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Patrick Mendis

By Rahul Gupta | SADC 2013 Speakers, Uncategorized - October 25, 2013

Patrick Mendis is an educator, diplomat, author, and executive in government service. He taught MBA and MPA as well as American foreign policy, global trade, and international affairs courses at the University of Minnesota, University of Maryland, and Yale University before joining the Department of State, where he served under Secretary Madeleine Albright and General Colin Powell. In 2012, Secretary Hillary Clinton appointed Professor Mendis as a commissioner to the U.S. National Commission for UNESCO.

He is currently a distinguished senior fellow at the School of Public Policy (SPP) as well as an affiliate professor of public and international affairs (PIA) and an adjunct professor of geography and geoinformation science (GGS) at George Mason University.

A fellow of the World Academy of Art and Science and a member of the Council on Foreign Relations (in the St. Paul-Minneapolis Committee), Dr. Mendis previously worked at the Minnesota House of Representatives, the U.S. Senate Foreign Relations Committee, the World Bank, and the United Nations.  He had served as the  vice president of the Osgood Center for International Studies and foreign policy and as a Visiting Scholar at the Johns Hopkins University’s Paul Nitze School of Advanced International Studies in Washington, D.C.

Professor Mendis has authored more than 100 journal articles, government reports, newspaper columns, and several books including, most recently, Peaceful War: How Chinese Dream and the American Destiny Create a Pacific New World Order (2013), Commercial Providence: The Secret Destiny of the American Empire (2010) and Trade for Peace (2009). Professor Jack Goldstone at George Mason University, Professor Stephen Trachtenberg, president emeritus of the George Washington University, and Professor Brian Atwood, former dean of the University of Minnesota’s Hubert Humphrey School of Public Affairs, respectively wrote the forewords for these three highly acclaimed books.

Dr. Mendis is an alumnus of the Humphrey School of Public Affairs at the University of Minnesota and the Harvard Kennedy School (HKS). A Socrates fellow at the Aspen Institute, he also attended Oxford University’s Merton College as a 21st Century Trust fellow. Dr. Mendis is a first class honors graduate of the University of Sri Jayewardenepura in Sri Lanka. A former trustee of the Humphrey School Alumni Board, Dr. Mendis currently serves as a counselor on the HKS Alumni Council Board in Washington. He is currently a consulting professor of international affairs at the Guangdong University of Foreign Studies in Guangzhou.

Over the years, Mendis established a number of scholarships and awards in Sri Lanka and the United States. More recently he inaugurated the annual Edward Burdick Legislative Award at the University of Minnesota.

He has received numerous awards and honors for his leadership, public service, and philanthropic activities. These include the Hubert Humphrey Outstanding Leadership Award, the University of Minnesota President’s Award for Outstanding Leadership and Service, the University of Maryland’s Stanley Drazek Teaching Excellence Award, the United Nations Medal for the International Year of the Youth, the Harold Stassen Award for United Nations Affairs, the USDA Graduate School Outstanding Service Award from the U.S. Department of Agriculture, and the U.S. State Department’s Meritorious Honors Award and the Benjamin Franklin Award.

Professor Mendis and his Scandinavian wife live in the Washington, D.C.

Source: Asian American Net (

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