Ambassador (Ret.) Laura Kennedy returned for a second visit to Fort Leavenworth in April, again serving as the DACOR visiting professor of diplomacy for the U.S. Army Command and General Staff College (CGSC) Class of 2017. Kennedy, who previously served as the Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for European and Eurasian Affairs among many other positions over a nearly 40 year diplomatic career, visited Fort Leavenworth April 4-6. She previously visited in December 2016.
On the first evening of her visit, Ambassador Kennedy attended the opening reception for the spring 2017 National Security Roundtable. At the reception, Kennedy spoke of about geopolitical issues around the world and the importance of diplomacy in today’s contentious political climate.
From April 5-6, Kennedy attended student seminars at CGSC. On the morning of April 5, she visited with and spoke to students in “The Interagency and National Security” and “National Security Policy Formation” electives, where they discussed interagency operations overseas, the State Department, and the U.S. Agency for International Development. That afternoon she attended “Eurasia’s Evolving Operational Environment,” where the conversation focused on Ukraine and the conflict with Russia. On April 6, Kennedy visited “Statecraft and Diplomacy” and “Current Strategic Concepts”. In these courses, Kennedy spoke about diplomatic tools and diplomatic power.
Ambassador Kennedy also visited with undergraduate students at the University of Saint Mary in Leavenworth, Kansas on April 6. At the University of Saint Mary, Kennedy spoke about her experiences during her diplomatic career, and encouraged the students to consider careers in the foreign or civil service. The Saint Mary students had a lot of questions for Kennedy, and relished the opportunity to meet a retired ambassador. Later that evening, Kennedy met with students from the University of Saint Mary’s Lawrence D. Starr Center for Peace and Justice in our Global Society. Kennedy also received a private tour of the university’s Abraham Lincoln collection during her visit.
Once again, Kennedy expressed her admiration of the students and faculty at CGSC, remarking that she greatly enjoyed the opportunity to be part of the DACOR program.
The CGSC Foundation administers this program in conjunction with the DACOR organization in Washington, D.C., and with generous support and involvement of the University of Saint Mary and its Lawrence D. Starr Center for Peace and Justice in our Global Society.
Ambassador (Ret.) Laura Kennedy tours the University of Saint Mary Lincoln Collection while visiting
the University. From April 4-6, Kennedy served as the DACOR visiting professor of diplomacy for the
U.S. Army Command and General Staff College at Fort Leavenworth.
Photo courtesy the University of Saint Mary.
Biography – Ambassador (Retired) Laura E. Kennedy
Laura Kennedy served almost four decades as a U.S. career diplomat. She spent much of her career working in or on the former Soviet Union and served in Geneva and Vienna (thrice) on multilateral disarmament and non-proliferation (conventional, nuclear and biological) as well as a number of temporary assignments in New York, including the 2010 and 2015 NPT Review Conferences and heading the U.S. delegations to the United Nations Committee on Disarmament. She retired in 2013 but was recalled to service in 2014 to head U.S. missions in Turkmenistan and Vienna. She retired again in 2015 and is active in Washington, D.C. with various professional organizations, including the Academy of Diplomacy and the World Affairs Council. She has lectured at various U.S. institutions and participated in diplomatic exercises at the Army War College.
Kennedy’s assignments include Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Southern Europe, Central Asia and the Caucasus, Ambassador to Turkmenistan, Ambassador to the Conference on Disarmament in Geneva and U.S. Special Representative for Biological and Toxin Weapons Convention issues, Deputy Commandant of the National War College, Charge d’Affaires in Armenia, and deputy Political section chief in Moscow and Ankara.
A graduate of Vassar College, Kennedy also did graduate work at Stanford and American Universities. She is married to retired U.S. diplomat John Feeney and has two sons, Martin and Patrick Feeney.