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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.