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Center Staff

David M. Abshire
President and CEO

Thomas M. Kirlin
COO and Program

Jay M. Parker

Robert E. Henderson
Vice President

Corazon B. Mendoza
Executive Assistant to the President

Jonah Czerwinski
Senior Research Associate and
Director of Homeland Security Projects

Jeffery Thomas
Research Fellow

Alex J. Douville
Strategic Planning Director
Special Assistant to the President

Phyllis d'Hoop
Director, Civility and Governance Project

Mary B. O'Connor
Director of Outreach

John Boyer
Congessional Liaison

Meghann E. King
Research Assistant,
Homeland Security Projects

Ysbrant A. Marcelis
Research Associate

Catenna J. Daniels
Receptionist and Membership Director

Jessica M. Morgan
Special Assistant, Fellows Program

Bret S. Lambert
Technical Assistant


Staff Biographies

David M. Abshire
President and Chief Executive Officer

David M. Abshire is President and CEO of the Center for the Study of the Presidency and Vice Chairman of the Board of the Center for Strategic and International Studies in Washington, D.C., which he co-founded in 1962, and served as its chief executive for many years. In July 2002, he was elected President of the Richard Lounsbery Foundation of New York.

In 1962, Dr. Abshire and Admiral Arleigh Burke founded the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS). Over the past 40 years, the strategic, long-range, and anticipatory analyses of CSIS have had an impact on policymakers and business community leaders around the world. More recently in 1983-1987, he was Ambassador to NATO where, in reaction to the threat posed by Soviet SS-20 missiles, he was the United States point man in Europe for deployment of Pershing and Cruise missiles. It was this NATO success that convinced the Soviets to sign the historic INP Treaty and withdraw their missiles. Ambassador Abshire initiated a new conventional defense improvement effort so that NATO would not have to rely heavily on nuclear weapons. For this, he was given the highest Defense Department civilian award - its Distinguished Public Service Medal.

Dr. Abshire served as Assistant Secretary of State for Congressional Relations from 1970-1973 and later as Chairman of the U.S. Board of International Broadcasting. He was a member of the Murphy Commission on the Organization of the Government, the President's Foreign Intelligence Advisory Board, and the President's Task Force on U.S. Government International Broadcasting. During the transition of government in 1980, Dr. Abshire was asked by President-elect Reagan to head the National Security Group, which included the State and Defense Departments, the U.S. Information Agency, and the Central Intelligence Agency. He has also served on the Advisory Board of the Naval War College and on the Executive Panel of the Chief of Naval Operations.

In 1987 he served as a Special Counselor to President Reagan with Cabinet rank, to coordinate the Iran-Contra investigation and had authority to meet with the President alone.

He has received the John Carroll Award for outstanding service by a Georgetown University alumnus; the Distinguished Graduate Award of the United States Military Academy; the 1994 U.S. Military Academy's Castle Award; the Gold Medal of the Sons of the American Revolution; the Baylor Distinguished Alumni Award; the Order of the Crown (Belgium); Commander de l'Ordre de Leopold (Belgium); the Medal of the President of the Italian Republic, Senate, Parliament and Government; Grand Official of the Order of the Republic of Italy; Order of Diplomatic Service Merit Heung-In Medal (Korea); the insignia of the Commander, First Class, Order of the Lion of Finland; in 1999 the Order of the Liberator (Argentina); and in May 2001, the Order of the Sacred Treasure God and Silver Star (Japan). In addition to the Department of Defense Medal for Distinguished Public Service, he was awarded the Presidential Citizens Medal. In 2002, the Abshire-Inamori Academy on Leadership was established at CSIS.

In addition to numerous journal, magazine and newspaper articles, Dr. Abshire is the author of five 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; and Putting America's House in Order: The Nation as a Family, with Brock Brower. He is editor of Triumphs and Tragedies of the Modern Presidency: Seventy-Six Case Studies on Presidential Leadership, 2002, and author of CSP publications: The Character of George Washington, 1999; and Lessons For The 21st Century: Vulnerability and Surprise December 7, 1941 and September 11, 2001. He is contributing editor to Vietnam Legacy, 1976; D�tente: Cold War Strategies in Transition,1964; and The Global Economy, 1990. he has also co-edited National Security, 1963 and edited The Growing Power of Congress, 1981. He is founding editor of The Washington Quarterly.

Dr. Abshire was born in Chattanooga, Tennessee in 1926. He graduated from Baylor School in 1944, received his bachelor's degree from the U.S. Military Academy at West Point in 1951. In the Korean War, he served as a platoon leader, company commander, and a division assistant intelligence officer. He received the bronze Star with Oak Leaf Cluster with V for Valor, Commendation Ribbon with medal pendant, and Combat Infantry Badge. He was awarded his Ph.D. in History from Georgetown University in 1959 with honors (Gold Key Society). He received a Doctor of Humane Letters from Virginia Theological Seminary in 1992 and a Doctor of Civil Law, honoris causa, from the University of the South in 1994.


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