John L. Hirsch joined the International Peace Academy in July 1998 following the completion of a 32-year career in the United States Foreign Service. After three and a half years as Vice President he became Senior Fellow on January 1, 2002. He has been responsible for IPA's program on "The United Nations and International Terrorism" in 2002-2003, and served as Acting Director of the Africa Program in 1999 and again from September 2004-December 2005.
Before joining IPA he served as United States Ambassador to the Republic of Sierra Leone from 1995-98. Ambassador Hirsch's extensive African experience includes assignments in Somalia in 1984-86, and subsequently as Political Advisor to the Commander of UNITAF, General Robert Johnston, and as Deputy to President Bush's Special Envoy, Ambassador Robert Oakley in 1992-93. Ambassador Hirsch also served as Consul General in Johannesburg, South Africa from 1990-93, the years of transition from apartheid to non-racial multiparty democracy. His earlier assignments in Israel at the start of the Middle East peace process in the mid-seventies and, subsequently, at the U.S. Mission to the United Nations and in Pakistan have dealt with major issues of multilateral diplomacy and United Nations peacekeeping.
Ambassador Hirsch was a Senior Fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations in 1993-94 and Diplomat-in-Residence at Medgar Evers College, The City University of New York in 1994-95. He was Director of the International Fellows Program at Columbia University's School of International and Public Affairs for the 2000-01 academic year. Since 2002-2003 he is Adjunct Professor of Diplomacy and World Affairs at Occidental College, directing its United Nations program in New York City.
U4545: Contemporary Diplomacy