Louise V. Oliver
Ambassador Louise V. Oliver was named by President George W. Bush as Permanent Representative of the United States to the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO). She was sworn in on February 12, 2004 by U.S. Secretary of State Colin Powell and presented her credentials to UNESCO Director General Matsuura on March 9, 2004. As the first U.S. Ambassador to UNESCO in twenty years, Ambassador Oliver led the entire U.S. re-engagement with UNESCO. In addition to strengthening UNESCO's World Heritage program and its Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission, she provided active leadership in areas such as global literacy, clean water, and freedom of expression. Ambassador Oliver served as the U.S. Permanent Representative to UNESCO until January, 2009.
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 U.S. 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 U.S. 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.