Richard Charles Albert Holbrooke (born April 24, 1941) is a New Yorker who has had a varied career as a professional American diplomat, magazine editor, author, Peace Corps director, and investment banker.
Although long well-known in diplomatic and journalistic circles, Holbrooke achieved great public prominence only when he brokered a peace agreement among the warring factions in Bosnia that led to the signing of the Dayton Peace Accords in 1995. He is also the only person to have held the Assistant Secretary of State position for two different regions of the world (Asia and Europe).
Although he lost out to Madeline Albright in 1997 when Bill Clinton chose a replacement for Warren Christopher as Secretary of State, Holbrooke is still seen as a leading contender for that post in any future Democratic administration. He was an advisor to the Presidential campaign of John Kerry in 2004. While not an extremist in his views, (he is perhaps more hawkish than most Democrats), Holbrooke has a very aggressive style that some find off-putting. Others see him as an effective, hard-nosed negotiator.
He is a member of the International Institute for Strategic Studies, the Citizens Committee for New York City, and the Economic Club of New York. He is a board member of American International Group and the National Endowment for Democracy and is Chairman of International Rescue Committee and Refugees International. He is also the Founding Chairman of the American Academy in Berlin, and Vice Chairman of Perseus LLC. He has written numerous articles and two books, and has received more than a dozen honorary degrees. He currently (2005) writes a monthly column for The Washington Post.
- 1962 graduates from Brown University; enters U.S. Foreign Service
- 1962-6 Vietnam diplomatic service as a provincial representative for the Agency for International Development (AID), then Ambassadors' staff assistant to Maxwell Taylor and Henry Cabot Lodge.
- 1966 White House Vietnam staff of President Lyndon Johnson
- 1967-69 special assistant to Under Secretaries of State Nicholas Katzenbach and Elliot Richardson, writes one volume of the Pentagon Papers
- 1967-9 member of the American Delegation to the Paris Peace Talks on Vietnam
- 1969-70 fellow at the Woodrow Wilson School at Princeton University
- 1970 Peace Corps Director in Morocco
- 1972 resigns from Foreign Service
- 1972-6 Managing Editor of Foreign Policy magazine
- 1974-5 consultant to the President's Commission on the Organization of the Government for the Conduct of Foreign Policy
- 1974-5 contributing editor of Newsweek magazine
- 1976 coordinates National Security Affairs for the Carter presidential campaign.
- 1977-81 Assistant Secretary of State for East Asian and Pacific Affairs (as the U.S. switches full diplomatic relations to the People's Republic of China from the Republic of China)
- 1981 A consultant at Lehman Brothers, eventually becoming full-time Managing Director
- 1992 member of the Carnegie Commission on America and a Changing World
- 1992 chairman and principal author of the bipartisan Commission on Government and Renewal, sponsored by The Carnegie Foundation and the Institute for International Economics
- 1993 U.S. Ambassador to Germany
- 1994-6 Assistant Secretary of State for European and Canadian Affairs
- 1995 Leads the American team negotiating the Bosnian Peace Accords at Dayton
- 1996 Awarded the Manfred Wörner Medall
- 1997 President Clinton's special envoy to Cyprus
- 1997 responsible for business development in Europe and the Far East for Credit Suisse First Boston
- 1999-2001 U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations
- 2001 counselor at the Council on Foreign Relations and chairman of its Terrorism Task Force.
- 2001 appointed director of Rockville, MD, company Human Genome Sciences, Inc (Nasdaq: HGSI)
- 2001 appointed President & CEO, Global Business Coalition on HIV/AIDS
- 2002 Awarded Grand Cross of the Order of Merit (Germany)
- 2002 In October he became Chairman of the Asia Society.