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Bernard Gwertzman

Consulting Editor

Bio

Bernard Gwertzman has spent his entire career in journalism, starting as a reporter for the Washington Star in Washington, DC, in 1960. There he covered the Cold War as a specialist on Communist affairs. In late 1968, he was hired by the New York Times and sent to Moscow as its bureau chief from 1969-71, where he covered the tensions along the Soviet-Chinese border and the first steps toward detente.

In 1971, Gwertzman returned to Washington, where he worked for the next sixteen years covering U.S. foreign policy for the Times. He traveled throughout the Middle East with Secretary of State Henry Kissinger, where he charted the first Arab-Israeli accords, leading up to the peace treaty between Egypt and Israel brokered by President Carter in 1979. In that period, he also wrote extensively on the first arms control accords between the United States and Russia.

With the advent of President Reagan to the White House in 1981, he covered the chill in Soviet-American relations, followed by the warming of the Gorbachev-Reagan ties. In 1987, Gwertzman was invited to New York to become the deputy foreign editor of the Times, and in 1989, he became foreign editor. During his tenure as foreign editor, he directed the Times' coverage of the collapse of the Soviet empire, the Persian Gulf war, the U.S. invasion of Panama, the first Israeli agreement with the Palestinian Liberation Organization (PLO), and the outbreak of the Bosnian war. In the six years Mr. Gwertzman was at the helm, the New York Times won four Pulitzer Prizes for international coverage.

When the Times began its electronic division in the summer of 1995, Mr. Gwertzman shifted to new media. He was editor-in-chief of the New York Times on the web from 1996 until he retired from the Times in 2002. He has been consulting editor for cfr.org since October 2002. Gwertzman, who has an AB and MA from Harvard, is the co-author with Haynes Johnson of Fulbright: the Dissenter, and with Michael Kaufman on three anthologies on the fall of Communism and the breakup of the Soviet Union. He lives in Riverdale, NY, with his wife Marie-Jeanne. He has two married sons, James and Michael.

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Ask CFR Experts

Why did the United States fail to join the League of Nations?

Asked by Adepoju Adeola Praise, from Eastern Mediterranean University

The League of Nations was championed by President Woodrow Wilson in a fourteen-point speech to a joint session of Congress on January 8, 1918, and formally began its operations in January 1920. However, the League failed to win Senate approval and is forever remembered as a major example of a communications breakdown between the president and the Senate.

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See more in United States; International Organizations and Alliances; History and Theory of International Relations

Interview

Iraq's Worsening Situation

Ned Parker interviewed by Bernard Gwertzman

The political standoff between the Shiite government of Nuri al-Maliki and Sunni protestors is fueling growing instability in Iraq, which recorded its most violent month in five years, explains Iraq expert Ned Parker.

See more in Iraq

Interview

Iran's New Year Challenges

Karim Sadjadpour interviewed by Bernard Gwertzman

At the start of the Persian New Year, leaders in Iran are faced with a host of difficult political challenges, both foreign and domestic, says expert Karim Sadjadpour.

See more in Iran

Interview

The Hezbollah Connection in Syria and Iran

Matthew Levitt interviewed by Bernard Gwertzman

In recent years, the strategic alliance between Iran and Hezbollah has grown to the point where the Lebanese militant group's fealty to Tehran is paramount, a dynamic currently on display in Syria, says counterterrorism expert Matthew Levitt.

See more in Syria; Iran

CFR Events

Media Conference Call

The Situation in Turkey

Speaker:

Steven A. Cook, Hasib J. Sabbagh Senior Fellow for Middle Eastern Studies, Council on Foreign Relations

Presider:

Bernard Gwertzman, Consulting Editor, Council on Foreign Relations
June 5, 2013

This meeting is on the record.

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Media Conference Call

Jorge Castaņeda and Shannon O'Neil on Nieto and U.S.-Mexico Relations

Speakers:

Jorge G. Castañeda, Mexico's Foreign Minister in 2000–2003, Shannon K. O'Neil, Senior Fellow for Latin America Studies

Presider:

Bernard Gwertzman, Consulting Editor, CFR.org
November 28, 2012

This meeting is on the record.

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Media Conference Call

Transition in China and the ASEAN Summit

Speakers:

Elizabeth C. Economy, C.V. Starr Senior Fellow and Director for Asia Studies, Joshua Kurlantzick, Fellow for Southeast Asia

Presider:

Bernard Gwertzman, Consulting Editor, CFR.org
November 15, 2012

This meeting is on the record.

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Media Conference Call

Attacks on Libya and Egypt

Speakers:

Isobel Coleman, Council on Foreign Relations, Ed Husain, Council on Foreign Relations

Moderator:

Bernard Gwertzman, Council on Foreign Relations
September 12, 2012

This meeting is on the record.

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General Meeting ⁄ Washington

Cold War Reflections and Today's Realities

Speakers:

James M. Goldgeier, Whitney Shepardson Senior Fellow for Transatlantic Relations, Council on Foreign Relations; Coauthor, "America Between the Wars: From 11/9 to 9/11", Robert M. Kimmitt, Senior International Counsel, WilmerHale; Former Undersecretary of State for Political Affairs (1989-91), and Former U.S. Ambassador to Germany (1991-93)

Presider:

Bernard Gwertzman, Consulting Editor, CFR.org; Former Foreign Editor, "The New York Times" (1989-96)
November 16, 2009 12:00-12:30 p.m. - Lunch Reception
12:30-1:30 p.m. - Meeting

This meeting is not for attribution.

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