Richard Holbrooke

Richard Holbrooke

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Richard Charles Albert Holbrooke (April 24, 1941 December 13, 2010) was an American
People of the United States
The people of the United States, also known as simply Americans or American people, are the inhabitants or citizens of the United States. The United States is a multi-ethnic nation, home to people of different ethnic and national backgrounds...

 diplomat
Diplomat
A diplomat is a person appointed by a state to conduct diplomacy with another state or international organization. The main functions of diplomats revolve around the representation and protection of the interests and nationals of the sending state, as well as the promotion of information and...

, magazine editor, author, professor, Peace Corps
Peace Corps
The Peace Corps is an American volunteer program run by the United States Government, as well as a government agency of the same name. The mission of the Peace Corps includes three goals: providing technical assistance, helping people outside the United States to understand US culture, and helping...

 official, and investment banker.

He was the only person to have held the position of Assistant Secretary of State
United States Assistant Secretary of State
In modern times, Assistant Secretary of State is a title used for many executive positions in the United States State Department. A set of six Assistant Secretaries reporting to the Under Secretary for Political Affairs manage diplomatic missions within their designated geographic regions, plus one...

 for two different regions of the world (Asia
Assistant Secretary of State for East Asian and Pacific Affairs
The Assistant Secretary of State for East Asian and Pacific Affairs is the head of the Bureau of East Asian and Pacific Affairs within the United States Department of State. The Assistant Secretary guides operation of the U.S...

 from 1977 to 1981 and Europe
Assistant Secretary of State for European and Eurasian Affairs
The Assistant Secretary of State for European and Eurasian Affairs is a position within the American Department of State that leads the Bureau of European and Eurasian Affairs charged with implementing American foreign policy in Europe and Eurasia, and with advising the Under Secretary for...

 from 1994 to 1996).

From 1993 to 1994, he was U.S. Ambassador to Germany
United States Ambassador to Germany
The United States has had diplomatic relations with the nation of Germany and its predecessor nation, the Kingdom of Prussia, since 1835. These relations were broken twice while Germany and the United States were at war...

. Long well known in diplomatic and journalistic circles, Holbrooke achieved great public prominence when he, together with former Swedish prime minister Carl Bildt
Carl Bildt
, Honorary KCMG is a Swedish politician, diplomat and nobleman. Formerly Prime Minister of Sweden from 1991 to 1994 and leader of the liberal conservative Moderate Party from 1986 to 1999, Bildt has served as Swedish Minister for Foreign Affairs since 6 October 2006...

, brokered a peace agreement among the warring factions in Bosnia
Bosnia and Herzegovina
Bosnia and Herzegovina , sometimes called Bosnia-Herzegovina or simply Bosnia, is a country in Southern Europe, on the Balkan Peninsula. Bordered by Croatia to the north, west and south, Serbia to the east, and Montenegro to the southeast, Bosnia and Herzegovina is almost landlocked, except for the...

 that led to the signing of the Dayton Peace Accords, in 1995. Holbrooke was a leading contender to succeed the retiring Warren Christopher
Warren Christopher
Warren Minor Christopher was an American lawyer, diplomat and politician. During Bill Clinton's first term as President, Christopher served as the 63rd Secretary of State. He also served as Deputy Attorney General in the Lyndon Johnson administration, and as Deputy Secretary of State in the Jimmy...

 as Secretary of State
United States Secretary of State
The United States Secretary of State is the head of the United States Department of State, concerned with foreign affairs. The Secretary is a member of the Cabinet and the highest-ranking cabinet secretary both in line of succession and order of precedence...

 but was passed over as President Bill Clinton
Bill Clinton
William Jefferson "Bill" Clinton is an American politician who served as the 42nd President of the United States from 1993 to 2001. Inaugurated at age 46, he was the third-youngest president. He took office at the end of the Cold War, and was the first president of the baby boomer generation...

 chose Madeleine Albright
Madeleine Albright
Madeleine Korbelová Albright is the first woman to become a United States Secretary of State. She was appointed by U.S. President Bill Clinton on December 5, 1996, and was unanimously confirmed by a U.S. Senate vote of 99–0...

 instead. From 1999 to 2001, Holbrooke served as U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations
United Nations
The United Nations is an international organization whose stated aims are facilitating cooperation in international law, international security, economic development, social progress, human rights, and achievement of world peace...

.

He was an adviser to the Presidential campaign
United States presidential election, 2004
The United States presidential election of 2004 was the United States' 55th quadrennial presidential election. It was held on Tuesday, November 2, 2004. Republican Party candidate and incumbent President George W. Bush defeated Democratic Party candidate John Kerry, the then-junior U.S. Senator...

 of Senator John Kerry
John Kerry
John Forbes Kerry is the senior United States Senator from Massachusetts, the 10th most senior U.S. Senator and chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. He was the presidential nominee of the Democratic Party in the 2004 presidential election, but lost to former President George W...

 in 2004. Holbrooke then joined the Presidential campaign of Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton
Hillary Rodham Clinton
Hillary Diane Rodham Clinton is the 67th United States Secretary of State, serving in the administration of President Barack Obama. She was a United States Senator for New York from 2001 to 2009. As the wife of the 42nd President of the United States, Bill Clinton, she was the First Lady of the...

 and became a top foreign policy adviser. Holbrooke was considered a likely candidate for Secretary of State
United States Secretary of State
The United States Secretary of State is the head of the United States Department of State, concerned with foreign affairs. The Secretary is a member of the Cabinet and the highest-ranking cabinet secretary both in line of succession and order of precedence...

 had Kerry or Hillary Clinton been elected President. In January 2009, Holbrooke was appointed as a special adviser on Pakistan and Afghanistan, working under President Barack Obama
Barack Obama
Barack Hussein Obama II is the 44th and current President of the United States. He is the first African American to hold the office. Obama previously served as a United States Senator from Illinois, from January 2005 until he resigned following his victory in the 2008 presidential election.Born in...

 and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, a frustrating assignment which was said to have caused his health to deteriorate. He served until he died from complications of an aortic dissection
Aortic dissection
Aortic dissection occurs when a tear in the inner wall of the aorta causes blood to flow between the layers of the wall of the aorta and force the layers apart. The dissection typically extends anterograde, but can extend retrograde from the site of the intimal tear. Aortic dissection is a medical...

 on December 13, 2010.

Holbrooke's unfulfilled ambition was to become Secretary of State; he along with George Kennan
George F. Kennan
George Frost Kennan was an American adviser, diplomat, political scientist and historian, best known as "the father of containment" and as a key figure in the emergence of the Cold War...

 and Chip Bohlen
Charles E. Bohlen
Charles Eustis “Chip” Bohlen was a United States diplomat from 1929 to 1969 and Soviet expert, serving in Moscow before and during World War II, succeeding George F. Kennan as United States Ambassador to the Soviet Union , then ambassador to the Philippines , and to France...

, were considered among the most influential U.S. diplomats who never achieved cabinet rank. Several considered Holbrooke's role in the Dayton Accords to merit the Nobel Peace Prize
Nobel Peace Prize
The Nobel Peace Prize is one of the five Nobel Prizes bequeathed by the Swedish industrialist and inventor Alfred Nobel.-Background:According to Nobel's will, the Peace Prize shall be awarded to the person who...

, another honor that he never won.

Early life


Holbrooke was born on April 24, 1941, in New York City, to Dan Holbrooke and Trudi Kearl (née
Married and maiden names
A married name is the family name adopted by a person upon marriage. When a person assumes the family name of her spouse, the new name replaces the maiden name....

 Moos); his brother, Andrew, survives him. Holbrooke's mother, whose Jewish family fled Hamburg in 1933 for Buenos Aires before coming to New York, took him to Quaker meetings on Sundays. His mother, a potter, has stated: “I was an atheist, his father was an atheist... We never thought of giving Richard a Jewish upbringing. The Quaker meeting
Meeting for worship
A meeting for worship is a practice of the Religious Society of Friends in many ways comparable to a church service. These services have a wide variety of forms, creating a spectrum from typical Protestant liturgy to silent waiting for the Spirit .A Meeting for Worship may start with a query;...

s seemed interesting.”

Holbrooke’s father, a doctor who died of cancer when Richard was 15 years old, was born of Russian Jewish parents in Warsaw and took the name Holbrooke after migrating to the United States in 1939. The original family name was Goldbrajch.

After Scarsdale High School
Scarsdale High School
Scarsdale High School is a public high school in Scarsdale, New York, a coterminous town and village in Westchester County, New York. The school was founded in 1917...

, Holbrooke earned a Bachelor of Arts from Brown University
Brown University
Brown University is a private, Ivy League university located in Providence, Rhode Island, United States. Founded in 1764 prior to American independence from the British Empire as the College in the English Colony of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations early in the reign of King George III ,...

 in 1962, attending on a full-tuition scholarship. He was later a fellow
Fellow
A fellow in the broadest sense is someone who is an equal or a comrade. The term fellow is also used to describe a person, particularly by those in the upper social classes. It is most often used in an academic context: a fellow is often part of an elite group of learned people who are awarded...

 at the Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs
Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs
The Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs is a professional public policy school at Princeton University. The school has granted undergraduate A.B. degrees since 1930 and graduate degrees since 1948...

 at Princeton University
Princeton University
Princeton University is a private research university located in Princeton, New Jersey, United States. The school is one of the eight universities of the Ivy League, and is one of the nine Colonial Colleges founded before the American Revolution....

, leaving in 1970.

Vietnam (1962–1969)


In 1962, Holbrooke graduated from Brown University
Brown University
Brown University is a private, Ivy League university located in Providence, Rhode Island, United States. Founded in 1764 prior to American independence from the British Empire as the College in the English Colony of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations early in the reign of King George III ,...

, where he was inspired by President John F. Kennedy
John F. Kennedy
John Fitzgerald "Jack" Kennedy , often referred to by his initials JFK, was the 35th President of the United States, serving from 1961 until his assassination in 1963....

’s call to service to enter government work. A few weeks after college graduation, Holbrooke entered the Foreign Service
United States Foreign Service
The United States Foreign Service is a component of the United States federal government under the aegis of the United States Department of State. It consists of approximately 11,500 professionals carrying out the foreign policy of the United States and aiding U.S...

. A year later, after Vietnamese language training, he began six years of service in and on Vietnam
Vietnam
Vietnam – sometimes spelled Viet Nam , officially the Socialist Republic of Vietnam – is the easternmost country on the Indochina Peninsula in Southeast Asia. It is bordered by China to the north, Laos to the northwest, Cambodia to the southwest, and the South China Sea –...

. He served first in the Mekong Delta
Mekong Delta
The Mekong Delta is the region in southwestern Vietnam where the Mekong River approaches and empties into the sea through a network of distributaries. The Mekong delta region encompasses a large portion of southwestern Vietnam of . The size of the area covered by water depends on the season.The...

, as a civilian representative for the Agency for International Development
United States Agency for International Development
The United States Agency for International Development is the United States federal government agency primarily responsible for administering civilian foreign aid. President John F. Kennedy created USAID in 1961 by executive order to implement development assistance programs in the areas...

 working on the rural Pacification Program
Civil Operations and Revolutionary Development Support
CORDS was a pacification program of the United States military in the Vietnam War.- Development of the Program :...

. This involved supporting the South Vietnam
South Vietnam
South Vietnam was a state which governed southern Vietnam until 1975. It received international recognition in 1950 as the "State of Vietnam" and later as the "Republic of Vietnam" . Its capital was Saigon...

 government with economic development and enacting local political reforms. Holbrooke then moved to the US Embassy, Saigon where he became a staff assistant to Ambassadors Maxwell Taylor and Henry Cabot Lodge, Jr.
Henry Cabot Lodge, Jr.
Henry Cabot Lodge, Jr. was a Republican United States Senator from Massachusetts and a U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, South Vietnam, West Germany, and the Holy See . He was the Republican nominee for Vice President in the 1960 Presidential election.-Early life:Lodge was born in Nahant,...

 During this time, he served with many other young diplomats who would play a major role in American foreign policy in the decades ahead, including John Negroponte
John Negroponte
John Dimitri Negroponte is an American diplomat. He is currently a research fellow and lecturer in international affairs at Yale University's Jackson Institute for Global Affairs...

, Anthony Lake
Anthony Lake
William Anthony Kirsopp Lake, best known as Tony Lake, is the Executive Director of the United Nations Children's Fund , author, academic, and former American diplomat, Foreign Service Officer, and political advisor. He has been a foreign policy advisor to many Democratic U.S...

, Frank G. Wisner
Frank G. Wisner
Frank George Wisner II is an American businessman and former diplomat. He is the son of Frank Wisner . On 31 January 2011, he was sent to Egypt by President Barack Obama to negotiate a resolution to the popular protests against the regime that have swept the country...

, Les Aspin
Les Aspin
Leslie "Les" Aspin, Jr. was a United States Representative from 1971 to 1993, and the United States Secretary of Defense under President Bill Clinton from January 21, 1993 to February 3, 1994.-Early life:...

 and Peter Tarnoff
Peter Tarnoff
Peter Tarnoff served as the Undersecretary of State for Political Affairs during the first Clinton term, from 1993 to 1997...

. As the Vietnam War
Vietnam War
The Vietnam War was a Cold War-era military conflict that occurred in Vietnam, Laos, and Cambodia from 1 November 1955 to the fall of Saigon on 30 April 1975. This war followed the First Indochina War and was fought between North Vietnam, supported by its communist allies, and the government of...

 escalated, President Lyndon Johnson formed a team of Vietnam experts to work in the White House under the former head of the Phoenix Program
Phoenix Program
The Phoenix Program |phoenix]]) was a controversial counterinsurgency program designed, coordinated, and executed by the United States Central Intelligence Agency , United States special operations forces, and the Republic of Vietnam's security apparatus during the Vietnam War that operated...

, R.W. Komer
Robert Komer
Robert William "Blowtorch Bob" Komer was a key figure in the pacification effort to win South Vietnamese "hearts and minds" during the Vietnam War, heading Civil Operations and Revolutionary Development Support....

, in an operation that was separate from the National Security Council
United States National Security Council
The White House National Security Council in the United States is the principal forum used by the President of the United States for considering national security and foreign policy matters with his senior national security advisors and Cabinet officials and is part of the Executive Office of the...

. As a rising young diplomat with significant experience in the country, Holbrooke was asked to join the group when he was only twenty-four years old.

Following his time in the White House
White House
The White House is the official residence and principal workplace of the president of the United States. Located at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW in Washington, D.C., the house was designed by Irish-born James Hoban, and built between 1792 and 1800 of white-painted Aquia sandstone in the Neoclassical...

, Holbrooke served as a special assistant to Under Secretaries of State
Under Secretary of State
The Under Secretary of State, from 1919 to 1972, was the second-ranking official at the United States Department of State , serving as the Secretary's principal deputy, chief assistant, and Acting Secretary in the event of the Secretary's absence...

 (then the number-two position in the State Department) Nicholas Katzenbach
Nicholas Katzenbach
Nicholas deBelleville Katzenbach is an American lawyer who served as United States Attorney General during the Lyndon B. Johnson administration.-Early life:...

 and Elliot Richardson
Elliot Richardson
Elliot Lee Richardson was an American lawyer and politician who was a member of the cabinet of Presidents Richard Nixon and Gerald Ford. As U.S...

. In 1968, Holbrooke was asked to be part of the American delegation to the 1968 Paris peace talks
Paris Peace Accords
The Paris Peace Accords of 1973 intended to establish peace in Vietnam and an end to the Vietnam War, ended direct U.S. military involvement, and temporarily stopped the fighting between North and South Vietnam...

, which was led by former New York Governor Averell Harriman and Deputy Secretary of Defense Cyrus Vance
Cyrus Vance
Cyrus Roberts Vance was an American lawyer and United States Secretary of State under President Jimmy Carter from 1977 to 1980...

. He also drafted a volume of the now famous Pentagon Papers
Pentagon Papers
The Pentagon Papers, officially titled United States – Vietnam Relations, 1945–1967: A Study Prepared by the Department of Defense, is a United States Department of Defense history of the United States' political-military involvement in Vietnam from 1945 to 1967...

, a top-secret report on the government’s decision-making in Vietnam. Following these assignments, Holbrooke spent a year as a mid-career fellow at the Woodrow Wilson School at Princeton University.

Morocco and Foreign Policy (1970–1976)


In 1970, at his own request, Holbrooke was assigned to be the Peace Corps Director in Morocco
Morocco
Morocco , officially the Kingdom of Morocco , is a country located in North Africa. It has a population of more than 32 million and an area of 710,850 km², and also primarily administers the disputed region of the Western Sahara...

. After two years, he left the Foreign Service to become the managing editor of the magazine Foreign Policy from 1972–1976. At the same time, from 1974–1975, he was 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
Newsweek
Newsweek is an American weekly news magazine published in New York City. It is distributed throughout the United States and internationally. It is the second-largest news weekly magazine in the U.S., having trailed Time in circulation and advertising revenue for most of its existence...

.

Carter Administration (1977–1981)


In the summer of 1976, Holbrooke left Foreign Policy to serve as campaign coordinator for national security affairs to Governor Jimmy Carter
Jimmy Carter
James Earl "Jimmy" Carter, Jr. is an American politician who served as the 39th President of the United States and was the recipient of the 2002 Nobel Peace Prize, the only U.S. President to have received the Prize after leaving office...

 (D-GA) in his bid for the White House. During the campaign, Holbrooke helped Carter prepare for his foreign policy debates with President Gerald Ford
Gerald Ford
Gerald Rudolph "Jerry" Ford, Jr. was the 38th President of the United States, serving from 1974 to 1977, and the 40th Vice President of the United States serving from 1973 to 1974...

. After Carter's victory, Holbrooke followed in the footsteps of such diplomatic mentors as Philip Habib
Philip Habib
Philip Charles Habib was a Lebanese-American career diplomat known for work in Vietnam, South Korea and the Middle East...

, Dean Rusk and Averell Harriman and, on March 31, 1977, became Assistant Secretary of State for East Asian and Pacific Affairs
Assistant Secretary of State for East Asian and Pacific Affairs
The Assistant Secretary of State for East Asian and Pacific Affairs is the head of the Bureau of East Asian and Pacific Affairs within the United States Department of State. The Assistant Secretary guides operation of the U.S...

, making him the youngest person ever to hold that position, a post he held until 1981. While at State, he was a top adviser to Secretary of State Cyrus Vance. During his service, he oversaw a warming with Cold War
Cold War
The Cold War was the continuing state from roughly 1946 to 1991 of political conflict, military tension, proxy wars, and economic competition between the Communist World—primarily the Soviet Union and its satellite states and allies—and the powers of the Western world, primarily the United States...

 adversaries in the region, culminating in the normalization of relations with China in December 1978. He was also deeply involved in bringing hundreds of thousands of Indochinese refugees to the United States, thus beginning a lifelong involvement with the refugee issue.

East Timor controversy


In August 1977, then Assistant Secretary of State Richard Holbrooke traveled to Indonesia
Indonesia
Indonesia , officially the Republic of Indonesia , is a country in Southeast Asia and Oceania. Indonesia is an archipelago comprising approximately 13,000 islands. It has 33 provinces with over 238 million people, and is the world's fourth most populous country. Indonesia is a republic, with an...

 to meet with President Suharto in the midst of one of the Indonesian military’s brutal counterinsurgency campaigns in East Timor
East Timor
The Democratic Republic of Timor-Leste, commonly known as East Timor , is a state in Southeast Asia. It comprises the eastern half of the island of Timor, the nearby islands of Atauro and Jaco, and Oecusse, an exclave on the northwestern side of the island, within Indonesian West Timor...

, in which tens of thousands of East Timorese were being killed. According to Brad Simpson, director of the Indonesia and East Timor Documentation Project at the National Security Archives, Holbrooke had visited officially to press for human rights reform but, after meeting Suharto, had instead praised him for Indonesia’s human rights
Human rights
Human rights are "commonly understood as inalienable fundamental rights to which a person is inherently entitled simply because she or he is a human being." Human rights are thus conceived as universal and egalitarian . These rights may exist as natural rights or as legal rights, in both national...

 improvements, for the steps that Indonesia had taken to open East Timor to the West, and for allowing a delegation of congressmen to enter the territory under strict military guard, where they were greeted by staged celebrations welcoming the Indonesian armed forces.

Wall Street years (1981–1993)


In January 1981, Holbrooke left government and became both senior advisor to Lehman Brothers
Lehman Brothers
Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc. was a global financial services firm. Before declaring bankruptcy in 2008, Lehman was the fourth largest investment bank in the USA , doing business in investment banking, equity and fixed-income sales and trading Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc. (former NYSE ticker...

 and vice president of Public Strategies, a consulting firm he formed with James A. Johnson
James A. Johnson (businessman)
James A. Johnson is a United States Democratic Party political figure, and the former CEO of Fannie Mae. He was the campaign manager for Walter Mondale's failed 1984 presidential bid and chaired the vice presidential selection committee for the presidential campaign of John Kerry...

, a former top aide to Walter Mondale
Walter Mondale
Walter Frederick "Fritz" Mondale is an American Democratic Party politician, who served as the 42nd Vice President of the United States , under President Jimmy Carter, and as a United States Senator for Minnesota...

. From 1985 until 1993, Holbrooke served as managing director of Lehman Brothers. During this time, he co-authored Counsel to the President, The New York Times best-selling memoirs of legendary Democratic wise man and Defense Secretary Clark Clifford
Clark Clifford
Clark McAdams Clifford was an American lawyer who served United States Presidents Harry S. Truman, John F. Kennedy, Lyndon B. Johnson and Jimmy Carter, serving as United States Secretary of Defense for Johnson....

, published in 1991. He was a top policy adviser to then-Senator Al Gore
Al Gore
Albert Arnold "Al" Gore, Jr. served as the 45th Vice President of the United States , under President Bill Clinton. He was the Democratic Party's nominee for President in the 2000 U.S. presidential election....

 (D-TN
Tennessee
Tennessee is a U.S. state located in the Southeastern United States. It has a population of 6,346,105, making it the nation's 17th-largest state by population, and covers , making it the 36th-largest by total land area...

) during his 1988 campaign
Al Gore presidential campaign, 1988
Al Gore campaigned for President of the United States as a Democratic candidate in the 1988 presidential election, against Democratic candidates Joe Biden, Dick Gephardt, Paul Simon, Jesse Jackson, and Michael Dukakis...

 for the Democratic presidential nomination. And four years later he advised Bill Clinton
Bill Clinton
William Jefferson "Bill" Clinton is an American politician who served as the 42nd President of the United States from 1993 to 2001. Inaugurated at age 46, he was the third-youngest president. He took office at the end of the Cold War, and was the first president of the baby boomer generation...

, in his quest
Bill Clinton presidential campaign, 1992
Bill Clinton's 1992 campaign for President of the United States was a critical turning point for the Democratic Party, which had controlled the White House for only four of the previous twenty-four years. Initially viewed as an unlikely prospect to win his party's nomination, Clinton did so and...

 for the White House.

Holbrooke also remained deeply engaged in prominent foreign policy issues. He visited Bosnia twice in 1992 as a private citizen and a member of the board of Refugees International
Refugees International
Refugees International is a humanitarian organization supporting refugees and stateless people. It publishes annual reports, as well as approximately twenty-five field reports throughout the year on refugee issues, as well as comments on international aid issues around the world...

, witnessing firsthand the damage and devastating human costs of the conflict. This experience committed Holbrooke to pursuing a more aggressive policy in Balkans and, in a memo to his colleagues, he urged that "Bosnia will be the key test of American policy in Europe. We must therefore succeed in whatever we attempt."

U.S. Ambassador to Germany (1993–1994)


In 1993, after Bill Clinton
Bill Clinton
William Jefferson "Bill" Clinton is an American politician who served as the 42nd President of the United States from 1993 to 2001. Inaugurated at age 46, he was the third-youngest president. He took office at the end of the Cold War, and was the first president of the baby boomer generation...

 became President, Holbrooke was initially slated to be Ambassador to Japan due to his depth of knowledge and long experience in Asian affairs. However, this appointment eventually went to former Vice President Walter Mondale
Walter Mondale
Walter Frederick "Fritz" Mondale is an American Democratic Party politician, who served as the 42nd Vice President of the United States , under President Jimmy Carter, and as a United States Senator for Minnesota...

, and Holbrooke unexpectedly was appointed Ambassador to Germany. In 1992, Holbrooke was also a member of the Carnegie Commission on America and a Changing World and Chairman and principal author of the bipartisan Commission on Government and Renewal, sponsored by the Carnegie Foundation
Carnegie Corporation of New York
Carnegie Corporation of New York, which was established by Andrew Carnegie in 1911 "to promote the advancement and diffusion of knowledge and understanding," is one of the oldest, largest and most influential of American foundations...

 and the Peterson Institute. He was Chairman and principal author of the “Memo to the President-Elect: Harnessing Process to Purpose,” a blue-ribbon Commission report sponsored by the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace
Carnegie Endowment for International Peace
The Carnegie Endowment for International Peace is a foreign-policy think tank based in Washington, D.C. The organization describes itself as being dedicated to advancing cooperation between nations and promoting active international engagement by the United States...

 and the Institute for International Economics
Institute for International Economics
The Peter G. Peterson Institute for International Economics , formerly the Institute for International Economics, is a private, non-profit, and nonpartisan think tank focused on international economics, based in Washington, D.C. It was founded by C...

.

Holbrooke served in Germany during a dramatic moment: only a few years after German reunification
German reunification
German reunification was the process in 1990 in which the German Democratic Republic joined the Federal Republic of Germany , and when Berlin reunited into a single city, as provided by its then Grundgesetz constitution Article 23. The start of this process is commonly referred by Germans as die...

, he helped shape U.S. relations with a new Germany. A highlight of his tenure was President Bill Clinton’s visit to Berlin in July 1994, when thousands of Germans
Germans
The Germans are a Germanic ethnic group native to Central Europe. The English term Germans has referred to the German-speaking population of the Holy Roman Empire since the Late Middle Ages....

 crammed the streets to welcome the American leader. While in Germany, Holbrooke also was a key figure in shaping the U.S. policy to promote NATO enlargement, as well as its approach to the war in Bosnia.

In 1994, while serving as U.S. Ambassador to Germany, he conceived the idea of a cultural exchange center between the people of Berlin and Americans. With Richard von Weizsäcker
Richard von Weizsäcker
Richard Karl Freiherr von Weizsäcker , known as Richard von Weizsäcker, is a German politician . He served as Governing Mayor of West Berlin from 1981 to 1984, and as President of the Federal Republic of Germany from 1984 to 1994...

, former President of Germany
President of Germany
The President of the Federal Republic of Germany is the country's head of state. His official title in German is Bundespräsident . Germany has a parliamentary system of government and so the position of President is largely ceremonial...

, and Henry A. Kissinger as co-Chairman, this institution—The American Academy in Berlin
American Academy in Berlin
The American Academy in Berlin is a research and cultural institution in Berlin whose stated mission is to foster a greater understanding and dialogue between the people of the United States and the people of Germany.The American Academy was founded in September 1994 by a group of prominent...

—was announced on September 9, 1994, the day after the U.S. Army Berlin Brigade
Berlin Brigade
After the end of World War II, under the conditions of the Yalta and Potsdam agreements, Allied forces occupied West Berlin. This occupation lasted throughout the Cold War...

 left Berlin. The American Academy in Berlin opened three years later in a villa on the Wannsee
Wannsee
Wannsee is a locality in the southwestern Berlin borough of Steglitz-Zehlendorf, Germany. It is the westernmost locality of Berlin. In the quarter there are two lakes, the larger Großer Wannsee and the Kleiner Wannsee , are located on the river Havel and are separated only by the Wannsee bridge...

 once owned by the German-Jewish banker Hans Arnhold. When Holbrooke left the U.S. government in 2001, he became Chairman of The American Academy in Berlin. It is now one of the most important links between Germany and the United States. Its Fellows have included writers (including Pulitzer Prize winning authors Arthur Miller
Arthur Miller
Arthur Asher Miller was an American playwright and essayist. He was a prominent figure in American theatre, writing dramas that include plays such as All My Sons , Death of a Salesman , The Crucible , and A View from the Bridge .Miller was often in the public eye,...

 and Jeffrey Eugenides
Jeffrey Eugenides
Jeffrey Kent Eugenides is an American Pulitzer Prize-winning novelist and short story writer. Eugenides is most known for his first two novels, The Virgin Suicides and Middlesex . His novel The Marriage Plot was published in October, 2011.-Life and career:Eugenides was born in Detroit, Michigan,...

), economists, government officials, and public policy experts such as Dennis Ross
Dennis Ross
Dennis B. Ross is an American diplomat and author. He has served as the Director of Policy Planning in the State Department under President George H. W...

 and former U.S. Ambassador to The Peoples Republic of China, J. Stapleton Roy
J. Stapleton Roy
J. Stapleton Roy was a senior United States diplomat specializing in Asian affairs. A fluent Chinese speaker, Roy spent much of his career in East Asia, where his assignments included Bangkok , Hong Kong, Taipei, Beijing , Singapore, and Jakarta...

. In 2008, The American Academy in Berlin awarded its annual Henry A. Kissinger Award for Transatlantic Relations to George H. W. Bush
George H. W. Bush
George Herbert Walker Bush is an American politician who served as the 41st President of the United States . He had previously served as the 43rd Vice President of the United States , a congressman, an ambassador, and Director of Central Intelligence.Bush was born in Milton, Massachusetts, to...

. In 2007, the Award's first recipient was former German Chancellor Helmut Schmidt
Helmut Schmidt
Helmut Heinrich Waldemar Schmidt is a German Social Democratic politician who served as Chancellor of West Germany from 1974 to 1982. Prior to becoming chancellor, he had served as Minister of Defence and Minister of Finance. He had also served briefly as Minister of Economics and as acting...

.

Assistant Secretary of State for European and Eurasian Affairs (1994—1996)


In 1994, Holbrooke returned to Washington to become the assistant secretary for European and Canadian Affairs
Assistant Secretary of State for European and Eurasian Affairs
The Assistant Secretary of State for European and Eurasian Affairs is a position within the American Department of State that leads the Bureau of European and Eurasian Affairs charged with implementing American foreign policy in Europe and Eurasia, and with advising the Under Secretary for...

, a position he held until 1996, when he resigned for personal reasons (he had recently married the author Kati Marton
Kati Marton
Kati Marton is a Hungarian-American author and journalist. Her career has included reporting for ABC News as a foreign correspondent and National Public Radio, where she started as a production assistant 1971 in her 20s, as well as print journalism and writing a number of books.She is the former...

 and wished to return to New York). While assistant secretary, Holbrooke led the effort to implement the policy to enlarge NATO and had the distinction of leading the negotiation team charged with resolving the Balkans crisis. In 1995, he was the chief architect of the Dayton Peace Accords. In 1996, he was awarded the Manfred Wörner Medal
Manfred Wörner
Manfred Hermann Wörner was a German politician and diplomat. He served as the defense minister of West Germany between 1982 and 1988. He then served as the seventh Secretary General of NATO from 1988 to 1994. His term as Secretary General saw the end of the Cold War and the German reunification...

, awarded by the German Ministry of Defense
Federal Ministry of Defence (Germany)
The Federal Ministry of Defence is a top-level federal agency, headed by the Federal Minister of Defence as a member of the Cabinet of Germany...

 for public figures who have rendered "special meritorious service to peace and freedom in Europe."

Balkan envoy (1996—1999)


Upon leaving the State Department, Holbrooke was asked by President Clinton to become, as a private citizen, a special envoy to the Balkans given his distinguished service in the region. Holbrooke left his post as assistant secretary of state for European and Canadian affairs and joined Credit Suisse First Boston
Credit Suisse First Boston
Credit Suisse First Boston was the former name of the banking firm Credit Suisse.-History:In 1978, Credit Suisse and First Boston Corporation formed a London-based 50-50 investment banking joint venture called the Financière Crédit Suisse-First Boston...

, eventually taking the position of Vice Chairman. In 1997, Holbrooke became a special envoy to Cyprus
Cyprus
Cyprus , officially the Republic of Cyprus , is a Eurasian island country, member of the European Union, in the Eastern Mediterranean, east of Greece, south of Turkey, west of Syria and north of Egypt. It is the third largest island in the Mediterranean Sea.The earliest known human activity on the...

 and the Balkans on a pro-bono basis as a private citizen. During 1998 and 1999, in his capacity as special presidential envoy, Holbrooke worked to end the conflict between the armed forces of Serbia
Serbia
Serbia , officially the Republic of Serbia , is a landlocked country located at the crossroads of Central and Southeast Europe, covering the southern part of the Carpathian basin and the central part of the Balkans...

 and the Kosovo Liberation Army
Kosovo Liberation Army
The Kosovo Liberation Army or KLA was a Kosovar Albanian paramilitary organization which sought the separation of Kosovo from Federal Republic of Yugoslavia in the 1990s....

 (KLA), who were fighting for an independent Kosovo
Kosovo
Kosovo is a region in southeastern Europe. Part of the Ottoman Empire for more than five centuries, later the Autonomous Province of Kosovo and Metohija within Serbia...

 in the Kosovo War
Kosovo War
The term Kosovo War or Kosovo conflict was two sequential, and at times parallel, armed conflicts in Kosovo province, then part of FR Yugoslav Republic of Serbia; from early 1998 to 1999, there was an armed conflict initiated by the ethnic Albanian "Kosovo Liberation Army" , who sought independence...

. In March 1999 he traveled to Belgrade
Belgrade
Belgrade is the capital and largest city of Serbia. It is located at the confluence of the Sava and Danube rivers, where the Pannonian Plain meets the Balkans. According to official results of Census 2011, the city has a population of 1,639,121. It is one of the 15 largest cities in Europe...

 to deliver the final ultimatum
Ultimatum
An ultimatum is a demand whose fulfillment is requested in a specified period of time and which is backed up by a threat to be followed through in case of noncompliance. An ultimatum is generally the final demand in a series of requests...

 to Yugoslav president
President
A president is a leader of an organization, company, trade union, university, or country.Etymologically, a president is one who presides, who sits in leadership...

 Slobodan Milošević
Slobodan Milošević
Slobodan Milošević was President of Serbia and Yugoslavia. He served as the President of Socialist Republic of Serbia and Republic of Serbia from 1989 until 1997 in three terms and as President of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia from 1997 to 2000...

 before the NATO attack began. Holbrooke has written numerous articles about his experiences in the Balkans, and in 1998, published the widely acclaimed book, To End a War, a memoir of his time as the chief negotiator of the Dayton Peace Accords, ending the Bosnian civil war. The New York Times
The New York Times
The New York Times is an American daily newspaper founded and continuously published in New York City since 1851. The New York Times has won 106 Pulitzer Prizes, the most of any news organization...

ranked the book as one of the eleven best books of the year in 1998.

According to Radovan Karadžić
Radovan Karadžic
Radovan Karadžić is a former Bosnian Serb politician. He is detained in the United Nations Detention Unit of Scheveningen, accused of war crimes committed against Bosnian Muslims and Bosnian Croats during the Siege of Sarajevo, as well as ordering the Srebrenica massacre.Educated as a...

 and Muhamed Sacirbey
Muhamed Sacirbey
Muhamed Sacirbey is a Bosnian American lawyer, businessman and diplomat. Sacirbey rose to prominence in the 1990s when Bosnia and Herzegovina appointed him to be its ambassador to the United Nations. Sacirbey also served briefly as the Bosnian foreign minister...

, ex-Bosnian Foreign Minister, Holbrooke signed an agreement with Karadžić that if the latter withdrew from politics he would not be sent to the Hague tribunal
International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia
The International Tribunal for the Prosecution of Persons Responsible for Serious Violations of International Humanitarian Law Committed in the Territory of the Former Yugoslavia since 1991, more commonly referred to as the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia or ICTY, is a...

. Holbrooke denied these terms, saying Karadžić's statement was "a flat-out lie."

U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations (1999—2001)


In August 1999, Holbrooke was sworn-in as the 22nd U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations, replacing Bill Richardson. During his tenure, Holbrooke was known for innovation and for achieving diplomatic breakthroughs that settled a series of longstanding tensions in the United States' relationship with the UN. His highest-profile accomplishment was negotiating a historic deal between the United States and the UN's then 188-Member States to settle the bulk of arrears owed by the United States to the United Nations. The deal, achieved with the agreement of the UN's entire membership in late December 2000, lowered the rate of UN dues paid by the United States to the UN, fulfilling the terms of a US law championed by Senators Jesse Helms
Jesse Helms
Jesse Alexander Helms, Jr. was a five-term Republican United States Senator from North Carolina who served as chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee from 1995 to 2001...

 (R-NC
North Carolina
North Carolina is a state located in the southeastern United States. The state borders South Carolina and Georgia to the south, Tennessee to the west and Virginia to the north. North Carolina contains 100 counties. Its capital is Raleigh, and its largest city is Charlotte...

) and Joseph Biden (D-DE
Delaware
Delaware is a U.S. state located on the Atlantic Coast in the Mid-Atlantic region of the United States. It is bordered to the south and west by Maryland, and to the north by Pennsylvania...

). In return for the reduction, the US paid the UN over $900 million in back dues. Holbrooke secured a reduction in US dues to the UN despite a booming American economy by enfolding the US position within a broad push to update the UN's long-outdated financial system
Financial system
In finance, the financial system is the system that allows the transfer of money between savers and borrowers. A financial system can operate on a global, regional or firm specific level...

. As negotiations reached a critical phase in the fall of 2000, Holbrooke bridged a gap between what the US was legally permitted to pay and the amounts the rest of the UN membership were willing to shoulder by securing an unprecedented contribution by billionaire Ted Turner
Ted Turner
Robert Edward "Ted" Turner III is an American media mogul and philanthropist. As a businessman, he is known as founder of the cable news network CNN, the first dedicated 24-hour cable news channel. In addition, he founded WTBS, which pioneered the superstation concept in cable television...

, founder of the UN Foundation. Holbrooke and his team received a standing ovation in the United States Senate Foreign Relations Committee when the terms of the deal were presented.

Holbrooke's other achievements as UN Ambassador included getting the United Nations Security Council to debate and pass a resolution on HIV/AIDS, the first time that body had treated public health
Public health
Public health is "the science and art of preventing disease, prolonging life and promoting health through the organized efforts and informed choices of society, organizations, public and private, communities and individuals" . It is concerned with threats to health based on population health...

 as a matter of global security. In January 2000, Holbrooke used the United States' presidency of the UN Security Council to spotlight a series of crises in Africa, holding six consecutive UN debates that brought together leaders from the region and the across the globe, including former South African President Nelson Mandela
Nelson Mandela
Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela served as President of South Africa from 1994 to 1999, and was the first South African president to be elected in a fully representative democratic election. Before his presidency, Mandela was an anti-apartheid activist, and the leader of Umkhonto we Sizwe, the armed wing...

 and then U.S. Vice President Al Gore
Al Gore
Albert Arnold "Al" Gore, Jr. served as the 45th Vice President of the United States , under President Bill Clinton. He was the Democratic Party's nominee for President in the 2000 U.S. presidential election....

, to catalyze more effective UN interventions in the Democratic Republic of Congo, Angola
Angola
Angola, officially the Republic of Angola , is a country in south-central Africa bordered by Namibia on the south, the Democratic Republic of the Congo on the north, and Zambia on the east; its west coast is on the Atlantic Ocean with Luanda as its capital city...

 and elsewhere. Holbrooke decried a "double standard" whereby African conflicts received insufficient global attention. In 2000, Holbrooke led a UN Security Council delegation in a series of diplomatic negotiations throughout Africa, including to the Democratic Republic of Congo, Zambia
Zambia
Zambia , officially the Republic of Zambia, is a landlocked country in Southern Africa. The neighbouring countries are the Democratic Republic of the Congo to the north, Tanzania to the north-east, Malawi to the east, Mozambique, Zimbabwe, Botswana and Namibia to the south, and Angola to the west....

, Zimbabwe
Zimbabwe
Zimbabwe is a landlocked country located in the southern part of the African continent, between the Zambezi and Limpopo rivers. It is bordered by South Africa to the south, Botswana to the southwest, Zambia and a tip of Namibia to the northwest and Mozambique to the east. Zimbabwe has three...

, Rwanda
Rwanda
Rwanda or , officially the Republic of Rwanda , is a country in central and eastern Africa with a population of approximately 11.4 million . Rwanda is located a few degrees south of the Equator, and is bordered by Uganda, Tanzania, Burundi and the Democratic Republic of the Congo...

 and Uganda
Uganda
Uganda , officially the Republic of Uganda, is a landlocked country in East Africa. Uganda is also known as the "Pearl of Africa". It is bordered on the east by Kenya, on the north by South Sudan, on the west by the Democratic Republic of the Congo, on the southwest by Rwanda, and on the south by...

. Holbrooke also secured membership for Israel
Israel
The State of Israel is a parliamentary republic located in the Middle East, along the eastern shore of the Mediterranean Sea...

 in the UN's Western European and Others
Western European and Others Group
The Western European and Others Group is one of several unofficial Regional Groups in the United Nations that act as voting blocs and negotiation forums. Regional voting blocs were formed in 1961 to encourage voting to various UN bodies from regional groups...

 regional group, ending Israel's historic exclusion from regional group deliberations and allowing it to, for the first time, stand for election to leadership positions in UN sub-bodies. During the final weeks of his term, Holbrooke secured consultative status at the United Nations for Hadassah
Hadassah
Hadassah, the Women's Zionist Organization of America is an American Jewish volunteer women's organization. Founded in 1912 by Henrietta Szold, it is one of the largest international Jewish organizations, with around...

, the Jewish women's service organization, overcoming strenuous objections from certain Arab
Arab
Arab people, also known as Arabs , are a panethnicity primarily living in the Arab world, which is located in Western Asia and North Africa. They are identified as such on one or more of genealogical, linguistic, or cultural grounds, with tribal affiliations, and intra-tribal relationships playing...

 delegations.

Global Business Coalition on HIV/AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria


In January 2000, when the United States was in the rotating presidency of the UN Security Council, Ambassador Holbrooke held an unprecedented meeting of the Security Council to discuss AIDS
AIDS
Acquired immune deficiency syndrome or acquired immunodeficiency syndrome is a disease of the human immune system caused by the human immunodeficiency virus...

 in Africa. No Security Council session in the history of the UN had ever been devoted to a health issue prior to this historic meeting. Vice President Al Gore
Al Gore
Albert Arnold "Al" Gore, Jr. served as the 45th Vice President of the United States , under President Bill Clinton. He was the Democratic Party's nominee for President in the 2000 U.S. presidential election....

 presided over the Security Council and declared that AIDS was a security threat to all nations.

Upon leaving the UN a year later, Holbrooke took over a nearly moribund NGO that was intended to mobilize businesses and corporations in the fight against AIDS. At the time, it had 17 members. Over the next six years, Holbrooke turned this organization—originally called the Global Business Council on HIV/AIDS—into a worldwide organization with over 225 members. It expanded to include malaria
Malaria
Malaria is a mosquito-borne infectious disease of humans and other animals caused by eukaryotic protists of the genus Plasmodium. The disease results from the multiplication of Plasmodium parasites within red blood cells, causing symptoms that typically include fever and headache, in severe cases...

 and tuberculosis
Tuberculosis
Tuberculosis, MTB, or TB is a common, and in many cases lethal, infectious disease caused by various strains of mycobacteria, usually Mycobacterium tuberculosis. Tuberculosis usually attacks the lungs but can also affect other parts of the body...

 and is now known as the Global Business Coalition on HIV/AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria. It is now the official focal point for mobilizing the business community in support of The Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria
The Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria
The Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria is an international financing organization that aims to "[a]ttract and disburse additional resources to prevent and treat HIV and AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria." A public–private partnership, the organization has its secretariat in Geneva,...

, and has grown into an important part of the ongoing war against these three diseases.

Special representative for Afghanistan and Pakistan (2009—2010)



In January 2009, Holbrooke was appointed by President Obama as special representative for Afghanistan
Afghanistan
Afghanistan , officially the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan, is a landlocked country located in the centre of Asia, forming South Asia, Central Asia and the Middle East. With a population of about 29 million, it has an area of , making it the 42nd most populous and 41st largest nation in the world...

 and Pakistan
Pakistan
Pakistan , officially the Islamic Republic of Pakistan is a sovereign state in South Asia. It has a coastline along the Arabian Sea and the Gulf of Oman in the south and is bordered by Afghanistan and Iran in the west, India in the east and China in the far northeast. In the north, Tajikistan...

. In that position, he helped kill an initiative to "back the creation of a new UN
United Nations
The United Nations is an international organization whose stated aims are facilitating cooperation in international law, international security, economic development, social progress, human rights, and achievement of world peace...

 special envoy empowered to pursue peace talks with the Taliban." He also asserted that


"one of the most cost-effective steps Washington
Washington, D.C.
Washington, D.C., formally the District of Columbia and commonly referred to as Washington, "the District", or simply D.C., is the capital of the United States. On July 16, 1790, the United States Congress approved the creation of a permanent national capital as permitted by the U.S. Constitution....

 could take would be to boost the agriculture sector of Afghanistan
Afghanistan
Afghanistan , officially the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan, is a landlocked country located in the centre of Asia, forming South Asia, Central Asia and the Middle East. With a population of about 29 million, it has an area of , making it the 42nd most populous and 41st largest nation in the world...

, which in years past had been a productive and profitable source of exports. Replicate the past success, he said, and Afghans would have money and jobs—and that, in turn, would create stability in the country. He called for 'a complete rethink' of the drug problem in Afghanistan, suggesting that draconian eradication programs were bound to fail."


However, "Holbrooke's skill set did not lead to much accomplishment in Afghanistan
Afghanistan
Afghanistan , officially the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan, is a landlocked country located in the centre of Asia, forming South Asia, Central Asia and the Middle East. With a population of about 29 million, it has an area of , making it the 42nd most populous and 41st largest nation in the world...

. He never worked out a productive relationship with Afghan President Hamid Karzai
Hamid Karzai
Hamid Karzai, GCMG is the 12th and current President of Afghanistan, taking office on 7 December 2004. He became a dominant political figure after the removal of the Taliban regime in late 2001...

 . . . He butted heads with other administration officials and was dismissed by European colleagues. He brokered no breakthroughs."

Richard Holbrooke's dying words were "You've got to stop this war in Afghanistan," which he told his Pakistani surgeon moments before he was sedated for surgery to repair his torn aorta. NYDailyNews.com

Other activities


Holbrooke was the vice chairman of Perseus LLC, a leading private equity
Private equity
Private equity, in finance, is an asset class consisting of equity securities in operating companies that are not publicly traded on a stock exchange....

 firm. From February 2001 until July 2008, Holbrooke was a member of the Board of Directors of American International Group
American International Group
American International Group, Inc. or AIG is an American multinational insurance corporation. Its corporate headquarters is located in the American International Building in New York City. The British headquarters office is on Fenchurch Street in London, continental Europe operations are based in...

. During his time as a member of the board of directors of AIG, the firm engaged in wildly speculative credit default insurance schemes that may cost the taxpayer hundreds of billions to prevent AIG from bringing down the entire financial system. He was a member of the board of directors of the Council on Foreign Relations
Council on Foreign Relations
The Council on Foreign Relations is an American nonprofit nonpartisan membership organization, publisher, and think tank specializing in U.S. foreign policy and international affairs...

 in New York and formerly served on the Advisory Board of the National Security Network
National Security Network
The National Security Network is a non-profit foreign policy organization headquartered in Washington, D.C. that focuses on international relations, global affairs and national security...

. Holbrooke was also a member of the International Institute for Strategic Studies
International Institute for Strategic Studies
The International Institute for Strategic Studies is a British research institute in the area of international affairs. It describes itself as "the world’s leading authority on political-military conflict"...

, the Citizens Committee for New York City, and the Economic Club of New York
The Economic Club of New York
The Economic Club of New York is a non-profit and non-partisan membership organization located in New York City and founded in 1907. Its stated purpose is the promotion of the study and discussion of social, economic, and political questions....

. He was a member of the Trilateral Commission
Trilateral Commission
The Trilateral Commission is a non-governmental, non-partisan discussion group founded by David Rockefeller in July 1973 to foster closer cooperation among the United States, Europe and Japan.-History:...

, and he has been listed on their membership roster as one of their "Former Members in Public Service". He was the Founding Chairman of the American Academy in Berlin
American Academy in Berlin
The American Academy in Berlin is a research and cultural institution in Berlin whose stated mission is to foster a greater understanding and dialogue between the people of the United States and the people of Germany.The American Academy was founded in September 1994 by a group of prominent...

; President and CEO of the Global Business Coalition on HIV/AIDS, TB and Malaria, the business alliance against HIV/AIDS, until his appointment as a special envoy by President Barack Obama
Barack Obama
Barack Hussein Obama II is the 44th and current President of the United States. He is the first African American to hold the office. Obama previously served as a United States Senator from Illinois, from January 2005 until he resigned following his victory in the 2008 presidential election.Born in...

; and Chairman of the Asia Society
Asia Society
The Asia Society is a non-profit organization that focuses on educating the world about Asia. It has several centers in the United States and around the world Hong Kong, Manila, Mumbai, Seoul, Shanghai, and Melbourne...

. Holbrooke's other board memberships included the American Museum of Natural History
American Museum of Natural History
The American Museum of Natural History , located on the Upper West Side of Manhattan in New York City, United States, is one of the largest and most celebrated museums in the world...

, Malaria No More
Malaria No More
Malaria No More is a nonprofit organization that aims to end death caused by malaria in Africa by 2015. Malaria No More is known for its participation in the Idol Gives Back charity specials.- History :...

 (a New York-based nonprofit that was launched at the 2006 White House
White House
The White House is the official residence and principal workplace of the president of the United States. Located at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW in Washington, D.C., the house was designed by Irish-born James Hoban, and built between 1792 and 1800 of white-painted Aquia sandstone in the Neoclassical...

 Summit with the goal of ending all deaths caused by malaria), Partnership for a Secure America
Partnership for a Secure America
The Partnership for a Secure America is a policy center in the United States. It describes its mission as "recreating the bipartisan center in American national security and foreign policy."...

, and the National Endowment for Democracy
National Endowment for Democracy
The National Endowment for Democracy, or NED, is a U.S. non-profit organization that was founded in 1983 to promote US-friendly democracy by providing cash grants funded primarily through an annual allocation from the U.S. Congress...

. Holbrooke was also an honorary trustee of the Dayton International Peace Museum
Dayton International Peace Museum
The Dayton International Peace Museum is a museum located in Dayton, Ohio at 208 West Monument Avenue. It is the second peace museum to be created in the United States, with The Peace Museum in Chicago, Illinois being the first....

, as well as professor-at-large at the Watson Institute for International Studies
Watson Institute for International Studies
The Watson Institute for International Studies is a center for the analysis of international issues at Brown University, focusing mainly on global security and political economy and society. Its faculty span a wide range of disciplines, including, anthropology, economics, political science, and...

 at Brown University
Brown University
Brown University is a private, Ivy League university located in Providence, Rhode Island, United States. Founded in 1764 prior to American independence from the British Empire as the College in the English Colony of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations early in the reign of King George III ,...

, his alma mater. Additionally, Holbrooke was an Advisory Board member for the Partnership for a Secure America
Partnership for a Secure America
The Partnership for a Secure America is a policy center in the United States. It describes its mission as "recreating the bipartisan center in American national security and foreign policy."...

, a not-for-profit organization dedicated to recreating the bipartisan center in American national security and foreign policy.

Holbrooke also served as vice chairman of Credit Suisse First Boston
Credit Suisse First Boston
Credit Suisse First Boston was the former name of the banking firm Credit Suisse.-History:In 1978, Credit Suisse and First Boston Corporation formed a London-based 50-50 investment banking joint venture called the Financière Crédit Suisse-First Boston...

, managing director of Lehman Brothers
Lehman Brothers
Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc. was a global financial services firm. Before declaring bankruptcy in 2008, Lehman was the fourth largest investment bank in the USA , doing business in investment banking, equity and fixed-income sales and trading Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc. (former NYSE ticker...

, managing editor of Foreign Policy
Foreign Policy
Foreign Policy is a bimonthly American magazine founded in 1970 by Samuel P. Huntington and Warren Demian Manshel.Originally, the magazine was a quarterly...

, and director of the Peace Corps in Morocco.

He wrote numerous articles and two books: To End A War, and the co-author of Counsel to the President, and one volume of The Pentagon Papers. He received more than a dozen honorary degrees, including an LL.D. from Bates College
Bates College
Bates College is a highly selective, private liberal arts college located in Lewiston, Maine, in the United States. and was most recently ranked 21st in the nation in the 2011 US News Best Liberal Arts Colleges rankings. The college was founded in 1855 by abolitionists...

 in 1999. He wrote a monthly column for The Washington Post
The Washington Post
The Washington Post is Washington, D.C.'s largest newspaper and its oldest still-existing paper, founded in 1877. Located in the capital of the United States, The Post has a particular emphasis on national politics. D.C., Maryland, and Virginia editions are printed for daily circulation...

and Project Syndicate.

On March 20, 2007, he appeared on The Colbert Report to mediate in what Stephen Colbert
Stephen Colbert
Stephen Tyrone Colbert is an American political satirist, writer, comedian, television host, and actor. He is the host of Comedy Central's The Colbert Report, a satirical news show in which Colbert portrays a caricatured version of conservative political pundits.Colbert originally studied to be an...

 (or rather, his television alter-ego
Stephen Colbert (character)
The Reverend / Sir / Dr. / Stephen T. Colbert, D.F.A., brain-child of Google, is the persona of political satirist Stephen Colbert, as portrayed on Comedy Central's The Colbert Report. Described as a "well-intentioned, poorly informed high-status idiot", the character is a self-obsessed right-wing...

) saw as Willie Nelson
Willie Nelson
Willie Hugh Nelson is an American country music singer-songwriter, as well as an author, poet, actor, and activist. The critical success of the album Shotgun Willie , combined with the critical and commercial success of Red Headed Stranger and Stardust , made Nelson one of the most recognized...

 infringing on his ice cream flavor time. Holbrooke was the 'ambassador on call' and after a short mediation process the two parties agreed to taste each other's Ben and Jerry's ice cream to make amends. He subsequently sang "On the Road Again
On the Road Again (Willie Nelson song)
"On the Road Again" is a song made famous by country music singer Willie Nelson, and is part of the soundtrack to the 1980 movie Honeysuckle Rose....

" in a trio with Colbert and Nelson.

Holbrooke was an Eminent Member of the Sergio Vieira de Mello Foundation until his death.

In June 2008, Conde Nast Portfolio
Condé Nast Portfolio
Portfolio.com is a website published by American City Business Journals that provides news and information for small to mid-sized businesses. It was formerly the website for the monthly business magazine Condé Nast Portfolio, published by Condé Nast from 2007 to 2009.Portfolio.com is continually...

 reported that Holbrooke and his son allegedly got multiple below-rate loans at Countrywide Financial
Countrywide Financial
Bank of America Home Loans is the mortgage unit of Bank of America. Bank of America Home Loans is composed of:*Mortgage Banking, which originates purchases, securitizes, and services mortgages. In 2008, Bank of America purchased the failing Countrywide Financial for $4.1 billion...

 because the corporation considered them "FOA's"—"Friends of Angelo" (Countrywide Chief Executive Angelo Mozilo
Angelo Mozilo
Angelo R. Mozilo was the chairman of the board and chief executive officer of Countrywide Financial until July 1, 2008. Condé Nast Portfolio ranked Mozilo second on their list of "Worst American CEOs of All Time".-Life and career:...

).

Positions


In January 2001, Holbrooke said that "Iraq
Iraq
Iraq ; officially the Republic of Iraq is a country in Western Asia spanning most of the northwestern end of the Zagros mountain range, the eastern part of the Syrian Desert and the northern part of the Arabian Desert....

 will be one of the major issues facing the incoming Bush administration at the United Nations." Further, "Saddam Hussein
Saddam Hussein
Saddam Hussein Abd al-Majid al-Tikriti was the fifth President of Iraq, serving in this capacity from 16 July 1979 until 9 April 2003...

's activities continue to be unacceptable and, in my view, dangerous to the region and, indeed, to the world, not only because he possesses the potential for weapons of mass destruction
Weapons of mass destruction
A weapon of mass destruction is a weapon that can kill and bring significant harm to a large number of humans and/or cause great damage to man-made structures , natural structures , or the biosphere in general...

 but because of the very nature of his regime. His willingness to be cruel internally is not unique in the world, but the combination of that and his willingness to export his problems makes him a clear and present danger at all times."

On February 24, 2007, Holbrooke delivered the Democratic Party
Democratic Party (United States)
The Democratic Party is one of two major contemporary political parties in the United States, along with the Republican Party. The party's socially liberal and progressive platform is largely considered center-left in the U.S. political spectrum. The party has the lengthiest record of continuous...

's weekly radio address and called for "a new strategy in Iraq", involving "a careful, phased redeployment of U.S. troops" and a "new diplomatic offensive in the Gulf region to help stabilize Iraq."

During the 2008 South Ossetia war
2008 South Ossetia war
The 2008 South Ossetia War or Russo-Georgian War was an armed conflict in August 2008 between Georgia on one side, and Russia and separatist governments of South Ossetia and Abkhazia on the other....

 between Russia and Georgia
Georgia (country)
Georgia is a sovereign state in the Caucasus region of Eurasia. Located at the crossroads of Western Asia and Eastern Europe, it is bounded to the west by the Black Sea, to the north by Russia, to the southwest by Turkey, to the south by Armenia, and to the southeast by Azerbaijan. The capital of...

, Holbrooke said during a CNN
CNN
Cable News Network is a U.S. cable news channel founded in 1980 by Ted Turner. Upon its launch, CNN was the first channel to provide 24-hour television news coverage, and the first all-news television channel in the United States...

 interview that he had predicted the conflict in early 2008.

Personal life


Holbrooke was married three times. His first wife was Larrine Sullivan, whom he married in 1964, and with whom he had two sons, David and Anthony; Holbrooke and Sullivan divorced. He later married Blythe Babyak, a reporter for MacNeil/Lehrer NewsHour, on January 1, 1977; they divorced. He was married to Kati Marton
Kati Marton
Kati Marton is a Hungarian-American author and journalist. Her career has included reporting for ABC News as a foreign correspondent and National Public Radio, where she started as a production assistant 1971 in her 20s, as well as print journalism and writing a number of books.She is the former...

 from 1995 until his death.

Death


On December 11, 2010, Holbrooke was admitted to George Washington University Hospital
George Washington University Hospital
The George Washington University Hospital is a hospital in Washington, D.C. in the United States. It opened on On August 23, 2002, with 371 beds in a 400,000 sq. ft. building, housing than $45 million of medical equipment and cost more than $96 million to construct...

 in Washington after falling ill at the State Department's headquarters. While there, he underwent twenty hours of surgery to fix an aortic dissection
Aortic dissection
Aortic dissection occurs when a tear in the inner wall of the aorta causes blood to flow between the layers of the wall of the aorta and force the layers apart. The dissection typically extends anterograde, but can extend retrograde from the site of the intimal tear. Aortic dissection is a medical...

, a rare condition.

Holbrooke died on December 13, 2010, from complications of the torn
Aortic dissection
Aortic dissection occurs when a tear in the inner wall of the aorta causes blood to flow between the layers of the wall of the aorta and force the layers apart. The dissection typically extends anterograde, but can extend retrograde from the site of the intimal tear. Aortic dissection is a medical...

 aorta
Aorta
The aorta is the largest artery in the body, originating from the left ventricle of the heart and extending down to the abdomen, where it branches off into two smaller arteries...

. Holbrooke's last words before being sedated for surgery, which have been clarified to have been a comical interchange with his doctor, were: "You've got to end this war in Afghanistan."

Frank Rich of New York Times wrote: "His premature death — while heroically bearing the crushing burdens of Afghanistan and Pakistan — is tragic in more ways than many Americans yet realize."

On January 14, 2011, Holbrooke's memorial service was held at John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts.

Writings

  • 1991: Clifford, Clark
    Clark Clifford
    Clark McAdams Clifford was an American lawyer who served United States Presidents Harry S. Truman, John F. Kennedy, Lyndon B. Johnson and Jimmy Carter, serving as United States Secretary of Defense for Johnson....

    , with Richard Holbrooke. – Counsel to the President: A Memoir. – New York, New York: Random House
    Random House
    Random House, Inc. is the largest general-interest trade book publisher in the world. It has been owned since 1998 by the German private media corporation Bertelsmann and has become the umbrella brand for Bertelsmann book publishing. Random House also has a movie production arm, Random House Films,...

    . – ISBN 9780394569956.
  • 1998: To End a War. – New York, New York: Random House. – ISBN 9780375500572.

Further reading


[Richard Holbrooke's plan to avoid the mistakes of Vietnam in Afghanistan].
  • The Principles of Peacemaking Holbrooke's address to the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs conference on "Israel's Right to Secure Boundaries" on June 4, 2007

External links



  • Biography at the United States Department of State
    United States Department of State
    The United States Department of State , is the United States federal executive department responsible for international relations of the United States, equivalent to the foreign ministries of other countries...

  • Writings and speeches at the Council on Foreign Relations
    Council on Foreign Relations
    The Council on Foreign Relations is an American nonprofit nonpartisan membership organization, publisher, and think tank specializing in U.S. foreign policy and international affairs...

  • Column archives at The Washington Post
    The Washington Post
    The Washington Post is Washington, D.C.'s largest newspaper and its oldest still-existing paper, founded in 1877. Located in the capital of the United States, The Post has a particular emphasis on national politics. D.C., Maryland, and Virginia editions are printed for daily circulation...

  • Richard Holbrooke at The Asia Society
  • Richard Holbrooke at Aljazeera
  • Richard Holbrooke, veteran US diplomat, dies at BBC News
    BBC News
    BBC News is the department of the British Broadcasting Corporation responsible for the gathering and broadcasting of news and current affairs. The department is the world's largest broadcast news organisation and generates about 120 hours of radio and television output each day, as well as online...

    with obituary and tributes
    • Bulldozer of the Balkans, BBC News
      BBC News
      BBC News is the department of the British Broadcasting Corporation responsible for the gathering and broadcasting of news and current affairs. The department is the world's largest broadcast news organisation and generates about 120 hours of radio and television output each day, as well as online...

      , 1998
  • Richard C. Holbrooke, 1941-2010 at Foreign Policy
  • Richard Holbrooke at The Guardian
    The Guardian
    The Guardian, formerly known as The Manchester Guardian , is a British national daily newspaper in the Berliner format...

  • Richard Holbrooke (1941-2010) at The New Republic
    The New Republic
    The magazine has also published two articles concerning income inequality, largely criticizing conservative economists for their attempts to deny the existence or negative effect increasing income inequality is having on the United States...

  • Richard C. Holbrooke at The New York Times
    The New York Times
    The New York Times is an American daily newspaper founded and continuously published in New York City since 1851. The New York Times has won 106 Pulitzer Prizes, the most of any news organization...

  • Richard Holbrooke Obituary at The Daily Telegraph
    The Daily Telegraph
    The Daily Telegraph is a daily morning broadsheet newspaper distributed throughout the United Kingdom and internationally. The newspaper was founded by Arthur B...

  • Remembering Ambassador Richard Holbrooke at Time
    Time (magazine)
    Time is an American news magazine. A European edition is published from London. Time Europe covers the Middle East, Africa and, since 2003, Latin America. An Asian edition is based in Hong Kong...

  • Holbrooke's Overlooked Record in East Timor, Iraq and the Balkans - video report by Democracy Now!
    Democracy Now!
    Democracy Now! and its staff have received several journalism awards, including the Gracie Award from American Women in Radio & Television; the George Polk Award for its 1998 radio documentary Drilling and Killing: Chevron and Nigeria's Oil Dictatorship, on the Chevron Corporation and the deaths of...

  • The Peace Bomber: Holbrooke's Final Adventure - Alt Right