Interview with Sarah Sewall by Mike Hastings
Arms control, Foreign affairs, International security, Majority Leader, Snowe, Olympia
Sarah B. Sewall was born in Boston, Massachusetts, on August 21, 1961, the eldest of three children, and grew up in Falmouth and Portland, Maine. Her father, Loyall Farragut Sewall, Jr. was an attorney with Verrill Dana, a lobbyist, and worked with George Mitchell when Sewall was chairman of the Republican Party in Maine. Her mother worked for the Waynflete School in Portland, Maine. Sarah graduated Harvard and continued at Oxford University as a Rhodes Scholar. During the Clinton administration, she worked as deputy assistant secretary for Peacekeeping and Humanitarian Assistance. She worked as senior foreign policy advisor to Mitchell from 1983-1993. She also worked as associate director on the Committee of International Security Studies at the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and has written on U.S. foreign policy and international security. She was one of President Barack Obama’s transition advisors for foreign affairs and oversaw national security program review. At the time of this interview, she directed the Carr Center for Human Rights Policy’s National Security and Human Rights Program at Harvard as well as the National Mass Atrocity Response Operations Program, was a lecturer in international affairs at Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government, and was on the secretary of defense’s Defense Policy Board.
Interview includes discussion of: Sewall’s father’s career in law and politics; her interests in high school; Harvard; junior year internship in politics in Washington, D.C. at the Institute for Policy Studies; internship for Olympia Snowe; internship at the Center for Defense Information; space weaponry and Reagan; thesis on anti-satellite weapons, arms, and arms control; Rhodes Scholarship; foreign travel to the USSR and Burma while at Oxford; first job at the Federation for American Scientists; working as a foreign affairs advisor for George Mitchell; Persian Gulf War Powers; traveling with Mitchell to meet Gorbachev in the USSR; work on the Democratic Policy Committee; Mitchell’s work on the nuclear testing moratorium and subsequent award from the Council for a Livable World; Sewall’s position as first deputy assistant secretary of defense for Peacekeeping; research on peace operations for a Council on Foreign Relations Fellowship at the Program on Negotiation at Harvard; work on the Committee on International Security Studies at the American Academy of Arts and Sciences; Sewall’s position as lecturer on public policy at the Kennedy School; and Sewall’s directorship and research at the Carr Center for Human Rights and Policy at Harvard.
Access is restricted to use in the repository: George J. Mitchell Dept. of Special Collections & Archives, Bowdoin College Library, 1 College St., 3000 College Station, Brunswick, Maine 04011-8421, USA. tel. 207.725.3288