William vanden Heuvel

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William vanden Heuvel
William vanden Heuvel 2014.jpg
vanden Heuvel speaking in 2014
Born William Jacobus vanden Heuvel
(1930-04-14) April 14, 1930 (age 84).
Rochester, New York,
United States
Occupation Businessman, Diplomat,
Attorney and Writer
Spouse(s) Melinda Fuller vanden Heuvel
Children Katrina vanden Heuvel, Wendy vanden Heuvel, Ashley von Perfall, John vanden Heuvel Pierce

William Jacobus vanden Heuvel (born April 14, 1930) is an attorney, businessman and author, as well as a former diplomat.

He is the father of Katrina vanden Heuvel, longtime editor of The Nation magazine, and Wendy vanden Heuvel, children from his marriage to author/editor Jean Stein, the well-to-do daughter of Jules C. Stein, founder of MCA.

Early life[edit]

Vanden Heuvel was born in Rochester, New York, to a Dutch father and a Belgian mother, Alberta.[1][2][3] He attended public schools in New York. He attended Deep Springs College (Deep Springs does not "graduate" attendees.) and graduated from Cornell University, where he was a member of the Telluride Association. At Cornell Law School, he was editor-in-chief of Cornell's law review. He was admitted to the New York Bar in 1952, and then joined the law firm of Donovan, Leisure, Newton & Irvine as an Associate.[4]


An early protégé of Office of Strategic Services founder William Joseph Donovan, vanden Heuvel served at the U.S. embassy (1953–1954) in Bangkok, Thailand as Donovan's Executive Assistant. In 1958, vanden Heuvel served as Counsel to New York State Governor W. Averell Harriman.

In 1962, he became U.S. Attorney General Robert F. Kennedy's assistant, and was involved in Kennedy's 1964 and 1968 political campaigns. As special assistant to Attorney General Kennedy, vanden Heuvel played the key role in court, orchestrating the desegregation of the Prince Edward County school system, which expanded the scope of the landmark decision, Brown v. Board of Education.[5]

In 1965, he joined Stroock & Stroock & Lavan as Senior Partner where he practiced international and corporate law. He is currently Senior Counsel to the firm.

In the 1970s, vanden Heuvel, as Chairman of the New York City Board of Corrections, led a campaign to investigate conditions in the city’s prison system. He has had a lifelong involvement in the reform of the criminal justice system.

He served as U.S. Ambassador to the European office of the United Nations in Geneva (1977–79)[6] and United States Deputy Ambassador to the United Nations (1979–1981) during the Jimmy Carter Administration.[7]

Vanden Heuvel has held directorships in a number of public companies. They include: the U.S. Banknote Corporation, Time Warner, Inc., and the North Aegean Petroleum company, and others. Since 1984, he has been a Senior Advisor to the investment banking firm Allen & Company.[8]

Currently he is Chairman of the American Austrian Foundation [9] and Co-chairman of the Council of American Ambassadors. Since 1984, vanden Heuvel has been Chairman of Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt Institute and a current member of the Council on Foreign Relations.[10] He is a Governor and former Chairman of the United Nations Association of the United States of America, and has written extensively on the United Nations and American foreign policy.[11] He is also a member of Collegium International, an organization of leaders with political, scientific, and ethical expertise whose goal is to provide new approaches in overcoming the obstacles in the way of a peaceful, socially just and an economically sustainable world. He served as an honorary chairman of The OSS Society.


  • vanden Heuvel, William, editor. The Future of Freedom in Russia, Templeton Foundation Press (2000), ISBN 1-890151-43-2.
  • vanden Heuvel, William. On his own: Robert F. Kennedy, 1964–1968, Doubleday (1970), ASIN B0006DXOGI.


External links[edit]