Ambassador Carey Cavanaugh came to the Patterson School following a Foreign Service career centered on conflict resolution, political-military affairs, and humanitarian issues. In addition to Washington assignments in the State Department, Pentagon, and on Capitol Hill, he served in Berlin, Moscow, Tbilisi, Rome, and Bern. In 1992, he led the team that established the first US Embassy to the new Republic of Georgia. Under Presidents Clinton and Bush, Cavanaugh spearheaded or helped advance peace efforts involving Armenia, Azerbaijan, Cyprus, Georgia, Greece, Moldova, Tajikistan, and Turkey. His final assignment was foreign policy advisor to Admiral Mike Mullen, later chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.
Upon leaving government service in 2006, Cavanaugh took a full professorship at the University of Kentucky and became director of the Patterson School. He led the program for a decade before going on sabbatical as a fellow at Cambridge’s Clare College and executive-in-residence at the Geneva Center for Security Policy. Cavanaugh’s teaching ranges from mediation and the diplomacy of nuclear weapons to US-Russian relations and ethics; his policy writing and research center on diplomacy, mediation and peace efforts in the South Caucasus.
Cavanaugh is currently Chairman of International Alert, a major independent peacebuilding NGO. Headquartered in London, Alert’s full-time staff of over 250 is mainly based in Africa, Asia and the Mideast, working directly with those affected by international conflict. They partner with 800+ organizations in more than 25 countries and territories on projects designed to prevent the outbreak of conflict, build support for approaches to peace, and facilitate reconciliation. Cavanaugh has been active in conflict resolution and peacebuilding activities, working with several leading British and European NGOs on civil society initiatives and Track II diplomatic efforts. From 2014-2018, he served as a director of Conciliation Resources (London).
Professor Cavanaugh earned his B.A. at the University of Florida, his M.A. at the University of Notre Dame, with four years additional graduate work at Notre Dame and the US Army Russian Institute in Garmisch-Partenkirchen, Germany. He was an APSA Congressional Fellow in 1991-1992 and a member of MIT’s Seminar XXI in 1994-1995. He is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations (New York) and the International Institute for Strategic Studies (London).