Richard Holbrooke's Headshot

Richard Holbrooke

- Panelist Blurb

Richard Holbrooke was the chief negotiator at the 1995 Dayton Peace Agreement, which ended the war in Bosnia; and he served as the U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations from 1999 to 2001. The New York Times called Holbrooke a "Master of impossible missions!"

Holbrooke defines the art of negotiation. As Assistant Secretary of State for Europe from 1994 to 1996, Holbrooke was chief architect of the peace agreement that ended the war in Bosnia. He secured his reputation as one of the world's premier negotiators by arranging an unprecedented international agreement bringing the U.S. back into good standing with the United Nations. This brought Holbrooke a standing ovation at the Senate Foreign Relations Committee led by one of the U.N.'s strongest congressional critics, Senator Jesse Helms.

Holbrooke joined the Foreign Service in 1962 and held assignments in Vietnam, the State Department and the Johnson White House. He was Peace Corps Director in Morocco from 1970 - 1972. From 1977 to 1981 Holbrooke was Assistant Secretary of State for East Asian and Pacific Affairs. After the Dayton peace accords, Holbrooke served as President Clinton's Special Envoy to Bosnia and Kosovo.

In addition to his long career in diplomatic service, Holbrooke's experience includes stints as vice chairman of CS First Boston and as managing director of Lehman Brothers.

He holds 15 honorary degrees and has received numerous awards. In 1992 he became Chairman of the Asia Society. He is Founding Chairman of The American Academy in Berlin, a center for U.S.-German cultural exchange, and President and CEO of the Global Business Council, the business alliance against HIV/AIDS. He is currently Vice Chairman of Perseus, a leading private equity firm and he writes a monthly column for the Washington Post.

NOTE: Bio is as it appeared in the Forum program from November 7, 2007.