The theme of the 2011 Board of Directors Meeting, at the Salzburg Global Seminar, was "Are Universal Principles, Universal, After All? - Lessons from the Arab Revolt of 2011."
To kick off the weekend of presentations, and panels, the Honorable Esther D. Brimmer, Assistant Secretary, International Organization Affairs, United States Department of State, delivered this keynote presentation entitled "Achieving Universal Rights through Multilateral Diplomacy."
For over 60 years, The Salzburg Global Seminar has been convening imaginative thinkers from different cultures and institutions, organizing problem-focused initiatives, supporting leadership development, and engaging opinion-makers through active communication networks, all in partnership with leading institutions from around the world and across different sectors of society.
Dr. Esther D. Brimmer
Esther Brimmer has been assistant secretary of state for International Organizations, US Department of State, since April, 2009. In this capacity she leads the Bureau of International Organization Affairs, which seeks to advance US interests through international organizations in areas including human rights, peacekeeping, food security, humanitarian relief and climate change.
Earlier, Dr. Brimmer was deputy director and director of research at the Center for Transatlantic Relations at the Paul H. Nitze School of Advanced International Studies at The Johns Hopkins University. There she specialized in transatlantic political and security affairs. Her previous government service included two years in the State Department's Office of Policy Planning, where she worked on European Union, Western Europe, UN and multilateral security issues.
She was also a member of the US delegation to the UN Commission on Human Rights in spring 2000. From 1993 to 1995, as special assistant to the Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs, she worked on UN, peacekeeping, human rights and political-military issues. Dr. Brimmer has also worked as a senior associate at the Carnegie Commission on Preventing Deadly Conflict, as a legislative analyst at the Democratic Study Group in the US House of Representatives, and as a management consultant with McKinsey & Company.
She received her Ph.D. and master's degrees in international relations from the University of Oxford and her B.A. in international relations from Pomona College in Claremont, California. She was a fellow at Salzburg Global Seminar Session 281, 1992: Effect on the World outside the European Community, in 1990.