Ambassador vanden Heuvel has served as Deputy U.S. Permanent Representative to the United Nations and as U.S. Permanent Representative to the European office of the UN. He is the Chair Emeritus and Founder of the Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt Institute, and the Franklin D. Roosevelt Four Freedoms Park, LLC. He has served as President of the International Rescue Committee, as Chairman of the Board of Governors of UNA-USA, and Chairman of the New York City Board of Correction. Ambassador vanden Heuvel is a laureate of the Four Freedoms Award (2002). He was instrumental in the founding of the Roosevelt Study Center in Middelburg, in the Province of Zeeland, the Netherlands. A graduate of Cornell University, he was Editor-in-Chief of the Cornell Law Review. He later served as Executive Assistant to William J. “Wild Bill” Donovan, Counsel to Governor Averell Harriman, and Assistant to Attorney General Robert F. Kennedy.
On October 17, 2012, the Four Freedoms Park, a memorial to President Roosevelt and designed by Louis Kahn, was dedicated, representing 40 years of effort by Ambassador vanden Heuvel. As of its third anniversary, the Park has received over 450,000 visitors, and its educational programs are an equal success.