Hugh Dugan

Distinguished Visiting Scholar on UN Studies; US Diplomat (ret.)
School of Diplomacy, Seton Hall University


Hugh Dugan joins host Alistair Edgar in this Current Issues Podcast to discuss his recent paper “Civil Society sits down with Secretary-General Nominees” and the Secretary-General selection process.  Dugan touches on the increase in transparency during this year’s process of selecting the next United Nations Secretary-General and how it is reflective of a larger phenomenon in the world for more transparency.  He also discusses the role of the Civil Society Committee, which was an innovation to review questions for the Secretary-General nominees submitted from all corners of the world in order to provide a balanced sampling of the views of civil society.  Dugan states that civil society may be finding its role in a political space in a member’s only setting for a change and may set a precedent for future selections.  The discussion also touches on how the election will play out and if there are any current ‘consensus favorites’ emerging from the group of nominees.

Hugh Dugan’s One World Trust background brief for the 1 for 7 billion campaign
“Civil Society sits down with Secretary-General Nominees”  PDF Download Button

To find out more about the Secretary-General Nominees visit the 1 for 7 Billion website.

To find out more on the process of selecting the Secretary-General visit the UN website.

Hugh Dugan has developed a distinguished career in diplomatic representation, negotiation,and corporate governance.

Mr. Dugan is an international affairs scholar and an expert on United States participation in the United Nations Organization. He served in the US Diplomatic Corps from 1983 to mid 2015, most recently as senior adviser to the US Permanent Representative to the United Nations and as US Delegate to United Nations inter-governmental sessions. Working among the United Nations Organization’s 193 Member States and Secretariat since 1989, he managed a broad range of matters enabling effective, strategic US participation at the United Nations. He served as the lead negotiator on many US Delegations to the UN, such as to its Peacebuilding Commission, Economic and Social Council, and Committee on Non­-Governmental Organizations. He coordinated the US Delegation to many of the annual sessions of the General Assembly and served as the US senior expert on elections to UN membership bodies and appointments to Secretariat offices. Through expert assessment and management of international political dynamics as played out at the United Nations, Mr. Dugan initiated and negotiated many significant UN agreements, such as normative, technical, and operational items within the evolution of North-­South relations. He championed UN measures in support of the private sector’s role for corporate social responsibility, advocated for a new partnership for African development, advised on the selection of the Secretary-General, and advanced the UN’s program of sport for development and peace, among many other issues. Most notably, working very closely with senior US Congressional figures, he spearheaded UN institutional and managerial modernization leading to historic Helms-Biden legislation releasing the payment of $1 billion in US arrears to the UN budget. Based on this, and in the wake of 9/11, Mr. Dugan was recruited and served as senior fellow and adviser to US Senator Michael B. Enzi (R-WY), Ranking Member on the US Senate Foreign Relations Committee’s Subcommittee on International Operations and Terrorism.

Prior to his UN posting which included sessions in Geneva, Mr. Dugan served in the American Embassy in Mexico City as a consular affairs expert; the American Consulate General in Bermuda which entailed oversight of three major local US military facilities; and the US Department of State’s Bureau for Economic and Business Affairs in Washington working on Congressional trade legislation and diplomatic outreach to the business community. The US Department of State honored his performance with five commendations during his thirty-­two year career.

Mr. Dugan currently serves as Thomas J. and Ruth Sharkey Visiting Scholar on UN Studies at the School of Diplomacy and International Relations, Seton Hall University. He is a popular lecturer to university groups and is sought out as an opinion leader on matters related to the Olympic Movement. He advises private clientele on political risk.

Mr. Dugan has held civic leadership roles in activities related to youth, sports, culture, and foreign affairs. The International Olympic Committee honored him with its Centenary Medal for his role in reviving the Olympic Truce for the modern era. He went on to create the Truce Foundation of the USA that awards leaders within the Olympic Movement. Mr. Dugan served on the board of the Academic Council of the United Nations System comprised of the world’s leading scholars on the United Nations and global governance. He served as chair of the world’s largest YMCA branch (New York City); as vice president and treasurer of SOS Children’s Villages USA, part of the world’s largest youth services non­profit organization; as treasurer of the Dance Perspectives Foundation producing the first multi­-volume Illustrated Encyclopedia of Dance (Oxford University Press); and as president of the Fletcher School Alumni Associations of Washington and of New York City. He supports the Breast Cancer Research Foundation, Phyt Cares (serving disadvantaged youth in New York City), and the Bermuda Institute of Ocean Sciences.

Mr. Dugan earned degrees and honors from the School of Foreign Service at Georgetown University (BSFS), the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy as S. Pinkney Tuck Fellow (MALD), and the Wharton School of Business as a State Department fellow (MBA); and he holds certificates from the International Olympic Academy (Olympia, Greece). He interned on Capitol Hill (DC), the British Parliament (London), the Government of American Samoa (Pago Pago), and the Embassy of Saudi Arabia (DC). He was a member of the national championship debate team while at Marquette University High School. He has a fluency in Spanish.