The Academic Council on the United Nations System inaugurated the John W. Holmes Memorial Lecture Series in 1989 in honor of a founding member of ACUNS. Mr. Holmes had served on the planning committee for the founding conference of ACUNS and the provisional committee in 1987-88. The talk he prepared for the first ACUNS Annual Meeting in 1988, Looking Backwards and Forwards, was the first publication in the Council’s series of Reports and Papers.
ACUNS is pleased to announce that the 2015 John W. Holmes Lecturer at the ACUNS Annual Meeting in the Hague will be Dr. Abiodun Williams, President, The Hague Institute for Global Justice and the current chair of the ACUNS Board of Directors.
Dr. Abiodun Williams was appointed the first President of The Hague Institute for Global Justice on January 1, 2013. From 2011 to 2012 he served as Senior Vice President of the Center for Conflict Management at the United States Institute of Peace (USIP) in Washington, DC. He led USIP’s work in major conflict zones such as Afghanistan, Pakistan, Iraq, Libya, Tunisia and Egypt. He served as Vice President of USIP’s Center for Conflict Analysis and Prevention from 2008 to 2011, and had primary responsibility for the Institute’s work on conflict prevention, Iran, and Northeast Asia.
From 2001-2007, Dr. Williams served as Director of Strategic Planning in the Executive Office of the United Nations Secretary-General, where he was a principal adviser to Secretaries-General Ban Ki-moon and Kofi Annan. He served in three peacekeeping operations in Macedonia, Haiti, and Bosnia-Herzegovina from 1994 to 2000 as Special Assistant to the Special Representative of the Secretary-General, and Political and Humanitarian Affairs Officer.
Dr. Williams has also had valuable experience in academia. He has served as Associate Dean of the Africa Center for Strategic Studies at the National Defense University in Washington, DC, and held faculty appointments at the Edmund A. Walsh School of Foreign Service at Georgetown University, University of Rochester, and Tufts University.
In 2012 Dr. Williams was elected Chair of the Academic Council on the United Nations System (ACUNS). He is a Member of the Executive Board of the Institute for Global Leadership at Tufts University. Previously he served as a Trustee of the Lester B. Pearson United World College of the Pacific in Canada, and a Member of the International Board of Directors of the United World Colleges.
He is the author or editor of three books on conflict prevention and multilateral negotiations. He has received several awards including the Dr. Jean Mayer Global Citizenship Award from Tufts University and the Constantine E. Maguire Medal from Georgetown University.
Dr. Williams attended Lester B. Pearson College, where he gained the International Baccalaureate Diploma. He holds an M.A. Honors in English Language and Literature from Edinburgh University, as well as an M.A.L.D. and a Ph.D. in International Relations from The Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy.