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Board: PriscillaClapp





Priscilla Clapp
Washington, DC

Member of the Board since 1995
First Vice President, 2008 to 2013
President, 2002 to 2005
Committees: Executive, Finance, and Policy

A skilled negotiator and diplomat, Priscilla Clapp brings a career of nearly 30 years with the US government to the Washington Humane Society Board of Directors. 

Priscilla served with Radio Liberty, the US Arms Control and Disarmament Agency, and as a Foreign Service Officer with the Department of State.  Her Foreign Service assignments included Chief of Mission of the US Embassy in Burma (1999-2002), Deputy Chief of Mission in the US Embassy in South Africa (1993-96), Senior Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Refugee Programs (1989-1993), Deputy Political Counselor in the US Embassy in Moscow (1986-88), and chief of political-military affairs in the US Embassy in Japan (1981-85).  She also worked on the State Department's Policy Planning Staff, in its East Asian, Political Military, and International Organizations Bureaus.  She retired as a Minister-Counselor in the Foreign Service in September, 2002.

Priscilla has been a recipient of the Presidential Meritorious Service Award, the State Department Superior Honor Award, the State Department Career Achievement Award, and the Sinclair Language Award.  She speaks Russian, Japanese, French, and some Burmese.

Priscilla was born in Massachusetts and holds a bachelor’s degree from Middlebury College with a major in Russian studies. Prior to government service, she spent 10 years in foreign policy and arms control research at the MIT Center for International Studies and the Brookings Institution. Her books include:  with Morton Halperin, Bureaucratic Politics and Foreign Policy (Brookings, 2006), with I.M.Destler et al., Managing an Alliance: the Politics of U.S.-Japanese Relations (Brookings, 1976), with Morton Halperin, U.S.-Japanese Relations in the 1970's (Harvard, 1974).  She has published a number of studies on Burma, including a chapter in Robert Rotberg ed., The Worst of the Worst (Brookings 2007),  “Building Democracy in Burma,” USIP Working Paper 2, July 2007 (, “Burma’s Long Road to Democracy,” a US Institute of Peace Special Report, November 2007 (, and “Burma’s Dramatic Year: Harbingers of Transition?” East-West Center, Asia-Pacific Bulletin 23, September 23, 2008.

Currently engaged in community service with the Experience Corps, she also serves on the board of the Global Community Service Foundation, in addition to the WHS Board.  Priscilla is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations and the International Institute for Strategic Studies.  She resides in Washington, DC with her two cats.