Amb. Robert Loftis Awarded Gitner Family Prize

May 18, 2019

Ambassador Robert Loftis, Professor of the Practice of International Relations and Director of Graduate Studies at the Frederick S. Pardee School of Global Studies at Boston University, has been awarded the School’s 2019 Gerald and Deanne Gitner Family Prize for Faculty Excellence.

Amb. Loftis was presented with the award’s commemorative silver plate at the Pardee School Convocation Ceremony on Saturday, May 18, 2019 at the Walter Brown Arena.

The Gitner Family Prize for Faculty Excellence was endowed by the Gitner Family in 2014. The Gitner Prize honors teaching and mentoring excellence and is awarded each year to a faculty member who embodies the School’s mission to advance human progress. The prize also includes a cash award. Pardee School Dean Adil Najam said that “the generosity of the Gitner family and the establishment of this award has allowed the School to recognize what Boston University and those now in the Pardee School have always valued highly – good teaching, mentorship, and service.”

Amb. Loftis joined what is now the Pardee School in 2013 after 32 years in the U.S. State Department and Foreign Service, including as Ambassador to Lesotho, as the lead negotiator for a status of forces agreement with Iraq, and as the Senior Adviser for Security Negotiations and Agreements. Since 2015, he has served as the Pardee School’s Director of Graduate Studies.

In nominating Amb. Loftis, one student wrote that “without his leadership and mentorship over the past three years, the Pardee School and I would not be where we are today.” Another adds that he “exemplifies the spirit of teaching and mentoring that distinguished the Pardee School.”

Students credit him for being “highly dependable, having regular office hours and always making himself available for students.” One student writes that “Amb. Loftis unreservedly invests himself in his students, is a champion of interdisciplinary study, and strives to advance human progress in the work that he does and in the work that he inspires in us all.”

Students highlight his singular dedication to the annual Washington, D.C. Spring trip. One student writes that he “went out of his way to show students the inner workings of Washington and connect us with thought leaders, policy analysts, and journalists.” Another added that his attention to detail made the trip a “life-changing experience.”

Amb. Robert G. Loftis served in the State Department and Foreign Service from 1980 to 2012, where he held a wide variety of assignments, including Acting Coordinator for Reconstruction and Stabilization (2010-2012), Special Representative for Avian and Pandemic Influenza (2009), Senior Adviser for Security Negotiations and Agreements (2004-2007), Ambassador to Lesotho (2001-2004) and Deputy Chief of Mission in Mozambique (1999-2001).  You can read more about him here.

Past winners of the Gitner Family Prize for Faculty Excellence include Assistant Professor of International Relations Noora Lori, Professor of International Relations and History William KeylorAssistant Professor of International Relations Jeremy Menchik and Assistant Professor of International Relations Kaija Schilde.

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