Kara C. McDonald is a Foreign Service officer with the U.S. Department of State, and currently serves as the U.S. deputy special coordinator for Haiti. McDonald was an international affairs fellow from 2009 to 2010 and director for United Nations and international operations at the National Security Council from 2007 to 2009. She served as acting senior director for democracy, human rights, and international organizations during the transition to the Obama administration. Prior to serving at the White House, she was a special assistant to R. Nicholas Burns, former undersecretary for political affairs at the State Department, where she advised on African affairs and the United Nations, including negotiations in the Security Council on Iran, North Korea, Lebanon, Sudan, Iraq, Afghanistan, Myanmar, and Kosovo. From 2004 to 2006, McDonald was deputy director for planning in the Office of the Coordinator for Reconstruction and Stabilization (S/CRS) at the Department of State. She has served in and advised on multilateral operations and complex contingencies for more than ten years, and chaired interagency policy committees on peacekeeping and peace-building operations, strategy in the multilateral environment, aid effectiveness, and governance in postconflict. Prior to joining the Department of State, McDonald managed elections and political process assistance to central and eastern Europe for the U.S. Agency for International Development. Her overseas assignments have included Romania, Kosovo, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Haiti, Macedonia, and Croatia. She holds a BA in French and comparative literature from the University of Michigan and an MA from the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University. She speaks French and Romanian.
Stewart M. Patrick is senior fellow and director of the International Institutions and Global Governance program at the Council on Foreign Relations. His areas of expertise include multilateral cooperation in the management of global issues; U.S. policy toward international institutions, including the United Nations; and the challenges posed by fragile states. From 2005 to April 2008, he was a research fellow at the Center for Global Development, where he focused on the linkages between state weakness and transnational threats. He also served as a professorial lecturer in international relations/conflict management at Johns Hopkins University's School of Advanced International Studies. From September 2002 to January 2005, Patrick served on the secretary of state's policy planning staff, with lead staff responsibility for U.S. policy toward Afghanistan and a range of global and transnational issues. He joined the State Department as a Council on Foreign Relations international affairs fellow. Prior to government service, Patrick was an associate at the Center on International Cooperation at New York University from 1997 to 2002. He graduated from Stanford University and received his doctorate in international relations, as well as two MA degrees, from Oxford University, where he was a Rhodes scholar. He is the author of The Best Laid Plans: The Origins of American Multilateralism and the Dawn of the Cold War and of the forthcoming Weak Links: Fragile States, Global Threats, and International Security.