William Lacy Swing

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William Lacy Swing

From 2007: "William Lacy Swing brings to his candidacy for Director General of the International Organization for Migration (IOM) an exceptional breadth of international experience, a proven track record in managing complex multilateral operations, and a demonstrated ability to collaborate productively with foreign governments, United Nations (UN) agencies and other inter-governmental institutions. As UN Special Representative of the Secretary-General (SRSG) for the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), Ambassador Swing has successfully led all facets of the largest and most complex UN peacekeeping operation in history. A six-time Ambassador, he has managed some of the biggest diplomatic missions and foreign development and humanitarian aid programs in two hemispheres, with an extensive record of strengthening bilateral relationships through his energetic hands-on leadership. Through his diplomatic assignments in countries facing significant migration movements, Ambassador Swing has developed a profound understanding of the diversity of factors affecting international migration.

"Ambassador Swing was appointed by UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan in May 2003, to serve as the SRSG for the DRC, with the rank of Under-Secretary-General. In this capacity, he serves as the Chief of Mission of the UN Mission in the Democratic Republic of Congo (MONUC), the largest and most complex UN peacekeeping operation in history with nearly 22,000 UN civilian, military, and police personnel and an annual budget of more than $1 billion. He also coordinates all UN activities in the DRC. As SRSG, Ambassador Swing engages in regular bilateral and multilateral discussions and briefings with the wide range of foreign ministries and institutions with interest in MONUC. Among these are the UN Security Council, the African Union, the European Union and Commission, governments in the Great Lakes sub-region, the Southern African Development Community, and dozens of troop-contributing countries. By fostering extensive interagency and inter-governmental cooperation, he has forged a dynamic and effective international partnership that is providing the strongest and most consistent support to the DRC that it has received in its history. These efforts culminated in the first free and fair multi-party elections in the country in over 40 years. Ambassador Swing also oversees MONUC’s critical role in facilitating humanitarian assistance and human rights monitoring, including the return and reintegration of refugees and internally displaced persons (IDPs), the demobilization of ex-combatants, and other population stabilization activities.

"Before his work in the DRC, from 2001 to 2003 Ambassador Swing served as the SRSG for Western Sahara and Chief of Mission for the UN Mission for the Referendum in Western Sahara (MINURSO).

"A career diplomat, Ambassador Swing has held many senior positions as a member of the U.S. Department of State, including postings as U.S. Ambassador to the Democratic Republic of the Congo (1998-2001), Haiti (1993-1998), Nigeria (1992-1993), South Africa (1989-1992), Liberia (1981-1985), and the Republic of the Congo (1979-1981). At the time of his Ambassadorships, he led two of the biggest U.S. embassies in sub-Saharan Africa – South Africa and Liberia – and oversaw some of the largest U.S. development and humanitarian assistance programs, in South Africa and Haiti. In managing the $237 million Haitian program, he worked hand-in-hand with IOM to demobilize and reintegrate most of the 6000-person Haitian Armed Forces.

"Ambassador Swing graduated from Catawba College in North Carolina (Bachelor of Arts) and Yale University (Bachelor of Divinity), and did post-graduate studies at Tuebingen University in Germany and at Harvard University. He speaks fluent French and German." [1]

Work in Haiti

"U.S. and U.N. officials called the plan - firmly and immediately rejected by Aristide and dozens of popular organizations and leaders from the democratic movement - the "parliamentary plan." But on March 9, under extensive questioning on Capitol Hill, U.S. Special Advisor on Haiti Lawrence Pezzullo revealed that the parliamentary delegation, led by former Ton Ton Macoute and self-proclaimed neo-Duvalierist Parliamentarian Robert Monde, was hand-picked by himself and U.S. Ambassador to Haiti William Swing, and that the plan originated not with the Haitian parliamentarians hut as a State Department memo last December." [3]

Resources and articles

Related Sourcewatch articles


  1. William Lacy Swing, US Department of State, accessed October 6, 2008.
  2. Principals, Inter-Agency Standing Committee, accessed September 18, 2011.
  3. Subverting Democracy, MultiNational Monitor, accessed October 6, 2008.