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Graham T. Allison, Jr.

Douglas Dillon Professor of Government at Harvard University

Areas of expertise

  • - Political Science
  • - U.S. Foreign Policy
  • - Decision Making
  • - Security Studies

Major works

Essence of Decision: Explaining the Cuban Missile Crisis (2nd ed. with Philip Zelikow) (1971, 1999); Nuclear Terrorism: The Ultimate Preventable Catastrophe (2004); Lee Kuan Yew: The Grand Master's Insights on China, the United States, and the World (2013)

About Me

As “Founding Dean” of the modern Kennedy School, under his leadership, from 1977 to 1989, a small, undefined program grew twenty-fold to become a major professional school of public policy and government. Dr. Allison has served as Special Advisor to the Secretary of Defense under President Reagan and as Assistant Secretary of Defense for Policy and Plans under President Clinton, where he coordinated DOD strategy and policy towards Russia, Ukraine, and the other states of the former Soviet Union. He has the sole distinction of having twice been awarded the Department of Defense's highest civilian award, the Distinguished Public Service Medal, first by Secretary Cap Weinberger and second by Secretary Bill Perry. He served as a member of the Defense Policy Board for Secretaries Weinberger, Carlucci, Cheney, Aspin, Perry and Cohen. His first book, Essence of Decision: Explaining the Cuban Missile Crisis ranks among the all-time best sellers with more than 500,000 copies in print. His latest book (2013), Lee Kuan Yew: The Grand Master’s Insights on China, the United States and the World (coauthored with Robert Blackwill), has been a bestseller in the US and abroad.

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