Expert Profile

David Abshire
Center for the Study of the Presidency

David M. Abshire is President of the Center for the Study of the Presidency and President of the Richard Lounsbery Foundation, which focuses on science and education. He is vice chairman of the Board of the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) which he co-founded in 1962, initially as a part of Georgetown University and since 1987 an independent institution. He headed CSIS for over three decades. He also co-founded, with Dr. Kazuo Inamori, the CSIS Abshire-Inamori Leadership Academy.

Dr. Abshire is a 1951 graduate of West Point and was decorated during the Korean War as a company commander. He received his Ph.D. in History from Georgetown University, where for many years he served as an adjunct professor. His full-time government service includes Congressional staff (1958-1960), assistant secretary of state for Congressional Relations (1970-1973), U.S. Ambassador to NATO (1983-1987), and in the Presidential Cabinet as special counselor to President Reagan in early 1987. His part-time government service has included service on the Advisory Board of the Naval War College (1973-1974), as the first chairman of the Board for International Broadcasting (1975-1977), member of the Murphy Commission (1974-1975), the President’s Foreign Intelligence Advisory Board (1981-1982), the President’s Task Force on U.S. Governmental International Broadcasting (1991) and the Advisory Commission for Public Diplomacy mandated by Congress (2003). Dr. Abshire is currently a member of the Department of Homeland Security Advisory Council Academe, Policy & Research Senior Advisory Committee. In 2005, he was the Chairman of the Sea Domain for the Task Force on Preventing the Entry of Weapons of Mass Effect Into the United States that reported its findings to the Secretary of Homeland Security in January 2006.

He served for nine years on the Board of Proctor and Gamble and headed its first Public Policy Committee. He is a trustee of the George C. Marshall Foundation and the Advisory Boards of American Abroad, Layalina Productions, Mount Vernon and the St. Albans School of Public Service. He is also a co-founder of the Trinity National Leadership Roundtable.

He has been decorated by seven heads of government and received four honorary degrees. The author of seven books, The South Rejects a Prophet, (1967); International Broadcasting: A New Dimension of Western Diplomacy, (1976); Foreign Policy Makers: President vs. Congress, (1979); Preventing World War III: A Realistic Grand Strategy, (1988); Putting America’s House in Order: The Nation as a Family, with Brock Brower; Saving the Reagan Presidency: Trust Is the Coin of the Realm, (2005); and A Call to Greatness: Challenging Our Next President ,(2008). He is also editor of Triumphs and Tragedies of the Modern Presidency: Seventy-Six Case Studies in Presidential Leadership.

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