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Henry A. Kissinger Chair for U.S. Foreign Policy

Established in 2000, this chair is named in honor of Dr. Kissinger, who was the fifty-sixth secretary of state of the United States and a member of the Council’s Board of Directors from 1977 to 1981, as a tribute to his contributions to the country and the Council on Foreign Relations.

Henry A. Kissinger (1923-2023)

Henry A. Kissinger
Henry A. Kissinger (Getty Images)

Henry A. Kissinger was a member of the Council on Foreign Relations from 1956 until his death in 2023 and served as a member of its Board of Directors from 1977 to 1981. He was the fifty-sixth secretary of state of the United States, serving from 1973 to 1977, concurrently holding the position of assistant to the president for national security affairs from 1969 to 1975. After leaving government service, he founded Kissinger Associates, an international consulting firm, of which he was chairman.

From 1954 to 1971, Kissinger was a member of the faculty of Harvard University, both in the department of government and at the Center for International Affairs, where he was associate director from 1957 to 1960. He served as director of the Harvard International Seminar from 1951 to 1971 and as director of the Harvard Defense Studies Program from 1958 to 1971.

Kissinger’s long association with CFR began in the mid-1950s when, as a young scholar, he took a year’s leave from the Harvard faculty to work as a Carnegie Research Fellow at the Harold Pratt House alongside CFR scholars, directing a study group that focused on the impact of revolutionary changes in weapons on U.S. foreign policy. The resulting book, Nuclear Weapons and Foreign Policy, was published in 1957 and earned him a national reputation, making it onto the list of national best sellers. Kissinger went on to publish twelve articles in Foreign Affairs before entering government.

Kissinger wrote many books and articles on U.S. foreign policy, international affairs, and diplomatic history. Kissinger received numerous awards, among them a Bronze Star from the U.S. Army in 1945, the Nobel Peace Prize in 1973, the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 1977, and the Medal of Liberty in 1986.

Henry A. Kissinger Senior Fellows in U.S. Foreign Policy

Robert D. Blackwill

Walter Russell Mead

Charles Boyd