Leslie H. Gelb

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Leslie Howard "Les" Gelb (born March 4, 1937) is a former correspondent for The New York Times and is currently President Emeritus and Board Senior Fellow [1] at the Council on Foreign Relations. He is author of Power Rules: How Common Sense Can Rescue American Foreign Policy published in March 2009.

Background[edit]

Leslie Gelb was born to Jewish parents in New Rochelle, New York, and attended New Rochelle High School, graduating in 1955. He received a B.A. from Tufts University in 1959, and an M.A. in 1961 and Ph.D. in 1964 from Harvard University. From 1964-1967 he was Assistant Professor of Government at Wesleyan University.[2] He married Judith Cohen on 2 August 1959 and lives in New York City. They have three children. He received the Father of the Year award in 1993.[3]

Career[edit]

Dr. Gelb was Executive Assistant for Senator Jacob Javits from 1966 to 1967.[4] He was director of Policy Planning and Arms Control for International Security Affairs at the Department of Defense from 1967 to 1969, winning the Pentagon's highest award, the Distinguished Service Medal. Robert McNamara appointed Dr. Gelb as director of the project that produced the controversial Pentagon Papers on the Vietnam War. From 1969-1973, Dr. Gelb was a Senior Fellow at the Brookings Institution.

He was diplomatic correspondent at The New York Times from 1973 to 1977.

He served as an Assistant Secretary of State in the Carter Administration from 1977 to 1979, serving as director of the Bureau of Politico-Military Affairs and winning the Distinguished Honor Award, the highest award of the US State Department. In 1980 he co-authored The Irony of Vietnam which won the Woodrow Wilson Foundation Book Award in 1981.[5] From 1980-1981, he was also a Senior Associate at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace.

He returned to the Times in 1981; from then until 1993, he was in turn its national security correspondent, deputy editorial page editor, editor of the op-ed page, and columnist.This period included his leading role on the Times team that won a Pulitzer Prize for Explanatory Journalism in 1986 for a six-part comprehensive series on the Star Wars Strategic Defense Initiative. In 1983, he also worked as a producer on the ABC documentary "The Crisis Game," which received an Emmy award in 1984.[6]

Dr. Gelb became President of the Council on Foreign Relations in 1993 and as of 2003 is its President Emeritus.[7] In addition to his work at Council on Foreign Relations, Dr. Gelb is also a member of the International Institute for Strategic Studies and is a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.

He served as the chairman of the advisory board for the progressive [according to whom?] foreign policy think tank, National Security Network, and has served on the boards of directors of several non-profit organizations including Carnegie Endowment, the School of International and Public Affairs, Columbia University, the James Baker Institute at Rice University, the Watson Institute for International Studies at Brown University, and the John F. Kennedy School of Government Center on Press, Politics and Public Policy. He currently serves on the board of directors of the Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America and is a member of the board of advisors of the Truman Project and America Abroad Media.[8] Dr. Gelb also serves on the board of directors of the Center for the National Interest, the advisory board of United Against Nuclear Iran,[9] the board of directors at the Diplomacy Center Foundation, and the advisory board of the Peter G. Peterson Foundation. He is Trustee Emeritus of Tufts University.

Dr. Gelb is a contributor to The Daily Beast, a news aggregation site.

Position on the Iraq War[edit]

Dr. Gelb initially supported the Iraq War, but later said[10][11] his "initial support for the war was symptomatic of unfortunate tendencies within the foreign policy community, namely the disposition and incentives to support wars to retain political and professional credibility."

Selected publications[edit]

  • Power Rules: How Common Sense Can Rescue American Foreign Policy (2009) ISBN 978-0-06-171454-2
  • Anglo-American Relations, 1945-1950: Toward a Theory of Alliances (1988)
  • Claiming the Heavens: The New York Times Complete Guide to the Star Wars Debate (coauthor, Crown Publishing Group, 1988)
  • Our Own Worst Enemy: The Unmaking of American Foreign Policy (1984, co-author with I. M. Destler and Anthony Lake)
  • The Irony of Vietnam: The System Worked (1980)

References[edit]

  1. ^ http://www.cfr.org/experts/afghanistan-iraq-middle-east-and-north-africa/leslie-h-gelb/b3325/bio
  2. ^ Department of Government at Wesleyan University
  3. ^ "Leslie H. Gelb-Editorial Board of Advisors". Encyclopedia Britannica. Retrieved May 10, 2012. 
  4. ^ http://www.cfr.org/experts/afghanistan-iraq-middle-east-and-north-africa/leslie-h-gelb/b3325/bio
  5. ^ "Woodrow Wilson Foundation Award". American Political Science Association. 
  6. ^ http://www.imdb.com/event/ev0000493/1984
  7. ^ "Leslie H. Gelb President Emeritus & Board Senior Fellow". Council on Foreign Relations. May 6, 2012. Retrieved May 10, 2012. 
  8. ^ http://americaabroadmedia.org/user/45/Leslie_H._Gelb
  9. ^ http://www.unitedagainstnucleariran.com/about/leadership/leslie-gelb
  10. ^ Gelb, Leslie H.;Zelmati, Jeanne-Paloma (2009). "Mission Not Accomplished". Democracy: A Journal of Ideas (Summer): 1–24. 
  11. ^ Logan, Justin (September 22, 2009). "The International Relations Academy and the Beltway "Foreign Policy Community"–Why the Disconnect?". Cato Institute. Retrieved May 10, 2012. 

External links[edit]

Biographies
Government offices
Preceded by
George S. Vest
Director of the Bureau of Politico-Military Affairs
February 23, 1977 – June 30, 1979
Succeeded by
Reginald Bartholomew