Harold Brown

Harold Brown
  • Harold Brown
    CSIS Counselor and Trustee
  • On July 1, 1992, Harold Brown joined CSIS as a counselor. From 1984 to 1992, he was chairman of the Foreign Policy Institute of the Johns Hopkins University Paul H. Nitze School of Advanced International Studies and from 1981 to 1984, he was distinguished visiting professor at the Nitze School. He was a partner in Warburg, Pincus & Co. from 1990 to 1997 and was also a director of the Altria Group, Inc. He is currently a member of the Board of Directors of Evergreen Oil, Inc. and Philip Morris International, where he is also the chair of their Product Innovation and Regulatory Affairs Committee and a member of the Compensation Leadership Development and Finance Committees. He is also an honorary director on the board at the Atlantic Council. He is president emeritus and life member of the California Institute of Technology, trustee emeritus of the RAND Corporation, and a member of the North America Group of the Trilateral Commission. President Jimmy Carter nominated Dr. Brown to be secretary of defense on January 20, 1977. He was confirmed by the U.S. Senate the same day, took the oath of office on January 21, 1977, and served as secretary of defense until January 20, 1981. Born in New York City on September 19, 1927, Dr. Brown attended New York City public schools. He graduated from Columbia University with an A.B. degree in 1945, an A.M. degree in 1946, and a Ph.D. in physics in 1949. He has also received 12 honorary degrees. Dr. Brown has lectured in physics at Columbia University, Stevens Institute of Technology, and the University of California (1947–1952); and he was group leader, division leader, and later a director of the Radiation Laboratory at Livermore, University of California (1952–1961). He was a member of the Polaris Steering Committee (1956–1958), a member of the Air Force Scientific Advisory Board (1956–1961), and consultant to, and then member of, the President’s Science Advisory Committee (1958–1961). He was senior science adviser at the Conference on the Discontinuance of Nuclear Tests (1958–1959) and a delegate to the Strategic Arms Limitations Talks in Helsinki, Vienna, and Geneva from 1969 to 1977. Previously, Dr. Brown served as director of defense research and engineering, secretary of the air force, and president of the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena. Among his many honors, Dr. Brown was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 1981 and the Fermi Award in 1993. He is the author of Thinking about National Security: Defense and Foreign Policy in a Dangerous World (Westview, 1983) and editor of The Strategic Defense Initiative: Shield or Snare? (Westview, 1987).