Dr. Leslie H. Gelb is president of the Council on Foreign Relations, a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization devoted to improving America's understanding of foreign policy, since 1993. He is currently a trustee for The Carnegie Endowment for International Peace and for Tufts University. He is a board member of Columbia University's School of International and Public Affairs, and an advisory board member for the Center on Press, Politics and Public Policy at Harvard University's John F. Kennedy School of Government. He is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations and the International Institute for Strategic Studies, and a fellow at the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.
Prior to his tenure as president of the Council on Foreign Relations, Dr. Gelb had a distinguished career at The New York Times, where he was a columnist from 1991 to 1993, deputy editorial page editor from 1986 to 1990, and editor of the Op-Ed Page from 1988 to 1990. He was national security correspondent for the Times from 1981 to 1986, where he won the Pulitzer Prize for explanatory journalism in 1985. He was diplomatic correspondent at the Times from 1973 to 1977.
Dr. Gelb was senior advocate for the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace from 1980 to 1981, where he was consultant to the German Marshall Fund of the U.S. From 1977 to 1979, he was an Assistant Secretary of State in the Carter Administration, serving as director of the Bureau of Politico-Military Affairs, where he received the highest State Department award: the Distinguished Honor Award. He was a senior fellow at the Brookings Institution from 1969 to 1973, during which time he was also a visiting professor at Georgetown University. He was director of Policy Planning and Arms Control for International Security Affairs at the Department of Defense from 1967 to 1969, where he also served as director of the Pentagon Papers Project. While at the Defense Department, Dr. Gelb won the Pentagon's highest award, the Distinguished Service Award.
He was executive assistant to U.S. Senator Jacob K. Javitz from 1966 to 1967, and an assistant professor at Wesleyan University from 1965 to 1966.
Dr. Gelb received a B.A. from Tufts University in 1959, and his M.A. in 1961 and Ph.D. in 1964 from Harvard University. He is the author of Anglo-American Relations, 1945-1950: Toward a Theory of Alliances (1988). He is also co-author of The Irony of Vietnam: The System Worked (1980), which won him the American Political Science Association's Woodrow Wilson Award; Our Own Worst Enemy: The Unmaking of American Foreign Policy (1984), and Claiming the Heavens (Star Wars) (1988).
Dr. Gelb, who resides in New York City, is married to Judith Cohen and is the father of three children. He was the recipient of the Father of the Year Award in 1993.