Professor Colleen Graffy

American diplomat Colleen Graffy is also a qualified English barrister.

Originally from Santa Barbara, California, Professor Graffy lived and studied in Germany and the United Kingdom before becoming a law professor and US government diplomat.

She is director of global programmes at Pepperdine University School of Law, which is based in Malibu, California, and lives in London as academic director of their London programme. Professor Graffy was appointed US Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Public Diplomacy for Europe and Eurasia at the US State Department under Condoleeza Rice from 2005 to 2009. In that capacity she travelled to more than 40 countries working with US embassies and a Washington team to communicate US policy, culture and values.

She created the first media hub for the US government with radio and television broadcasting facilities in Brussels, Belgium and established a fellowship programme to bring together high school students from former Eastern bloc countries, Western Europe and the United States to study comparative constitutions and foster long-term relations among nations.

Professor Graffy also gained acclaim for her use of Twitter and other social media to further US communications.

She is a member of the Royal Institute of International Affairs, the British Institute of International and Comparative Law, the International Institute for Strategic Studies, The Pilgrims and the British-American Project where she is on the UK advisory board. She was chairman of the Society of English and American Lawyers and UK chairman of Republicans Abroad, the overseas arm of the Republican Party. Professor Graffy is a frequent media commentator including BBC Newsnight, Al Jazeera with Sir David Frost, BBC Worldservice, NHK Japanese TV, BBC Radio Four, CNN, SKY and many others.

She holds a BA from Pepperdine University, an MA from Boston University and a Diploma in Law from City University and the Inns of Court School of Law, London, as well as a Master’s in Law from King’s College, London. Professor Graffy is a Bencher (a member of the governing body) of the Middle Temple in London. Her teaching includes international public law, international environmental law, international law and the use of force, legal ethics and public diplomacy.

Professor Graffy will specialise in law, environment and geopolitical issues in the United States, Europe and Eurasia.