,” said Strobe Talbott, president of the Brookings Institution. “We’re proud of what she’s done here at Brookings, and we’ll continue to support the partnership she’s developed with Johns Hopkins.”

Cohen is a senior fellow in Foreign Policy Studies at the Brookings Institution and the co-director of the Brookings-SAIS Project on Internal Displacement, which was created to promote a more effective national, regional, and international response to the 25 million persons forcibly displaced within the borders of their own countries by war and ethnic strife. The project promotes the dissemination and application of the guiding principles on internal displacement, working with governments, regional bodies, international organizations, and civil society to create more effective policies and institutional arrangements for internally displaced persons. It also convenes international seminars on internal displacement and publishes major studies, articles, and reports.

Cohen is the senior adviser to Francis Deng, the U.N. Secretary-General’s representative on internally displaced persons, and in 1998 was a Public Member of the U.S. Delegation to the U.N. Commission on Human Rights. Together with Deng, she has been at the forefront of the issue of internally displaced persons and produced the first major two-volume study of this subject. Masses in Flight: The Global Crisis of Internal Displacement and The Forsaken People: Case Studies of the Internally Displaced were published in 1998 by Brookings Institution Press.

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