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Edward Luck, Responsibility to Protect Expert, Returns to Academia


Edward Luck, who has been the special adviser to the United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon on the responsibility to protect doctrine within the prevention of genocide office since 2008, will become the dean of the Joan B. Kroc School of Peace Studies at the University of San Diego, a private Roman Catholic school, on Aug. 1. The peace institute opened in 2007 with an endowment from Kroc, a local philanthropist and the third wife of Ray Kroc, who was the chief executive of McDonald’s. She died in 2003.

Edward Luck
Edward Luck, new dean of the School of Peace Studies at University of San Diego.

At the UN as an assistant secretary-general, Luck, 63, was primarily involved in conceptualizing, developing and advocating for the Responsibility to Protect (R2P) doctrine, an international norm that emerged from the 2005 World Summit and is meant to protect civilians from genocide and other mass atrocity crimes. It was used by the Security Council to essentially authorize military intervention through a resolution to protect Libyans from their leader, Col. Muammar el-Qaddafi, in 2011. The intervention resulted in a regime change and Qaddafi’s death.

From 2007 to 2011, Luck worked at the International Peace Institute, an independent policy research group in New York, most recently as senior vice president of research and programs.

Luck’s academic experience includes appointments at the School of International and Public Affairs at Columbia University, from 2001 to 2010, as director of the Center on International Organization and director of the UN Studies Program. Before joining Columbia, he founded the Center for the Study of International Organization, a research center established by the School of Law of New York University and the Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs of Princeton University.

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He was also president of the United Nations Association of the USA, a nonprofit group that promotes the UN, from 1984 to 1994 and president emeritus for four more years. He has written numerous books and articles but is most well known for his work on R2P, whose viability is being hotly debated in the context of the Syrian war and whether the norm should be enacted to protect Syrian civilians from their government’s attacks.

Luck has a bachelor’s degree from Dartmouth and several graduate degrees from Columbia, including a master’s degree in international affairs and a Ph.D. in political science. He is married and has one daughter.

[This article was updated on March 24, 2013.]

Additional resources

The Responsibility to Protect Gets a Checkup

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Dulcie Leimbach is a co-founder, with Barbara Crossette, of PassBlue. For PassBlue and other publications, Leimbach has reported from New York and overseas from West Africa (Burkina Faso and Mali) and from Europe (Scotland, Sicily, Vienna, Budapest, Kyiv, Armenia, Iceland and The Hague). She has provided commentary on the UN for BBC World Radio, ARD German TV and Radio, NHK’s English channel, Background Briefing with Ian Masters/KPFK Radio in Los Angeles and the Foreign Press Association.

Previously, she was an editor for the Coalition for the UN Convention Against Corruption; from 2008 to 2011, she was the publications director of the United Nations Association of the USA. Before UNA, Leimbach was an editor at The New York Times for more than 20 years, editing and writing for most sections of the paper, including the Magazine, Book Review and Op-Ed. She began her reporting career in small-town papers in San Diego, Calif., and Boulder, Colo., graduating to the Rocky Mountain News in Denver and then working at The Times. Leimbach has been a fellow at the CUNY Graduate Center’s Ralph Bunche Institute for International Studies as well as at Yaddo, the artists’ colony in Saratoga Springs, N.Y.; taught news reporting at Hofstra University; and guest-lectured at the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism and the CUNY Journalism School. She graduated from the University of Colorado and has an M.F.A. in writing from Warren Wilson College in North Carolina. She lives in Brooklyn, N.Y.

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9 years ago

This site is like a clorosasm, except I don’t hate it. lol

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