Leslie Gelb

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Person.png Leslie Gelb   Powerbase SourcewatchRdf-entity.pngRdf-icon.png
(journalist, deep state actor)
Leslie H. Gelb.png
BornMarch 4, 1937
DiedAugust 31, 2019 (Age 82)
Alma materTufts University, Harvard University
Member ofBrookings Institution, Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, Council on Foreign Relations/Historical Members, Harvard/International Seminar/1963, Harvard/International Seminar/1964, Lolita Express/Passengers, Truman Center for National Policy
President of the Council on Foreign Relations and opinion-making New York Times journalist.

Employment.png Council on Foreign Relations/President

In office
1993 - 2003
From 2003-2019 President emeritus

Employment.png Director of the Bureau of Politico-Military Affairs

In office
1977 - 1979
As Assistant Secretary of State

Leslie Howard [1] was a US deep state operative who was President of the Council on Foreign Relations (CFR) from 1993-2003. As a columnist, deputy editorial page editor, op-ed page editor, national security correspondent, and diplomatic correspondent for The New York Times, he promoted the opinions formed in the CFR in central issues, for the liberal part of the American establishment.

Earlier in his career he had also been a military and State Department official[2]


Leslie Gelb was born in New Rochelle, New York in 1937. His parents were Max and Dorothy (Klein) Gelb.[1] He received a B.A. from Tufts University in 1959, and an M.A. in 1961 and Ph.D. in 1964 from Harvard University. Starting in 1964 and ending in 1967 he was Assistant Professor of Government at Wesleyan University.[3]

He married Judith Cohen on August 2, 1959, and lived in New York City. They had three children. He received the American Father of the Year award in 1993.[4][5]


Gelb was Executive Assistant for Senator Jacob Javits from 1966 to 1967.[2] He was director of Policy Planning and Arms Control for International Security Affairs at the Department of Defense from 1967 to 1969, winning the Pentagon's highest award, the Distinguished Service Medal. Robert McNamara appointed Gelb as director of the project that produced the Pentagon Papers on the Vietnam War, that were later leaked to Daniel Ellsberg. From 1969 to 1973, Gelb was a Senior Fellow at the Brookings Institution.

He was diplomatic correspondent at The New York Times from 1973 to 1977.

He was an Assistant Secretary of State in the Carter Administration from 1977 to 1979, serving as director of the Bureau of Politico-Military Affairs and winning the Distinguished Honor Award, the highest award of the US State Department. In 1980 he co-authored The Irony of Vietnam which won the Woodrow Wilson Foundation Book Award in 1981.[6] From 1980 to 1981, he was also a Senior Associate at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace.

He returned to the Times in 1981. Until 1993, he was in turn its national security correspondent, deputy editorial page editor, editor of the op-ed page, and columnist. The period included his leading role on the Times team that won a Pulitzer Prize for Explanatory Journalism in 1986 for a six-part comprehensive series on the Star Wars Strategic Defense Initiative. In 1983, he worked as a producer on the ABC documentary The Crisis Game, which received an Emmy award in 1984.[7]

Gelb became President of the Council on Foreign Relations in 1993 and 2003 and until his death in 2019 was its President Emeritus.[8] From 2003 to 2015, he served as Board Senior Fellow there. In addition to his work at Council on Foreign Relations, Gelb was also a member of the International Institute for Strategic Studies and was a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.

He was the chairman of the advisory board for the National Security Network, which identifies itself as a "progressive" think tank,[9] and served on the boards of directors of several non-profit organizations including Carnegie Endowment, the School of International and Public Affairs, Columbia University, the James Baker Institute at Rice University, the Watson Institute for International Studies at Brown University, and the John F. Kennedy School of Government Center on Press, Politics and Public Policy. He served on the board of directors of the Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America and was a member of the board of advisors of the Truman Project and America Abroad Media.[10] Gelb served on the board of directors of the Center for the National Interest[11] and of the Diplomacy Center Foundation.[12] He also sat on the editorial advisory committee of Democracy magazine,[13] on the advisory council of The National Interest magazine,[14] and on the advisory board of the Peter G. Peterson Foundation. Gelb served on several commercial boards including Legg Mason closed end funds (since 2003), Aberdeen India and Asia Tigers funds (since 2003), and Centre Partners (since 2005). He was Trustee Emeritus of Tufts University.

Gelb was a contributor to The Daily Beast, a news aggregation site.

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