The Life and Work of a US Ambassador under the Obama Administration

The Life and Work of a US Ambassador under the Obama Administration

Tuesday, February 18, 2014


Wasserstein Hall, B015

Keynote Speakers:

  • Barry White, U.S. Ambassador to Norway

Barry White

Barry B. White, nominated by President Obama, was sworn in as United States Ambassador to Norway on October 21, 2009. In a confirmation hearing before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee on September 15, 2009, White emphasized the commitment shared by Norway and the U.S. to promoting human rights, democracy, and freedom throughout the world. He said that he looked forward to working to preserve and build upon this invaluable relationship, and to increase economic development opportunities both for U.S. companies in Norway and Norwegian firms in the United States. Prior to his appointment as Ambassador, White served for more than 13 years as Chairman and Managing Partner (CEO) of Foley Hoag LLP, where he was a senior partner in the firm’s business, corporate, international and government strategies practice areas. He practiced law at Foley Hoag for 40 years. Mr. White also served as Chair of Lex Mundi, the world’s largest international association of independent law firms, and co-founded the Lex Mundi Pro Bono Foundation, to provide pro bono legal advice to social entrepreneurs around the world. White has been deeply involved in community services, and served as Secretary, General Counsel and Member of the Executive Committee of the Greater Boston Chamber of Commerce and as a Director of the Massachusetts Alliance for International Business. In 2005, he and his wife were awarded the American Jewish Committee of New England’s Award for Community Service. He was active with many organizations and boards, including the American Bar Association, as a member of the Business and International Sections; Edgewater Technology; the Initiative for a Competitive Inner City; the Boston Municipal Research Bureau; the Northeastern University School of Social Science, Public Policy and Urban Affairs; the Massachusetts Association for Mental Health; the Boston University Goldman School of Dental Medicine; and several others. White was commissioned as a Lieutenant in the U.S. Public Health Service and served from 1967 to 1969 in the legislative liaison office in the Office of the Surgeon General at the U.S. Department of Health, Education and Welfare. He holds a B.A. from Harvard College, magna cum laude and Phi Beta Kappa, and a J.D. from Harvard Law School, magna cum laude, where he was an Editor of the Harvard Law Review. White is married to Eleanor G. White, an affordable housing expert. They have three sons and one granddaughter.