Sarah Sewall

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Sarah Sewall

"Progressive" Cabinet "nominee"

In September 2008, Chicago based socialist journal In These Times asked its editors and writers to suggest their top progressive choices for a potential Obama Cabinet.[1]

We asked that contributors weigh ideological and political considerations, with an eye toward recommending people who have both progressive credentials and at least an arguable chance at being appointed in an Obama White House.

This group of people would represent at once the most progressive, aggressive and practical Cabinet in contemporary history. Of course, it is by no means a definitive list. It is merely one proposal aimed at starting a longer discussion about the very concept of a progressive Cabinet—and why it will be important to a new administration, especially if that administration is serious about change.

Jody Williams suggested Sarah Sewall for Defense Secretary:

Admittedly a long-shot candidate, Sarah Sewall should be the next defense secretary.
During the Clinton administration, Sewall served as the first deputy assistant secretary of defense for peacekeeping and humanitarian assistance.
Currently the executive director of the Carr Center for Human Rights Policy at Harvard University and a lecturer in public policy, Sewall also directs the Center’s program on national security and human rights.

Sewall has worked at a variety of defense research organizations. In addition to writing the introduction to the University of Chicago edition of the U.S. Army and Marine Corps Counterinsurgency Field Manual (2007), she has written widely on U.S. foreign policy, multilateralism, peace operations and military intervention. She currently focuses on civilians in war, facilitating dialogue between the military and human rights communities on the use of force.
One of the biggest challenges facing our country today is recognizing — and adequately responding to — the broad spectrum of threats we face in our globalized world. That includes environmental changes and disease pandemics that are contributing to global conflicts. It also includes the weaponization of space; the proliferation of nuclear weapons; and the extravagance of bloated military budgets — while our schools crumble and nearly 46 million Americans go uninsured.
The mindless use of military might — at the expense of meaningful diplomacy — has left the United States much disliked today. America seems to have lost its moral compass and with it, the ability to lead by example — once a hallmark of our nation.

With Sewall’s extensive background in policy, defense and national security, she understands these challenges and would work to restore American leadership.

Council for a Livable World

As at March 12, 2010, Sarah Sewall of the Carr Center for Human Rights Policy served on the board of the Council for a Livable World. The Council was founded in 1962 by nuclear physicist Leo Szilard and other scientists. Its purpose is to campaign against the proliferation of nuclear weapons through lobbying and by supporting candidates who share their vision.[2]

CLW fundraiser

Abby Rockefeller and Lee Halprin hosted a party to benefit Council for a Livable World and the Center for Arms Control and Non-Proliferation! Wednesday, October 21, 2009 104 Irving Street • Cambridge, MA 02138

At the party, Oregon Democratic Senator Jeff Merkley, a nuclear policy expert, and Sarah Sewall of Harvard Kennedy School, a foreign policy adviser to Barack Obama, will lead the discussion.[3]