January 1, 2023  New York, New York


After more than twelve years of service, Dr. Steven L. Burg has stepped down as the Chair of the Board of Directors of the Council for Inclusive Governance. On December 15, 2022, at its annual meeting, the Board unanimously elected Thomas M. Countryman as its new Chair starting on January 1, 2023.


Mr. Countryman has had a distinguished career in public service spanning almost four decades achieving the rank of minister-counselor. He joined the U.S. State Department in 1982 and in 1983 was posted at the U.S. Embassy in Belgrade, Yugoslavia. In addition to Belgrade and many positions in Washington, DC at the State Department, the National Security Council, and the Pentagon, Mr. Countryman has served in Cairo, Rome, and Athens. In 2009-2010, he was the State Department’s Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary for Military-Political Affairs. In 2010-2011, he served as the Deputy Assistant Secretary for European Affairs with responsibility for the Balkans. In 2011, President Obama nominated Thomas Countryman to be Assistant Secretary of State for International Security and Nonproliferation. In 2016-2017, he served as the Acting Under Secretary of State for International Security Affairs. Since 2017, he has been on the Board of Directors of the Arms Control Association where he is currently the Board Chairman. The ACA is a nonpartisan NGO which analyzes key national security issues and advises the executive branch, Congress and the public on choices that promote global security and reduce risk from weapons of mass destruction. He studied at Washington University in St. Louis and at Harvard University, and his foreign languages include Serbo-Croatian, Arabic, Italian, Greek, and German. Mr. Countryman joined CIG’s Board of Directors in 2018. We are grateful to him for agreeing to serve as the next Chairman of the Board and look forward to his guidance as CIG continues its work on promoting inclusive governance and improving interstate and interethnic relations.


We express our sincere gratitude to Dr. Steven L. Burg, professor emeritus of international politics at Brandeis University and a leading U.S. scholar on the Balkans, ethnic politics, and management of ethnic conflict, for his many years of service to CIG as the Founding Chairman of the Board. His thoughtful leadership, unflagging wisdom, and insight into the complexities of interethnic relations and international politics have made an essential contribution to CIG’s work and its very establishment. We are delighted and grateful to Dr. Burg that he will remain a Board member.

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