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Boise State Welcomes Former State Department Official as Frank and Bethine Church Chair of Public Affairs

By: Sherry Squires   Published 6:38 am / May 19, 2017

The Frank Church Institute at Boise State University has named Steven Feldstein the Frank and Bethine Church Chair of Public Affairs. Feldstein also will teach in the global studies program, a new offering in the School of Public Service.

“We are delighted to welcome Mr. Feldstein to Boise State University and excited that our students will have an opportunity to learn from such an accomplished and exemplary public servant,” said Boise State President Bob Kustra.

Feldstein served as U.S. Deputy Assistant Secretary of State responsible for the State Department’s Bureau for Democracy, Human Rights and Labor. At the State Department, Feldstein was the senior official responsible for overseeing U.S. democracy and human rights policy for Africa, international labor affairs and international religious freedom.

Prior to his appointment at the State Department, Feldstein was the director of policy for the U.S. Agency for International Development. He also served for five years as counsel on the U.S. Senate Committee on Foreign Relations under chairmen Joseph Biden and John Kerry. He has been published in a wide range of academic and popular publications, including the California Law Review and Huffington Post.

Feldstein is keenly aware of Sen. Frank Church’s legacy and is eager to advance Church’s values in his new role at Boise State.

“It is an honor to be named as the Frank and Bethine Church Chair of Public Affairs. Sen. Church’s legacy of public service and his strong commitment to peace, intelligence transparency, civil rights and conservation is more relevant than ever in these politically charged times,” said Feldstein. “I look forward to advancing research, teaching and public engagement that builds on Sen. Church’s values and reaches out to a new generation of citizens.”

Feldstein currently serves as a nonresident fellow at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace in the Democracy and Rule of Law Program. He is also a member of the board of IH Global, a non-profit global coalition of international non-governmental organizations, civil society organizations, private sector companies and individuals, committed to equitable development.

“Frank and Bethine would be well pleased that their legacy will be enhanced and protected by the appointment of such an extraordinarily well-qualified person,” said Tony Park, president of the board of directors of the Frank Church Institute.

Feldstein has been a lecturer at American University and a consultant advisor at Notre Dame. He earned his bachelor of political science at Princeton and his J.D. at the University of California, Berkeley.

Feldstein will arrive at Boise State in early July. His wife, Elizabeth Gutting, currently the program director of the PEN/Faulkner Foundation, will teach in the creative writing program at Boise State.

School of Public Service Dean Corey Cook said the addition of Feldstein is an important step forward for the School of Public Service.

“Professor Feldstein has an impressive record of public service and remarkable breadth and depth of knowledge that he will bring to Boise State University,” Cook said. “Having Steve as our first endowed chair in the School of Public Service is in itself a remarkable achievement that is a testament to the exceptional board of the Frank Church Institute and the commitment of President Kustra. He will be an incredible asset to the campus community: teaching and mentoring our students, collaborating with faculty on timely research projects, and collaborating with community partners to elevate the public discourse around issues of foreign affairs and human rights. This is truly an exciting time to be part of Boise State, a university on the move.”