Bernard Gwertzman

Visiting Fellow


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 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.

All Publications


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


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


Political Pivot in Israel?

David Makovsky interviewed by Bernard Gwertzman

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu will seek to form a big-tent coalition that could signal a new inward focus at a time of increasing tumult in the Mideast, says expert David Makovsky.

See more in Israel


Egypt's Struggle for Power

Marina Ottaway interviewed by Bernard Gwertzman

In an interview with, Middle East expert Marina Ottaway discusses the political dynamics behind the struggle for power in Egypt between Islamist and secular parties.

See more in Egypt

CFR Events

The Situation in Turkey


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


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

This meeting is on the record.

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


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


Bernard Gwertzman, Consulting Editor,
November 28, 2012

This meeting is on the record.

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Attacks on Libya and Egypt


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


Bernard Gwertzman, Council on Foreign Relations
September 12, 2012

This meeting is on the record.

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Cold War Reflections and Today's Realities


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)


Bernard Gwertzman, Consulting Editor,; 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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