RICHARD C. HOLBROOKE
United States Ambassador to the United Nations
Richard C. Holbrooke
|Ambassador Richard C. Holbrooke was confirmed by the Senate as the
Permanent United States Representative to the United Nations on August 5, 1999. During his
career he has been a professional diplomat, a magazine editor, an author, a Peace Corps
director, the chairman of two important non-governmental organizations and an investment
He was the U.S. Ambassador to Germany from 1993-1994 before being appointed by President Clinton as Assistant Secretary of State for European and Canadian Affairs in 1994. During that time, he was the chief negotiator for the historic 1995 Dayton Peace Accords in Bosnia. His most recent position was as a vice chairman of Credit Suisse First Boston, a New York
|based investment bank from 1996-1999. During the same period he served on
a pro-bono basis as the Special Presidential Envoy for Cyprus, and a Special Envoy in
Bosnia and Kosovo, where he negotiated the October 1998 agreement, and, after it was
violated, delivered the final ultimatum to Belgrade on March 23, 1999, prior to the NATO
Ambassador Holbrooke began his career as a Foreign Service Officer immediately after graduating from Brown University in 1962. He was sent to Vietnam and in the following six years served in a variety of posts related to Vietnam -- first in the Mekong Delta as a provincial representative for the Agency for International Development (AID), and then as staff assistant to Ambassadors Maxwell Taylor and Henry Cabot Lodge. In 1966 he was re-assigned to the White House to President Johnson's staff, working on Vietnam. In 1967-69, he wrote one volume of the Pentagon Papers, served as a special assistant to Under Secretaries of State Nicholas deB. Katzenbach and Elliot Richardson, and simultaneously served as a member of the American Delegation to the Paris Peace Talks on Vietnam, headed successively by Averell Harriman and Henry Cabot Lodge.
Following these assignments, Ambassador Holbrooke spent a year as a Fellow at the Woodrow Wilson School at Princeton University. In 1970 he was assigned as Peace Corps Director in Morocco. In 1972, he left the Foreign Service to become Managing Editor of the quarterly magazine Foreign Policy, a position he held until 1976. During 1974-75, he also served as a consultant to the President's Commission on the Organization of the Government for the Conduct of Foreign Policy, and was a contributing editor to Newsweek International. In 1976 he coordinated national security affairs for the Carter-Mondale presidential campaign. In 1977, President Carter appointed him Assistant Secretary of State for East Asian and Pacific Affairs, a post he held until 1981. (He is the only person ever to hold the position of Assistant Secretary of two different regional bureaus in the State Department.) During his tenure in the East Asia Bureau, among other events, the United States established full diplomatic relations with China.
In 1981, he became vice president of Public Strategies, a Washington-based consulting firm founded by him and James A. Johnson. He became a Managing Director at Lehman Brothers, a New York investment bank, in 1985. He also served as a member of the Carnegie Commission on America and a Changing World (chaired by Ambassador Winston Lord), and was chairman and principal author of the November 1992 bipartisan "Memorandum to the President-Elect" of the Commission on Government and Renewal, sponsored by the Carnegie Foundation and the Institute for International Economics.
Ambassador Holbrooke has been very active in the non-profit arena, especially in the area of refugee assistance. He was chairman of Refugees International from 1996 to 1999 and was twice a member of the board of the International Rescue Committee. He was the founding chairman of the American Academy in Berlin, a center for U.S.-German cultural exchange, and the head of the National Advisory Council of the Harriman Institute. He was a director of the Citizens Committee for New York City, and twice has been a director of the Council on Foreign Relations. Other boards he has served on include the American China Society and the National Committee on U.S.-China Relations.
He has received twelve honorary degrees from U.S. and international universities. He is the author of To End a War, (published 1998, and selected as one of the eleven best books of the year by The New York Times) and co-author of Counsel to the President, (1991) the best-selling memoirs of Clark Clifford, as well as numerous articles on foreign policy.
Ambassador Holbrooke was born on April 24, 1941 in New York. He has two sons. He is married to Kati Marton, author of several books, including Wallenberg, The Polk Conspiracy, and A Death in Jerusalem.