Published September 20, 2001
During his career, Ambassador Richard C. Holbrooke, 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 banker. Currently, he is vice chairman of Perseus, a leading private equity firm.
Holbrooke was confirmed by the Senate as the Permanent United States Representative to the United Nations on August 5, 1999. Prior to serving at the United Nations, Holbrooke was 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 bombing campaign.
In 1994, President Clinton appointed Holbrooke as assistant secretary of state for European and Canadian affairs. During that time, he was also chief negotiator for the historic 1995 Dayton Peace Accords that ended the war in Bosnia. From 1993-1994, he was the U.S. Ambassador to Germany.
Holbrooke also served as a member of the Carnegie Commission on America and a Changing World, and was chairman and principal author of the November 1992 bipartisan Memorandum to the President-Elect of the Commission on Government and Renewal. He became a managing director at Lehman Brothers, a New York investment bank, in 1985. In 1981, he became vice president of Public Strategies, a Washington-based consulting firm.
In 1977, President Carter appointed him Assistant Secretary of State for East Asian and Pacific Affairs, a post he held until 1981. In 1976, he coordinated national security affairs for the Carter-Mondale presidential campaign.
During 1974-75, Holbrooke 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 1972, he became managing editor of the quarterly magazine Foreign Policy, a position he held until 1976. In 1970, he was assigned as Peace Corps director in Morocco. Prior to that, he spent a year as a Fellow at the Woodrow Wilson School at Princeton University.
In 1967-69, Holbrooke 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.
Holbrooke began his career as 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 on President Johnson's staff, working on Vietnam.
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. He headed 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 and numerous awards. He is the author of To End a War, and co-author of Counsel to the President, the best-selling memoirs of Clark Clifford.
Holbrooke was born in April 1941 in New York. He has two sons. He is married to Kati Marton. They have two children