East Asia Nuclear Policy Project
Morton H. Halperin

Biographical Information


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Morton H. Halperin is the Director of the Policy Planning Staff of the US State Department. Previously, he served as the Senior Vice President of the Twentieth Century Fund/Century Foundation, and a Senior Fellow of the Council on Foreign Relations.

Dr. Halperin served in the federal government in the Johnson and Nixon administrations and in the first Clinton administration. From February 1994 to March 1996, he served as a Special Assistant to the President and Senior Director for Democracy at the National Security Council. In 1993 he was a consultant to the Secretary of Defense and the Under Secretary of Defense for Policy, and was nominated by the President for the position of Assistant Secretary of Defense for Democracy and Peacekeeping. In 1969, he was a Senior Staff member of the National Security Council staff with responsibility for National Security planning. From July 1966 to January 1969, he worked in the Department of Defense where he served as Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense (International Security Affairs), responsible for political-military planning and arms control.

Dr. Halperin has also been associated with a number of think tanks. He was a full time Senior Fellow of the Council on Foreign Relations from March 1996 to July 1997. From November 1992 to February 1994, Dr. Halperin was a Senior Associate of the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace. In 1974, he directed a project on government secrecy for the Twentieth Century Fund. From September 1969 to December 1973, Dr. Halperin was a Senior Fellow in the Foreign Policy Division of the Brookings Institution.

In addition to his involvement in foreign policy issues, Dr. Halperin worked for many years for the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU). From 1984 to 1992, he was the Director of the Washington Office of the ACLU, with responsibility for the ACLU's national legislative program as well as the activities of the ACLU Foundation based in the Washington Office. Dr. Halperin also served as Director of the Center for National Security Studies from 1975 to 1992, focusing on issues affecting both civil liberties and national security, such as the proper role of intelligence agencies and government secrecy.

From 1960 to 1966, Dr. Halperin was associated with Harvard University where he was an Assistant Professor of Government and a Research Associate of the Harvard University Center for International Affairs.

He has authored, co-authored and edited more than a dozen books including Bureaucratic Politics and Foreign Policy (1974), Nuclear Fallacy (1987), and Self-Determination in the New World Order (1992). He has also contributed articles to a number of newspapers, magazines, and journals, including The New York Times, The Washington Post, the New Republic, Harpers, Foreign Affairs, and Foreign Policy, on subjects including national security and civil liberties, bureaucratic politics, Japan, China, military strategy, and arms control.

Dr. Halperin has taught and conducted research on subjects including Congress and foreign policy, nuclear strategy and arms control at a number of universities, including Columbia, Harvard, MIT, and Yale.

Born in Brooklyn, New York in 1938, Dr. Halperin received a BA from Columbia College in 1959 and in 1961 received a Ph.D. in International Relations from Yale University. Dr. Halperin is on the Editorial Board of Foreign Policy, as well as the Advisory Board of the Center for National Security Studies (Chair), the National Council of the Federation of American Scientists and the Board of the Center for Democracy and Technology. He is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations, the International Institute of Strategic Studies, the American Civil Liberties Union, and the National Association of Scholars. A MacArthur Foundation Fellow from 1985 to 1990, he is the recipient of numerous awards including the Secretary of Defense Meritorious Civilian Service Medal, the Wilbur Cross Medal awarded by the Yale Graduate Alumni Association and the John Jay Award given by Columbia College.

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