Ambassador Karl F. Inderfurth said he looks forward to teaching students with “a lot of energy and idealism” next fall, when he joins the GW Elliott School of International Affairs faculty as a Raymond and Juliet Bland Professorial Lecturer in International Affairs.
“I am very excited to be teaching at GW in the fall, and I am pleased to be a part of the Elliott School,” Inderfurth said. “I am also very excited to teach undergrads in the spring.”
Inderfurth, who brings first-hand experience in South Asian affairs, the National Security Council, Capitol Hill, United Nations and the media, will teach two graduate courses in the fall. The courses include a seminar on U.S. relations with South Asia and another on the National Security Council.
“Dean (Harry) Harding and I were impressed about how deeply concerned he was with teaching graduate students, (and) especially undergrads,” ESIA Associate Dean Barbara Miller said. “We don’t have many professors knowledgeable about South Asia.”
Inderfurth said he hopes his passion for teaching will help students in making career choices.
“When I was an undergrad, my professors were very important in opening my eyes to the world around,” he said.
For the past four years, Inderfurth served as U.S. assistant secretary of state for South Asian Affairs. His tenure saw an improvement in U.S. relations with South Asia, he said. Last March, former President Bill Clinton became the first U.S. president to visit the region in more than two decades, traveling to India, Bangladesh and Pakistan.
Inderfurth said he joined former President Jimmy Carter the last time a president visited South Asia, which he called “an exciting part of the world.”
“I went on the last trip to South Asia in 1978 as special assistant to Dr. Zbigniew Brzezinski,” he said, referring to Carter’s national security adviser. “I am pleased that there is now more policy attention to this area; there are more possibilities for a better relationship, especially with India.”
Inderfurth started his work in D.C. as an intern on Capitol Hill and received a bachelor’s degree in political science in 1968 from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. He became a Fulbright Scholar at the University of Strathclyde in Scotland in 1973 and gained a master’s degree in politics at Princeton University in 1975.
Inderfurth previously served as a national security correspondent and Moscow correspondent with ABC News, where he covered arms control. His two and a half years in the Soviet Union allowed him to travel to 12 of the 15 Soviet republics and broadcast more than 400 reports for ABC.
Miller said she is “thrilled” to have Inderfurth join the Elliot School faculty.
“He’s a real team player,” she said. “He’s easy to work with and an inspiring person.”