Newsroom / Press Release

Peter Yeo Joins UN Foundation as Vice President for Public Policy


Washington, D.C. (Feb. 2, 2009) — The United Nations Foundation announced today that Peter Yeo, Deputy Staff Director for the House Foreign Affairs Committee, has joined the Foundation as its Vice-President for Public Policy. Yeo will also serve as the Executive Director of the Better World Campaign (an initiative of the Foundation).

“Peter Yeo has two decades experience driving public policy to help global problems. He has worked in government on both ends of Pennsylvania Avenue to help advance a strong U.S.-UN relationship, and address global challenges related to trade, AIDS, development and environmental protection. He will help the UN Foundation expand and enhance its policy advocacy efforts at a time of great need and opportunity in the international community,” said Timothy E. Wirth, President of the United Nations Foundation.

“For more than a decade, the Better World Campaign has been a powerful voice reminding the United States to honor its financial commitments to the UN and promote a strong and positive relationship between the U.S. and the United Nations. I look forward to helping build on this tradition, broaden the UN Foundation’s overall policy efforts and enhance efforts to grow an even stronger constituency for the UN in the United States,” said Yeo. “It is also imperative that the U.S. have a concrete plan to meet outstanding U.S. financial obligations to the UN so that the UN can effectively address institutional strengthening and global problem solving.”

Yeo has over twenty years of legislative, analytical, and management experience, including senior roles on Capitol Hill and in the State Department.  Since 1999, he has served as the Deputy Staff Director at the House Foreign Affairs Committee (formerly the House International Relations Committee) chaired by Rep. Howard Berman (D-CA). He has worked on a broad range of foreign policy and foreign aid issues. He led the successful negotiations for the landmark HIV/AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria Act of 2003, commonly known as PEPFAR, as well as the successful $50 billion reauthorization of the law in 2008. He also shepherded into law several measures dealing with China, Tibet, Burma, and East Timor.

A Deputy Assistant Secretary at the U.S. State Department during the second Clinton Administration, Yeo also led the negotiations around repayment of the U.S. arrears to the United Nations and was part of the U.S. delegation to the climate negotiations in Kyoto.  During the 2008 presidential campaigns, Yeo served as an adviser to the foreign policy teams of President Barack Obama and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.

In Washington, the Better World Campaign (BWC) continues to urge the Administration and Congress to pay its agreed UN assessments on-time and in-full for the UN’s regular budget and peacekeeping operations. BWC has also advocated successfully for U.S. re-entry into UNESCO and robust voluntary contributions to support the development work of UN agencies. BWC is increasingly concerned with growing arrears to our contributions to treaty-based international organizations, including the UN, and is seeking to raise awareness of and support for addressing these shortfalls. Over the past year, BWC helped advocate for: $468 million in supplemental and increased funding for peacekeeping operations in FY 2007; $583 million in increased appropriations to UN peacekeeping for FY 2008; and legislative language to remove a congressionally mandated 25% cap on payments for UN peacekeeping operations.

BWC also continues its efforts to educate the public on the role the UN plays in addressing key global challenges so that no country has to pay all the bills or take all the risks in promoting global peace and progress. Specifically, we are raising public awareness and encouraging Congressional support for UN operations, many of which are directly aligned with core U.S. values and priorities—like keeping the peace in war-torn regions; preventing the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction; supporting elections and democratic political processes globally; providing humanitarian assistance for children, refugees, and other victims of conflict and poverty; and eradicating and containing life-threatening diseases.

About the Better World Campaign

The Better World Campaign (BWC), an initiative of the Better World Fund, works to strengthen the relationship between the United States and the United Nations.  It encourages U.S. leadership to enhance the UN’s ability to carry out its invaluable international work on behalf of peace, progress, freedom, and justice. For more information, visit

About the United Nations Foundation

The UN Foundation – a public charity – was created in 1998 with entrepreneur and philanthropist Ted Turner’s historic $1 billion gift to support UN causes and activities. The UN Foundation is an advocate for the UN and a platform for connecting people, ideas, and capital to help the United Nations solve global problems.  We build partnerships, grow constituencies, mobilize resources and advocate policy changes to support the UN’s work for individual and global progress. The UN Foundation’s work – focused on select global problems – is decreasing child mortality, improving disaster relief, protecting diverse cultures and environments, creating a clean energy future, empowering women and girls, and improving U.S.-UN relations. For more information, visit

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