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Ambassador Robert D. Blackwill has been named Henry A. Kissinger Senior Fellow for U.S. Foreign Policy at the Council on Foreign Relations (CFR). His focus will be on American foreign policy writ large as well as American foreign policy toward India, Pakistan, and Afghanistan. “We are thrilled to have Bob back at the Council on Foreign Relations,” said CFR President Richard N. Haass. “He is one of the most creative minds in the foreign policy debate. What is more, he combines this originality with a practicality borne of decades in government service.” Blackwill was Counselor to CFR in 2005. He has also been a Council member for 25 years.
Most recently, Blackwill was senior fellow at the RAND Corporation in Santa Monica, CA from 2008 to 2010, after serving from 2004 to 2008 as President of BGR International, a Washington consulting firm. As deputy assistant to the president and deputy national security advisor for strategic planning under President George W. Bush, Blackwill was responsible for government-wide policy planning to help develop and coordinate the mid- and long-term direction of American foreign policy. He also served as presidential envoy to Iraq, and was the administration’s coordinator for U.S. policies regarding Afghanistan and Iran.
Blackwill went to the National Security Council (NSC) after serving as the U.S. ambassador to India from 2001 to 2003, and is the recipient of the 2007 Bridge-Builder Award for his role in transforming U.S.-India relations. Prior to reentering government in 2001, Blackwill was the Belfer Lecturer in International Security at Harvard University’s John F. Kennedy School of Government. During his 14 years as a Harvard faculty member, he was associate dean of the Kennedy School, where he taught foreign and defense policy and public policy analysis. Blackwill was faculty chair for executive training programs for business and government leaders from Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, the Palestinian Authority, Israel and Kazakhstan, as well as military general officers from Russia and the People’s Republic of China. From 1989 to 1990, Blackwill was special assistant to President George H.W. Bush for European and Soviet affairs, during which time he was awarded the Commander’s Cross of the Order of Merit by the Federal Republic of Germany for his contribution to German unification.
Earlier in his career, he was the U.S. ambassador to conventional arms negotiations with the Warsaw Pact; director for European affairs at the NSC; principal deputy assistant secretary of state for political-military affairs; and principal deputy assistant secretary of state for European affairs.
The author and editor of many articles and books on transatlantic relations, Russia and the West, the Greater Middle East, and Asian security, he is a trustee and on the Council of the International Institute for Strategic Studies; a member of the Council on Foreign Relations, the Trilateral Commission and The Aspen Strategy Group; and on the boards of the Nixon Center and Harvard University’s Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs.
The Council on Foreign Relations is an independent, nonpartisan membership organization, think tank, and publisher dedicated to being a resource for its members, government officials, business executives, journalists, educators and students, civic and religious leaders, and other interested citizens in order to help them better understand the world and the foreign policy choices facing the United States and other countries. CFR takes no institutional positions on matters of policy.