Ambassador Susan Flood Burk ’76 to Speak at December Graduation

Ambassador Susan Flood Burk ’76 to Speak at December Graduation

President McGuire announced that the 2011 December Graduation speaker at Trinity Washington University will be Ambassador Susan Flood Burk ’76, special representative of President Obama for nuclear nonproliferation.   She will receive an honorary doctor of laws.   “Ambassador Burk has a distinguished career of more than 30 years of service in international affairs and at the U.S. Department of State, with a particular emphasis on arms control and disarmament, and preventing the spread of nuclear weapons,” said President McGuire.   Trinity will hold its second December Graduation on Thursday, December 15, at 5:00 pm in the Trinity Center for Women and Girls in Sports.   More than 200 associate’s, bachelor’s and master’s degrees will be conferred.

Susan Flood Burk was sworn in as the special representative of the president for nuclear nonproliferation, with the rank of ambassador, at the U.S. Department of State in June 2009.  She is responsible for working with other countries to strengthen the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) and the international nonproliferation regime.   Burk plays a lead role in preparing for the NPT Review Conference, and through international diplomacy promoting the United States’ goal of renewing and reinvigorating the NPT and the global regime.

Burk served as the first deputy coordinator for homeland security in the U.S. Department of State’s Office of the Coordinator for Counterterrorism.  She coordinated the department’s handling of cross-cutting policy issues related to homeland security and counterterrorism.   She established and chaired the State Department’s Homeland Security Coordinating Committee, and her office served as a point of contact for the Department of Homeland Security and other federal agencies.

Prior to this assignment, Burk served as acting assistant secretary of state for nonproliferation where she led the bureau’s efforts to support the Proliferation Security Initiative, and served as chief U.S. negotiator for the Statement of Interdiction Principles.  She joined the Bureau of Nonproliferation in June 2002 as the principal deputy assistant secretary for nonproliferation controls.  A career civil servant, Burk joined the U.S. Department of State in April 1999 as the director of the Office of Regional Affairs.

Burk also served in the U.S. Arms Control and Disarmament Agency (ACDA) as chief of the International Nuclear Affairs Division.  While in ACDA, she served as the chief of the Non-Proliferation Treaty Extension Division leading U.S. preparations for the 1995 NPT Review and Extension Conference.

Burk served as a staff officer in the Office of the Secretary of Defense.   In the Theater Nuclear Forces Policy Division she supported U.S.-Soviet negotiations to reduce intermediate-range nuclear missiles.  She served in the Multilateral Negotiations Division and developed defense policy recommendations on multilateral arms control undertakings at the Geneva-based Conference on Disarmament and the United Nations First Committee.

Burk received her bachelor of arts in political science from Trinity in 1976 and was elected to Phi Beta Kappa.   She earned a master of arts in government from Georgetown University.