Louise V. Oliver was elected President of the French American Cultural Foundation in May, 2015. She was named by President George W. Bush as Ambassador and Permanent Representative of the United States to the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), serving from February, 2004 until January, 2009, leading America’s return to the organization after a twenty year absence.
In July 2016, Ambassador Oliver became a member of the US World War I Centennial Commission’s Diplomatic Advisory Board. In February 2011, Ambassador Oliver was appointed as a Distinguished Fellow at the Institute of World Politics, and also served as the Chairman of the Ambassadors’ Forum of the Institute’s Center for Culture and Security. In these roles, Ambassador Oliver served as a resource for students and faculty on a variety of topics, including multilateral diplomacy. She also organized and hosted presentations by American and foreign ambassadors on the critical role of the ambassador in conducting public diplomacy.
Ambassador Oliver is an expert in the fields of education, philanthropy, public policy, and organization management, and has led national organizations in these and related fields. She has worked extensively in the private sector and with the US Department of Education to emphasize the importance of education in promoting democratic values and to foster innovative approaches for achieving greater rigor in education programs. In 1989 former President George H.W. Bush appointed Ambassador Oliver as a Commissioner on the National Commission on Children. The Commission’s report included a thorough analysis of the US educational system and recommended improvements aimed at insuring a quality education for every child.
Ambassador Oliver has served on the boards of five educational institutions, including the American University of Bulgaria. She has also served on the board of the John Carter Brown Library at Brown University helping oversee one of the world’s premier collections of historical materials documenting the history of the Americas from the 1400s to the 1820s.
As Chairman of the Philanthropy Roundtable, Ambassador Oliver worked closely with the donor community to identify and support effective ways to promote positive change throughout society. In furtherance of this effort, she helped found the New Atlantic Initiative to strengthen transatlantic cooperation by encouraging collaboration among American and European government and business leaders. Ambassador Oliver graduated with distinction from Smith College and was elected to Phi Beta Kappa.