The Curtis L. Carlson Distinguished Lecture Series was created by the Carlson Family Foundation to support public discourse on issues and topics of particular relevance to the people of the United States and the Nordic nations.
About Jan Eliasson
“H.E. Mr. Jan Eliasson, Deputy Secretary-General of the United Nations, was born in Gothenburg, Sweden. He graduated from the Swedish Naval Academy in 1962 and earned a Master’s degree in Economics and Business Administration in 1965.
From 2007 to 2008, Mr. Eliasson served as the Special Envoy of the UN Secretary-General for Darfur. Prior to this, he served as President of the 60th session of the UN General Assembly and as Sweden’s Ambassador to the US from September 2000 until July 2005. In March 2006, Mr. Eliasson was appointed Foreign Minister of Sweden and served in this capacity until the elections in the fall of 2006.
Mr. Eliasson served, from 1994 to 2000, as Sweden’s State Secretary for Foreign Affairs, a key position in formulating and implementing Swedish foreign policy. He was Sweden’s Ambassador to the United Nations from 1988 to 1992, and also served as the Secretary-General’s Personal Representative for Iran/Iraq.
Mr. Eliasson was the first UN Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and was involved in operations in Africa and the Balkans. He took initiatives on landmines, conflict prevention, and humanitarian action. From 1980 to 1986, Mr. Eliasson was part of the UN mediation missions in the war between Iran and Iraq, headed by former Prime Minister Olof Palme. In 1993 to 1994, he served as mediator in the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict for the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE).
Prior to his appointment as Deputy Secretary-General, Jan Eliasson also served as Chair of Water Aid/Sweden and a member of the UN Secretary-General’s Advocacy Group of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs).”