ROBERT W. VAN ZWIETEN
President & CEO
Secretary Clinton appointed Tomicah Tillemann as the State Department’s Senior Advisor for Civil Society and Emerging Democracies in October 2010. He continues his service under Secretary Kerry.
Mr. Tillemann and his team operate like venture capitalists, identifying ideas that can strengthen new democracies and civil society, and then bring together the talent, technology and resources needed to translate promising concepts into successful diplomacy. He and his team have developed over 20 major initiatives on behalf of the President and Secretary of State.
Mr. Tillemann came to the State Department as a speechwriter to Secretary Clinton in March 2009 and collaborated with her on over 200 speeches. Earlier, he worked for the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, where he was the principal policy advisor on Europe and Eurasia to Committee Chairmen, Senators Joe Biden and John Kerry. He also facilitated the work of the Senate's Subcommittee on European Affairs, then chaired by Senator Barack Obama. Mr. Tillemann’s other professional experience includes work with the White House Office of Media Affairs and five U.S. Senate and Congressional campaigns. He was a reporter with Reuters New Media and hosted a commercial radio program in Denver, Colorado.
Mr. Tillemann is also a co-holder of four patents on advanced clean technologies and a co-founder of IRIS Engines. He has helped to found and lead numerous civil society organizations, including the Lantos Foundation for Human Rights and Justice and the Student Campaign for Child Survival.
Mr. Tillemann received his B.A. magna cum laude from Yale University. He holds a Ph.D. with distinction from the School for Advanced International Studies at Johns Hopkins University (SAIS) where he also served as a graduate level instructor in American foreign policy. He has lectured at Yale and Princeton and testified repeatedly before Congress. Secretary Clinton personally nominated him for the State Department’s Distinguished Honor Award in recognition of his innovative efforts to strengthen democracy and civil society worldwide.