USUN announces President Biden’s appointments to its leadership team

USUN announces President Biden’s appointments to its leadership team

The U.S. Mission to the United Nations announced key members of its leadership team appointed by President Biden. These appointees, most of whom were sworn in on Inauguration Day, reflect President Biden and Vice President Harris’s commitment to building a talented, experienced, and diverse administration that looks like America and is ready to hit the ground running on day one. Additional appointees, including Chief of Staff and Director of Operations, will be announced in the coming days.

The following presidential and career appointments were announced today, listed in alphabetical order.

Sohini Chatterjee, Senior Policy Advisor

Sohini Chatterjee most recently served on the faculty at Columbia University’s School of International and Public Affairs, as a Legal Advisor for Independent International Legal Advocates and a Senior Associate at the Center for Strategic and International Studies. She served as a Senior Advisor in the Obama Administration, where she focused on global development issues and previously was an attorney in the International Group at Steptoe & Johnson LLP. Ms. Chatterjee holds a law degree from Duke University, a master’s degree in international relations and international economics from the School of Advanced International Studies at John Hopkins University, and a B.A. from Columbia University.

Olivia Alair Dalton, Spokesperson and Communications Director

Olivia Alair Dalton most recently led communications for the Biden-Harris Transition’s Confirmations Team. Over the past 15 years, she has served as a spokesperson and communications strategist for leading public officials and organizations, including both of President Obama’s presidential campaigns, former First Lady Michelle Obama, former U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood, and the Human Rights Campaign. She started her career as a spokesperson for President Joe Biden in the U.S. Senate and for the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. In 2019, she founded a public affairs firm and served as a Fellow at Georgetown University’s Institute of Politics and Public Service with the McCourt School of Public Policy, where she became an Adjunct Professor teaching crisis communications.

Ambassador Jeffrey DeLaurentis, Acting Alternate Representative for Special Political Affairs

During his 28-year career in the U.S. Foreign Service, Ambassador DeLaurentis worked almost exclusively as a multilateral diplomat at the United Nations in New York and Geneva, and on Western Hemisphere issues.  He served as U.S. Ambassador/Alternate Representative for Special Political Affairs to the UN from 2011-14 and prior to that as Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for the Bureau of Western Hemisphere Affairs.  Since 2018, DeLaurentis has held a series of fellowships at Georgetown, Columbia and Harvard and has been affiliated with the Albright Stonebridge Group as a senior advisor.  

 Aditi Gorur, Policy Advisor

Aditi Gorur was previously the Director of the Protecting Civilians in Conflict Program at the Stimson Center, where her work focused on UN peacekeeping, conflict prevention, and the protection of civilians in armed conflict. During her nine years at Stimson, she conducted extensive field research in conflict areas such as the Central African Republic, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Mali, and South Sudan. She was born in Lagos, Nigeria and lived in India, Oman, and Australia before immigrating to the U.S. She holds a Master’s degree in security studies from Georgetown University, and Bachelor’s degrees in law and international development from the University of Melbourne.

Laurence Pevsner, Speechwriter

Laurence Pevsner was most recently a director at the speechwriting and strategy firm West Wing Writers, where he wrote speeches and strategic communications for dozens of world leaders in politics, business, entertainment, and philanthropy. There, he wrote featured remarks for the 2016 Democratic National Convention. A Connecticut native, Laurence is the son of an immigrant and graduated from Amherst College with a degree in Law, Jurisprudence and Social Thought.

Kelly Razzouk, Deputy Chief of Staff for Policy

Kelly L. Razzouk has over a decade of experience as a senior U.S. Government official, starting her career as a Presidential Management Fellow after graduating from law school. Kelly worked at the Office of the Geographer for Global Issues, Bureau of International Organizations, U.S. Embassy Amman Jordan and as a negotiator at the UN Human Rights Council. Prior to that, she spent eight years at USUN as the Mission’s lead human rights negotiator and Senior Policy Advisor to Ambassador Samantha Power, leading human rights policy and political prisoner advocacy. She also served as an advisor to Ambassador Susan Rice and congressional liaison in her Washington office. She spent two years representing the International Rescue Committee at the UN as Director of Policy and Advocacy.

Zach Vertin, Senior Policy Advisor

Zach Vertin was most recently a Fellow at the Brookings Institution's foreign policy program and a Lecturer at Princeton University, where he taught graduate courses on international mediation and peace processes. He previously served in the Obama Administration as a Senior Advisor at the State Department. Vertin also spent six years at the International Crisis Group, as a Senior Analyst in the Africa program and an Advisor on multilateral affairs in the UN Security Council. He was a fellow at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars and has consulted for a variety of international organizations on conflict resolution, peace operations, and political transitions. Vertin was born and raised in Minnesota, and is a graduate of Princeton's School of Public and International Affairs and St. John's University.

Jasmine Wyatt, Special Assistant

Jasmine Wyatt most recently served on the Biden-Harris Transition’s National Security Council Review Team and as a Legislative and Policy Analyst for Oversight at the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, where she led efforts to increase diversity, equity, and inclusion in foreign policy. She also drafted and edited foreign policy legislation and Committee reports evaluating U.S. efforts to meet global challenges. Jasmine previously served as an aide to Senator Dick Durbin, and as a board member of the Senate Black Legislative Staff Caucus, and the Tri-Caucus Foreign Affairs Congressional Staff Association. Hailing from Akron, Ohio, Jasmine received her B.A. in Government and South Asian Studies from Harvard University.