Focus areas: Linguistics, peacekeeping operations, conflict assessment
Elisabeth Lindenmayer is the Director of the International Organization and UN Studies Specialization at Columbia University's School of International and Public Affairs (SIPA). In September 2014, she was also appointed the Acting Director of the International Conflict Resolution Specialization. She teaches courses on the UN Security Council, peacekeeping/peace building in Africa and the United Nations in a global world. Her program seeks to promote academic research on topics that are most relevant to practitioners at the United Nations, as well as to policy makers and academic institutions. Professor Lindenmayer is a member of the Advisory Panel of the Security Council Report. She also serves as a board member of the Kofi Annan Foundation. She was part of the Kofi Annan Mediation Team in 2008, which led to a coalition government in Kenya. She has published the story of the crisis in an article entitled “Kenya. A Choice for Peace? The Story of the 44 Days of Mediation."
Professor Lindenmayer joined the UN Secretariat in 1977 and in 1992 moved to the UN Department of Peacekeeping Operations just prior to the dramatic expansion of peacekeeping operations in numerous volatile areas convulsed by conflict. She was on the scene at the conflicts in Iraq, Somalia and Rwanda—operations that continue to capture the attention of policymakers and scholars of UN peace operations. In 1997 Professor Lindenmayer was selected to serve in the Office of Secretary General Kofi Annan as his Executive Assistant, where she served as one of his closest advisors and led the many teams, which accompanied him to his political missions around the world. From 2004–2005, Professor Lindenmayer was promoted to the Assistant Secretary General level and named Deputy Chef de Cabinet, which placed her at the center of the preparations for the largest ever summit on UN reform in 2005.
Upon leaving the UN, Professor Lindenmayer was awarded the Legion d'Honneur by French President Jacques Chirac. In 2007 the U.S. Red Cross honored her for her work in humanitarian affairs. She received the 2008 Outstanding Teaching Award at SIPA. Following a research trip to Haiti where she and her six students were caught in the earthquake; she received the 2010 “Teacher of the Year” award and was nominated for the 2010 prestigious Columbia Presidential Teaching Award. In the summer of 2012, she led a team of 15 students to North Korea, in what became the first trip to DPRK sponsored by an American university.
Professor Lindenmayer was born in Gaoua, Burkina Faso (previously Upper Volta). As the daughter of a French Army Officer, she grew up also in Algeria, Morocco, Tunisia, then French Indochina, Cote d'Ivoire and Senegal as well as in France and England. She holds university degrees from the Paris Sorbonne University, the University of Geneva and New York University. She is married and has two children.