Dr. Lee Schwartz
United States Department of State
Dr. Lee Schwartz is the Geographer of the United States and Director of the Office of the Geographer and Global Issues, where he directs research and analysis on global issues primarily related to complex humanitarian emergencies and environmental sustainability. Dr. Schwartz is the State Department’s 8th Geographer, a position that was established in 1921 and bears the statutory responsibility for providing guidance to all federal agencies on questions of international boundaries and sovereignty claims. He also oversees the Humanitarian Information Unit – a U.S. government interagency organization focused on unclassified data coordination for emergency preparedness, response, and mitigation. He has designed and coordinated fieldwork and applied geography projects in the many of the world’s most conflicted countries. His work encompasses ethnic conflict, refugee flows, peacekeeping operations, food and water security, human and wildlife trafficking, and strategic warning – with an emphasis on Geographic Information Systems (GIS), Participatory Mapping, and Remote Sensing information coordination. Among other honors, Dr. Schwartz is a recipient of a 2018 Presidential Rank Award, the Association of American Geographers’ Anderson Medal of Honor in Applied Geography, the State Department’s Warren Christopher Award for Outstanding Achievement in Global Affairs, and the James Cullum Medal from the American Geographical Society. He has a Ph.D. in geography from Columbia University.