July 2010: Scott W. Busby '77


Scott W. Busby ’77 is Director for Human Rights and Refugees in the Office of Multilateral Affairs and Human Rights, National Security Council, The White House. Appointed in May 2009, Busby helps to ensure the incorporation of human rights concerns into both domestic and foreign policy and oversees the U.S. refugee resettlement program (which brings refugees to the U.S.).

A graduate of Amherst College, Busby received a B.A. in sociology (magna cum laude, Phi Beta Kappa) in 1982. While there, he spent a semester studying rural development at the School for International Training in Guatemala, which he primarily credits for inspiring his interest in human rights and refugees. He then received both an M.A. in Sociology from the University of California at Berkeley (1986) and a J.D. from Berkeley’s Boalt Hall School of Law (1990). He is mostly trilingual (English, Spanish, and French) despite his aversion to language classes during his Hotchkiss years.

Before his May 2009 appointment, Busby served for four years as coordinator of the Intergovernmental Consultations on Migration, Asylum, and Refugees in Geneva, Switzerland, a dialogue among 17 developed world governments on asylum, migration, and refugee issues. On the side, he also served as captain of the International Golf Club, a collection of international bureaucrats and diplomats who play golf around the Geneva area.

Service has always been Busby’s focus. He has worked in other jobs involving refugees, immigration and human rights with the Department of State, the National Security Council (during the Clinton administration), the now defunct Immigration and Naturalization Service, and the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees. He has also taught courses in international refugee and human rights law as an adjunct professor at the Washington College of Law at American University and the University of Virginia School of Law.

Busby is married to Anne Glusker, a free-lance journalist from New York, and they have one son, Martin (11).

Busby credits Hotchkiss with opening up his world far beyond the narrow confines of the small town of Pawling, New York, where he grew up, and for giving him the tools to pursue his future passions. He remembers with fondness the penetrating philosophical conversations on the rides to and from golf matches with his coach and English teacher Chris Carlisle, the admonitions from art history teacher Blanche Hoar on the meaning of “noblesse oblige,” the support provided by history teacher Rick DelPrete for his upper mid history project on Students for a Democratic Society (which, truth be told, was ultimately typed by his mother in a room at the Interlaken Inn), the unique blend of discipline and enthusiasm shared by his soccer coaches David Coughlin and Geoff Marchant, and the late nights with fellow Alumni Hall dorm mates struggling to write the latest two-page assignment from English teacher “Uncle” Roy Smith.

Busby would be happy to hear from Hotchkiss students and alumni interested in working on human rights, refugee or immigration issues, or his career/life path: busbyingeneva@gmail.com.

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