February 9, 2005 - Ambassador Robert D. Blackwill has been named Counselor of the Council on Foreign Relations. His initial focus will be to lead a roundtable series in New York and Washington, DC on relations among the major powers. “Bob possesses one of the most inventive minds I know,” said Council President Richard N. Haass. “He also has a demonstrated track record of getting things done in and out of government. We are thrilled that he will devote a portion of his post-government life to the Council.”
Ambassador Blackwill is now President of Barbour Griffith & Rogers International, a Washington-based Republican lobbying firm. His work at the Council will be pro bono.
A Council member for nearly 20 years, Ambassador Blackwill served as deputy assistant to President George W. Bush, deputy national security adviser for strategic planning, and presidential envoy to Iraq. In these positions, he was responsible for government-wide policy planning operations to help develop and coordinate the mid- and long-term direction of American foreign policy. He also had particular responsibility for assisting in the formulation and implementation of U.S. policies on Iraq, Afghanistan, and Iran.
Ambassador Blackwill came to the National Security Council after having served as U.S. ambassador to India. Prior to this diplomatic posting, Ambassador Blackwill was the Belfer lecturer in international security at Harvard University’s John F. Kennedy School of Government, where he taught strategy, foreign and defense policy, and qualitative public policy analysis. During his 14 years at Harvard, he was associate dean of the Kennedy School, and directed executive training programs for business and government leaders from Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, the Palestinian Authority, Israel, as well as general officers from Russia and the People’s Republic of China.
From 1989 to 1990, Ambassador Blackwill served as special assistant to President George H.W. Bush for European and Soviet Affairs, and was awarded the Commander’s Cross of the Order of Merit by the Federal Republic of Germany for his contribution to German unification. He spent nearly 20 years as a practicing diplomat and worked for Secretaries of State Henry Kissinger and George Shultz, as well as for National Security Advisers Brent Scowcroft and Zbigniew Brzezinski.
Founded in 1921, the Council on Foreign Relations is an independent, national membership organization and a nonpartisan center for scholars dedicated to producing and disseminating ideas so that individual and corporate members, as well as policymakers, journalists, students, and interested citizens in the United States and other countries, can better understand the world and the foreign policy choices facing the United States and other governments.
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