Henry A. Kissinger

Henry A. Kissinger
  • Henry A. Kissinger
    CSIS Counselor and Trustee
  • Henry Alfred Kissinger was sworn in on September 22, 1973, as the 56th U.S. secretary of state, a position he held until January 20, 1977. He also served as assistant to the president for national security affairs from January 20, 1969, until November 3, 1975. In July 1983, he was appointed by President Ronald Reagan to chair the National Bipartisan Commission on Central America, serving until it ceased operation in January 1985, and from 1984 to 1990, he served as a member of the President’s Foreign Intelligence Advisory Board. From 1986 to 1988, he was a member of the Commission on Integrated Long-Term Strategy of the National Security Council and Defense Department. He has served as a member of the Defense Policy Board since 2001. At present, Dr. Kissinger is chairman of Kissinger Associates, Inc., an international consulting firm. He is also a member of the International Council of J.P. Morgan Chase & Co.; a counselor to and trustee of CSIS; an honorary governor of the Foreign Policy Association; and an honor member of the International Olympic Committee. Among his other activities, Dr. Kissinger served as a member of the Board of Directors of ContiGroup Companies, Inc., from 1988 to 2014 and remains an adviser to the Board, a position he has also held at American Express Company since 2005, after serving on the Board from 1984. He is also a trustee emeritus of the Metropolitan Museum of Art; a director emeritus of Freeport-McMoRan Copper and Gold Inc.; and a director of the International Rescue Committee. Among the awards Dr. Kissinger has received have been a Bronze Star from the U.S. Army in 1945; the Nobel Peace Prize in 1973; the Presidential Medal of Freedom (the nation’s highest civilian award) in 1977; and the Medal of Liberty (given once to 10 foreign-born American leaders) in 1986. Dr. Kissinger was born in Fuerth, Germany, came to the United States in 1938, and was naturalized as a U.S. citizen in 1943. He served in the U.S. Army from 1943 to 1946. He graduated summa cum laude from Harvard College in 1950 and received M.A. and Ph.D. degrees from Harvard University in 1952 and 1954. From 1954 until 1969, he was a member of the faculty of Harvard University, in both the Department of Government and the Center for International Affairs. He was director of the Harvard International Seminar from 1952 to 1969. Dr. Kissinger is the author of many books, including most recently World Order (Penguin Press, 2014). He has also published numerous articles on U.S. foreign policy, international affairs, and diplomatic history. His column, syndicated by Tribune Media Services International, appears in leading U.S. and international newspapers.