Robert E. Hunter

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Ambassador Robert Hunter

Robert Edwards Hunter (born 1940 in Cambridge, Massachusetts) is a Senior Fellow at the Center for Transatlantic Relations at the Paul H. Nitze School of Advanced International Studies, Washington, D.C. He was Director of the Center for Transatlantic Security Studies at the National Defense University, Washington, D.C. (2010-2012) and Senior Advisor at the RAND Corporation, Arlington, Va, (1998-2010). He was National Security Council Director of West European Affairs (1977–1979) and then Director of Middle East Affairs (1979–1981), throughout the administration of President Jimmy Carter, and United States Ambassador to NATO (1993–1998), in the administration of President Bill Clinton, where he was principal architect and negotiator of the post-Cold War "new NATO" and of the NATO airstrike decisions that ended the Bosnia War. He was the first Foreign Policy Advisor to Senator Edward M. Kennedy (1993-1997). He served on the White House staff, focusing on education, under President Lyndon Johnson (1964–1965). He was an Administrative Management Intern (summers 1961-1963) at the U.S. Navy's Polaris Project, both in Washington and the British Admiralty.

For more than four decades, Ambassador Hunter has been a leader in foreign policy and defense analysis—in the US and abroad—including 13 years in policy making and implementation at the highest levels of the US government. He has played a particularly effective role in integrating different instruments of power and influence and in relating domestic politics to foreign policy, including White House-Congressional relations. He is noted for his efforts to forge bipartisan cooperation on foreign policy. His work includes designing the Carter Doctrine for the Persian Gulf, negotiating Arab-Israeli issues, helping to "recreate" NATO, and breaking down barriers between NATO and the European Union. Trained in nuclear strategy, arms control, NATO, US defense policy, East-West relations, the European Economic Community (and its successors), the developing world, and political economy. He has also played a major role in shaping the foreign policy positions of the Democratic Party over many years. He is widely recognized as one of the Nation's leading authorities on Europe and the Middle East, in all dimensions. He is also an expert on terrorism, counter-insurgency, asymmetrical warfare, human rights, democracy promotion, and the structure and operation of the National Security Council and various international institutions.

He was President of the Atlantic Treaty Association, the umbrella organization for NATO's 41 Atlantic Councils, headquartered in Brussels, Belgium, from 2003 to 2008. Ambassador Hunter was Chairman of the Council for a Community of Democracies (2001-2014). He was Senior Fellow at the Overseas Development Council (1970-1973); Lead Consultant to the National Bipartisan Commission on Central America, the "Kissinger Commission" (1983-1984); Advisor on Lebanon to the Speaker of the House of Representatives (1983); and served on the Secretary of Defense's Defense Policy Board (1998-2000). He is a member of the Executive Committee of the Board of the American Academy of Diplomacy, and a member of the Board of the Atlantic Council of the United States,[1][2] and of the European Institute. He is also a member of the Secretary of State's International Security Advisory Board,[3] and was a member (2010-2013) of the Academic Advisory Board of the NATO Defense College[4] in Rome, where he is now an Honorary Ancien.

Ambassador Hunter has authored more than 950 publications, written for Foreign Policy, Foreign Affairs, The Washington Quarterly, and many other journals, and chapters in books and op-ed articles in The Los Angeles Times, The New York Times, and The Washington Post (more than 400 articles from 1981–93). His books include Security in Europe, Indiana University Press, 1972; Presidential Control of Foreign Policy: Management or Mishap (foreword by Brent Scowcroft), Center for Strategic and International Studies, 1982;The European Security and Defense Policy: NATO's Companion - or Competitor?, RAND, 2002; Building a Successful Palestinian State: Security (with Seth Jones), RAND, 2006; and Building Security in the Persian Gulf, RAND, 2010.[5] His oral history, Education Never Ends, was published by the Association for Diplomatic Studies and Training in 2011.[6] He has given speeches and appeared on radio and television in more than 20 countries, several thousand appearances. He has taught at the London School of Economics, George Washington University, Georgetown University, Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies, and Washington College, where he was Louis L. Goldstein Chair in Public Policy (1989). He has been decorated by 8 foreign countries (including the French Legion of Honor) and has twice been decorated with the Department of Defense Distinguished Public Service Medal, the Pentagon's highest civilian decoration.

He has played a national policy role in eight U.S. presidential election campaigns and written speeches for more senior US political leaders, notably 12 major candidates for President, than anyone else in US history, including 3 U.S. Presidents and 3 Vice Presidents, plus Secretaries of State and Defense, senators, and representatives.[7][8][9][10][11]

He attended Wesleyan University (B.A. - 1962, honors in general scholarship high distinction in social studies, Phi Beta Kappa, Distinguished Alumnus), where he is a Trustee Emeritus, and the London School of Economics (Ph.D. in International Relations, 1969, Fulbright Scholar and Noel Buxton Studentship).[12][13] He has travelled to 95 countries and is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations and the International Institute for Strategic Studies. He is married to Shireen Hunter (née Tahmasseb), and they reside in Washington, DC and Naples, Florida.


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Chairman, Council for a Community of Democracies, 1992-  ; lSenior Advisor, RAND Corporation, Arlington, VA, 1998 -2012