Jon M. Huntsman, Jr.
James L. Jones
Chairman, 2007-2009; 2017-2018
Henry E. Catto
In a political and diplomatic career spanning three decades, Henry E. Catto was a five-time ambassador who served four American presidents. After starting out in his family’s insurance business, Catto twice ran for the Texas legislature in the early 1960s, losing both times. But he developed a close friendship with another Lone Star political aspirant, George H.W. Bush, and became a confidant to Republican Party leaders. President Richard M. Nixon selected Catto as deputy envoy to the Organization of American States (1969-1971) and then as ambassador to El Salvador (1971-1973). Catto later served President Gerald Ford as White House chief of protocol (1974-1976) and representative to the United Nations in Geneva (1976-1977). In 1981, he was appointed by President Ronald Reagan as the lead spokesman for the Pentagon. Eight years later, the newly elected Bush named him ambassador to Great Britain—where Catto proudly flew the Texas state flag above the official residence and was known to serve dignitaries nachos, among other staples of Tex-Mex cuisine. He also planted a four-foot plywood cutout of a Hereford steer on the stately lawn in a jocular protest against Europe’s then-ban on American beef. Upon Catto’s return from London, Bush installed him as director of the United States Information Agency (1991-1993). Later, he was a contributing editor at the American Journalism Review and served as vice chair of the Aspen Institute, where he established the Catto Fellowship for a Sustainable Future. After leading the Atlantic Council for eight years, he was named chairman emeritus in 2007. Catto’s career in statecraft is recounted in his 1998 memoir, Ambassadors at Sea: The High and Low Adventures of a Diplomat.
Christopher J. Makins
Christopher J. Makins was a leading expert on US-European relations whose guidance regularly informed policymakers and executives on security and defense issues. Born in New York but raised in England, he was the son of Sir Roger Makins, Great Britain’s ambassador to Washington during the Eisenhower administration. A US and British dual citizen, Makins began his career with an eleven-year stint in Her Majesty’s Diplomatic Service, serving in London, Washington, and Paris. He was posted in Prague in 1968 when Soviet troops invaded then-Czechoslovakia. His diplomatic work focused largely on European, Middle Eastern, and transatlantic issues, including tech cooperation between the United States and Europe. Makins then transitioned to the think-tank world of Washington, where prior to his tenure captaining the Atlantic Council he was deputy director of the Trilateral Commission (1975-1976), worked at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace (1977-1979), and led seminars for executives at the Aspen Institute, where he was executive vice president (1989-1997). He also served as a senior adviser to the German Marshall Fund (1997-1999; 2005-1006) and established the Marshall Sherfield Foundation in memory of his father. Makins was president of the boards of the Phillips Collection and the Washington Concert Opera, and spent a decade in leadership roles at Science Applications International Corp. He earned first-class honors at Oxford’s New College and was elected a fellow of All Souls College. While president of the Atlantic Council, Makins launched programs in transatlantic relations, including Pan-Atlantic Student Summits held in conjunction with NATO gatherings in 2002 and 2004. In 2005, the Atlantic Council established the annual Christopher J. Makins Lecture Series, whose speakers have included former Secretary of State Henry Kissinger and former National Security Advisor Zbigniew Brzezinski.
David C. Acheson
David C. Acheson, son of the venerable statesman Dean Acheson, forged his own distinguished legacy with a career spanning the military, government, and law. As an architect of the Marshall Plan, Acheson’s father worked to rebuild Europe after World War II; David’s career was similarly driven by a devotion to the betterment of the transatlantic alliance. After graduating from Yale University in 1942 with a degree in classics, Acheson was commissioned in the US Navy. He served in the Pacific theater during World War II, escorting destroyers and seeing combat in New Guinea, the Philippines, and the Solomon Islands. After the war, Acheson studied law at Harvard University and worked as an attorney, first for the United States Atomic Energy Commission and later for the firm Covington & Burling, where he became a partner in 1958. In the early 1960s, Acheson served as the US Attorney for the District of Columbia. In 1965, he was named special assistant to Treasury Secretary Henry Fowler and was responsible for oversight of the US Secret Service and Federal Bureau of Narcotics. While at the Treasury Department, he captained a multinational program to combat heroin trafficking from Turkey. Acheson later left government to become senior vice president and general counsel of Communications Satellite Corp. (COMAST). He also practiced law and became a partner at the Washington-based firms Jones, Day, Reavis & Pogue and Drinker Biddle & Reath. Acheson served on the government commission to investigate the Space Shuttle Challenger disaster, as president of the National Cathedral Association, and as a Smithsonian Regent. In 2018, the Atlantic Council commemorated Acheson’s “principled dedication to promoting US engagement in the world.” His memoir, Acheson Country, was published in 1993.
George M. Seignious II
George M. Seignious II was an eminent military leader, diplomat, and college president. He held key advisory positions in the Johnson, Carter, and Reagan administrations, and is credited with helping to negotiate peace in Vietnam and defuse the threat of nuclear war with the Soviet Union. At the age of 42, he became one of the youngest generals in US Army history, and his exemplary military career earned him the Silver Star, three Bronze Stars, and three Distinguished Service Medals. After serving as a platoon leader in Europe during World War II, he assumed Army leadership posts in Brazil, the Caribbean, Korea, Spain, and Germany. In 1968, President Lyndon Johnson appointed him as military adviser to the Paris peace talks on the Vietnam War. In 1970, he was named commander of the US Army, Berlin, where he also served as an adviser during quadripartite negotiations in the German capital. He later held various key roles at the Pentagon. Retiring from the military in 1974, Seignious returned to his alma mater, The Citadel, to serve as its president; today, the university’s football facility carries his name. In 1979, President Jimmy Carter appointed him director of the US Arms Control and Disarmament Agency, which made him a central figure during the Strategic Arms Limitations Talks with the Soviet Union. Two years later, he was bestowed the rank of ambassador when President Ronald Reagan named him delegate-at-large for arms-control negotiations. Later in his career, Seignious served as a trade representative for his home state of South Carolina. He served as vice chairman emeritus of the Atlantic Council until his death in 2005.
James R. Huntley
James R. Huntley spent a distinguished diplomatic career in pursuit of a “,” which he felt could be achieved by strengthening democracies and the international institutions that unite them. His grand wish, , was “to forge consensus among a growing number of democracies as a prelude to the creation of a free, just, and durable world order.” that lasting peace could only be attained and preserved by a “federation of free nations,” Huntley spent decades studying, teaching, and championing democracy around the globe. He was a and helped form and inspire a dozen nongovernmental organizations involved with peace, dialogue, and democracy. At , Huntley enlisted in the US Navy and served in World War II. Moved deeply by the experience, he set out to foster cooperation and a sense of shared community among the nations of the world. In 1952, he and was posted to Frankfurt and Nuremberg, where he worked to rebuild Germany’s civic society. After receiving a master’s degree in international relations from Harvard University and working for the United States Information Agency, Huntley returned to Europe for a number of diplomatic roles. In 1960, he founded the private, multinational Atlantic Institute. Among his many books are Uniting the Democracies (1980) and Pax Democratica (1998). His memoir, An Architect of Democracy, was published in 2006.
Francis O. Wilcox
Director General, 1975-1984
Francis O. Wilcox was an eminent public servant and educator who served as assistant secretary of state in the Eisenhower administration. He was the of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, a panel he helped guide through deliberations on the Marshall Plan, the Truman Doctrine, and the creation of NATO. Bourke Hickenlooper, a Republican senator from Iowa, : “In his service to the committee he has acted not only without partisanship, but also in such a manner as to serve Democrats and Republicans with complete impartiality and intelligent assistance.” Later, Wilcox for international organization affairs. From 1961 to 1973, of Johns Hopkins University’s School of Advanced International Studies. Prior to his tenure leading the Atlantic Council, Wilcox of the Committee on Organization of Government for the Conduct of Foreign Policy. Early in his career, after from the Universities of Iowa and Geneva, Wilcox taught political science at several colleges in the Midwest. Before joining the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, Wilcox earned his Washington stripes with at the Office of Coordinator of Inter-American Affairs, the Office of Civilian Defense, the Bureau of the Budget, and the Legislative Reference Service of the Library of Congress. He authored or co-authored , including Congress, the Executive, and Foreign Policy (1971) and The Constitution and the Conduct of Foreign Policy (1976). Wilcox’s first job was at his father’s drug store in small-town Iowa.
W. Randolph Burgess, of the Atlantic Council, was a distinguished banker, economist, and statesman. Named ambassador to NATO by then-US President Dwight D. Eisenhower, he also served as special deputy secretary and undersecretary of the Treasury. Previously, Burgess held leadership roles with the New York Federal Reserve Bank and the National City Bank of New York (now Citibank). In 1920, Burgess to use his flair for numbers in support of US involvement in World War I. He worked first with the War Industries Board and rose to . Burgess then began a nineteen-year tenure with the Federal Reserve Bank, starting as a statistician and concluding as vice president. During his subsequent employ with the National City Bank of New York, he served stints as the New York State Banker Association and as president of the American Bankers Association. He at the Bretton Woods talks in 1946 and was later called to join then-US and the of the US Economic Cooperation Administration. In 1957, following his four years in leadership at the Treasury, he was appointed ambassador to NATO. He also served as US representative to the Organization for European Economic Cooperation. which was instrumental in the founding of the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development. His on the Federal Reserve System became a for understanding the functioning of the central bank.
Theodore C. Achilles
Resident Vice Chairman, 1963-1986
Theodore C. Achilles, an Atlantic Council who helped lead the group for more than a dozen years, was a ceaseless advocate for the US-Europe alliance and a key architect of the North Atlantic Pact that produced NATO. A of the US Foreign Service, Achilles forged close working relationships with counterparts throughout Europe that proved fruitful during key post-World War II negotiations. He was by then-US President Dwight D. Eisenhower, but his was in lower roles in which he proved adept at shaping policy behind the scenes. Achilles that “practically everything accomplished through an international organization is accomplished not in meetings but in the delegates’ lounge, over coffee, tea, martinis, whiskey, or vodka.” A graduate of Stanford and Yale, Achilles began his career as a newspaperman . He joined the US Foreign Service in 1931 and spent most of his government career engrossed in Europe, serving in posts in Rome, Geneva, London, Brussels, and Paris. After as the top diplomat in Peru, Achilles was asked back to Washington, DC to serve as Eisenhower’s counselor to the State Department. In 1979, to instill a deep appreciation of the transatlantic alliance in younger leaders, the Atlantic Council’s Committee on Education and the Successor Generations. He was also a founding editor of the Council’s Atlantic Community Quarterly. Upon his death, the journal remembered Achilles as “a respected and beloved leader, tireless in his devotion to work, endlessly fertile in ideas, without vanity, and without pretense.”
Richard J. Wallace
Director General, 1962-1975
A journalist, lawyer, and political aide, Richard Wallace helped guide the Atlantic Council for a dozen years. After receiving a law degree from Memphis State University, he became a political reporter and editorial writer for the Memphis Press-Scimitar. He took to fight in World War II and for a Nieman Fellowship at Harvard University. In , he took a job with his home-state senator and a rising political star, Estes Kefauver. Over the next several years, Wallace served as Kefauver’s executive . He was also during the senator’s two runs for the US presidency. Of the 1956 campaign, when Kefauver and his team traversed thirty-eight states in eight weeks, : “It was 85,000 miles’ worth of checking into a hotel at 3 a.m. and checking out at 6 a.m.” Later, Wallace served as of the US Citizens Commission on NATO, which sought “greater cooperation and unity of purpose” among alliance members, and as secretary general of the Atlantic Convention. Along with Theodore Achilles, Wallace was a founding editor of the Council’s Atlantic Community Quarterly. In the journal’s inaugural issue, declared that, “despite temporary setbacks and diversions,” the Atlantic Community was “a historic inevitability.” Following Wallace’s death, the Council’s Board of Directors “his far-sighted practical wisdom, his kindly leadership, and for his dedicated and outstanding contributions toward closer relations between the nations of the Atlantic Community.”
Jan M. Lodal
Over his distinguished and sweeping career, Jan M. Lodal negotiated with Soviet officials on nuclear arms, launched tech startups, and advised on the fine arts. Not long after earning master’s degrees in public affairs and engineering from Princeton University, Lodal began work at the Pentagon on systems analysis of nuclear-war scenarios. His acumen eventually caught the eye of then-Secretary of State Henry Kissinger, who brought Lodal to three summit meetings with the Soviet Union. At one of them, Lodal slyly grabbed a torn-up transcript from General Secretary Leonid Brezhnev’s ashtray that revealed the Soviet premier had privately offered his country’s support to President Gerald Ford for his 1976 reelection bid. Lodal ultimately served four US presidents—two Republicans and two Democrats. During the Cold War, he argued that the Soviet Union was “best deterred from hostile actions by America’s maintenance of a strong defense posture.” Lodal later advised Walter Mondale on defense and nuclear issues during the former vice president’s 1984 presidential run, and then served as principal deputy undersecretary of defense for policy during the Clinton administration. Outside of government, Lodal was founder, chairman, and CEO of Intelus Inc. and cofounder of American Management Systems. He was a board member of the Curtis Institute of Music, executive director of the Aspen Strategy Group, and president of Group Health Association. Lodal is the author of The Price of Dominance: The New Weapons of Mass Destruction and Their Challenge to American Leadership. He is a distinguished fellow at the Atlantic Council’s Scowcroft Center for Strategy and Security and chairman of Lodal and Company.
Chairman, 1998-1999; Interim Chairman, 2013-2014
A brilliant and influential foreign-policy thinker who , Brent Scowcroft belongs in the pantheon of American strategists. He is the to have served two different US presidents as national security advisor. After a in the military—during which he held numerous posts in the Pentagon and on his breakthrough 1972 trip to China—Scowcroft . Out of uniform, he was on arms control, defense management, strategic forces, and the Iran-Contra affair. As national security advisor to Presidents Gerald Ford and George H.W. Bush, his “honest broker” approach of delivering options to the president was so effective and sensible that the “Scowcroft model.” He played pivotal roles in shaping nuclear-warfare strategy, navigating the end of the Cold War, restoring relations with China after the Tiananmen Square massacre, and building the allied coalition for the Gulf War. Throughout his career, Scowcroft was a ceaseless advocate for strong transatlantic cooperation as a means of preserving peace and security. the Presidential Medal of Freedom by Bush and by Queen Elizabeth II. In 1998, along with Bush, he co-authored a reflection on the Cold War entitled A World Transformed. The Atlantic Council’s Scowcroft Center for Strategy and Security, which houses the Scowcroft Strategy Initiative, is guided by its namesake’s vision of fusing analysis of today’s challenges with forward thinking about how the US role in the world relates to historical forces, technological change, geography, and culture.
Rozanne L. Ridgway
President, 1989-1993; Co-Chair, 1993-1996
In a diplomatic career spanning more than three decades, Rozanne Ridgway held three ambassadorships and built a reputation as an expert international negotiator. After entering the US Foreign Service in 1957, she held posts in Manila, Oslo, Nassau, and Palermo, among other locations. Her aptitude for statecraft ultimately led to US ambassadorships in Finland and the German Democratic Republic. Earlier in her career at the State Department, Ridgway helped mediate longstanding disputes over fishing rights in Peru, the Bahamas, and Brazil. Her record of achievement led to her confirmation as ambassador for oceans and fisheries affairs. In subsequent roles as counselor for the State Department and special assistant to the secretary of state for negotiations, Ridgway brokered the return of property belonging to US citizens that had been seized by the communist government of then-Czechoslovakia. Ridgway was later named assistant secretary of state for European and Canadian affairs by President Ronald Reagan, who commended her “wise counsel and expertise.” Ridgway was also tapped as the lead negotiator for all five summits between Reagan and Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev. Among her myriad accolades are the American Academy of Diplomacy’s Annenberg Award for Excellence in Diplomacy, the Secretary of State’s Distinguished Service Award, and the Presidential Citizen’s Medal. Since leaving public service, Ridgway has served on numerous corporate boards, including for Boeing, 3M, and Nabisco. She has held similar roles with the National Geographic Society and the Brookings Institution. Ridgway was the first woman to serve as president of the Atlantic Council. In 1998, she was elected to the National Women’s Hall of Fame.
Andrew J. Goodpaster
A four-star general who commanded NATO, led universities, and served four American presidents, Andrew J. Goodpaster was the quintessential soldier-scholar. After leading a combat engineer battalion in North Africa and Italy during World War II, he earned graduate degrees in engineering and politics from Princeton University. His blend of sharp organizational skills, academic brilliance, and proven leadership earned him several key roles at the Pentagon. Later, President Dwight Eisenhower appointed Goodpaster as White House staff secretary. He served as a military adviser to the Paris peace talks on the Vietnam War and then as deputy commander of US forces in that country. In 1967, he was named commandant of the National War College, and from 1969-1974 he served as supreme allied commander in Europe before transitioning to inactive duty. But Goodpaster was recalled to active duty in 1976 to serve as superintendent of the US Military Academy, which at the time was reeling from a cheating scandal. While there, he implemented education reforms and also eased the admission of female cadets. For his valor on the battlefield, he was awarded the Distinguished Service Cross, the Silver Star, and two Purple Hearts. In 1984, President Ronald Reagan presented Goodpaster with the Presidential Medal of Freedom. Goodpaster later hosted Reagan at the Atlantic Council’s annual meeting in 1988. In his retirement, he was an outspoken advocate for the elimination of nuclear weaponry and served as a trustee and chairman of the George C. Marshall Foundation, which established an award in his honor to celebrate Americans who exhibit “great courage, selfless service, patriotism, and leadership.” Goodpaster’s book, For the Common Defense, was published in 1977.
A law professor, business executive, and , Kenneth Rush , which eased international tensions and paved the way for détente between the United States and the Soviet Union. Rush studied law at Yale University, where he was editor of the law journal. As a faculty member at the Duke University School of Law, Rush . Decades later, Nixon turned to Rush to serve as ambassador to West Germany in 1969, when Cold War tensions were building. At the time of his appointment, Rush was an executive at , where he had worked for thirty-two years. When critics noted his lack of diplomatic experience, Rush , “I managed to become president of Union Carbide and I hadn’t studied any chemistry either.” In fact, Rush a member of the Council on Foreign Relations and a trustee of the Foreign Policy Association—and he proved his mettle in mediating the four-power pact in Berlin over seventeen months of talks. As Henry Kissinger , “If the Berlin negotiation has a hero, it is Rush.” The year after the agreement was signed, Nixon summoned Rush back to Washington, DC to . Later, amid the growing Watergate controversy, Rush was brought to the White House to be counselor for economic policy. Soon after Nixon’s resignation, US President Gerald R. Ford appointed Rush ambassador to France, a post he held until 1977. The following year, he took the helm as chairman of the Atlantic Council.
Henry H. Fowler
Former Treasury Secretary Henry H. Fowler faced rampant inflation and the soaring costs of the Vietnam War—yet he steered the nation to a budget surplus in 1969, . For his work refashioning global currency reserves and exchanges, Fowler was as “the grand architect of the most significant reforms in the international monetary system since Bretton Woods.” Outside of government service, Fowler found success as a private attorney and investment-bank executive. He earned a law degree from Yale and served as counsel for the Tennessee Valley Authority, . He also held early advisory positions with the Reconstruction Finance Corporation, the Federal Power Commission, and the War Production Board. His record of achievement chief counsel of the US Senate Civil Liberties Committee and director of the Office of Defense Mobilization. Fowler later served as undersecretary of the Treasury in the Kennedy administration and was later named secretary by Johnson. Fowler alternated his public-service roles with private law practice. He also served as chairman of Goldman Sachs International for a dozen years, into Asian and European markets. While leading the Atlantic Council, Fowler of summit meetings and global leadership that advocated for greater collective decision-making and action by the industrialized nations. Upon Fowler’s death, then Treasury Secretary , “United States and world economic and financial stability were greatly enhanced because of his dedication.”
A gifted and quick-witted statesman, Livingston T. Merchant carried out delicate negotiating missions around the globe for multiple administrations. Twice named ambassador to Canada, Merchant was a reliable aide to US Presidents Dwight D. Eisenhower and John F. Kennedy. A Princeton graduate, Merchant was building a career as an investment counselor when, on the night of Pearl Harbor, he from a friend in Washington, DC who enticed him to take a wartime post with the US State Department. He served as assistant chief of the Division of Defense Materials and, later, chief of the War Areas Division. After a postwar job as counselor for economic affairs at the US embassy in Paris, Merchant transitioned to the US Foreign Service. His was in China, where he witnessed the collapse of then-Chinese President Chiang Kai-shek’s nationalist regime. He was later sent to Taiwan to establish diplomatic ties with island leaders. In 1953, he was tapped as assistant secretary of state for European affairs by then-US Secretary of State John Foster Dulles, who “the ideal of a foreign-service officer.” His later assignments included resolving tensions in Panama over the canal treaty and planning summit meetings with the Soviet Union, Britain, and France over the status of a divided Germany. During Merchant’s second stint as ambassador to Canada, as his personal representative to broker a border dispute between Pakistan and Afghanistan. In 1965, Merchant was of the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development, a position he held for three years.
Lauris Norstad believed the transatlantic alliance to be a “magnetic nucleus, the heart and core of an eventual world order of peace, freedom and opportunity.” As supreme allied commander of NATO forces, he used his astute political mind and sharp diplomatic skills to defuse the Berlin Crisis of 1961 and preserve peace on the continent. A 1930 graduate of the United States Military Academy, Norstad —becoming a brigadier general at thirty-six and a four-star general by forty-five. During World War II, he in England, Algiers, and Italy, from General Dwight D. Eisenhower. He was also the Air Force’s chief architect of the aerial assault on Japan, of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. After the war, Norstad co-wrote legislation that with the US Army and Navy. Among his myriad accolades were the Distinguished Service Medal and the Silver Star. During his tenure as NATO commander and leader of the US European Command, Norstad that arose from the Suez and Cuban Missile Crises, and was instrumental in increasing both offensive and defensive capabilities throughout Europe. “There are few sights more beautiful than a flag in the wind,” Norstad . “When I look at the flags of the fifteen nations that constitute NATO, I would say, ladies and gentlemen, that you are looking at the hopes of the Western world.” While leading the Atlantic Council, Norstad with the Owens-Corning Fiberglass Corp.
Christian A. Herter, secretary of state during the zenith of Cold War tensions, was a founding member and the first chairman of the Atlantic Council. As the nation’s top diplomat from 1959-1961, he steered the country through global discord Moscow’s threats over Berlin, its downing of Francis Gary Powers’s U-2 spy plane, the collapse of a 1960 US-Soviet summit meeting, and a break in US relations with Cuba. Yet Herter also bolstered foreign-aid programs, oversaw trade expansion, and negotiated cultural agreements with the Soviet Union. Earlier, he found great success in politics, serving as a state representative, governor, and US congressman from Massachusetts who an electoral race. In his five terms in Congress, Herter was instrumental in for approval of the Marshall Plan. Later, after leaving the State Department, Herter was co-chairman of the US Citizens Commission on NATO. While captaining the Atlantic Council, he was named by President John F. Kennedy as ; in that role, he with the European Common Market. In 1943, alongside Paul Nitze, he co-founded the Johns Hopkins University School of Advanced International Studies. Before entering politics, Herter studied architecture at Columbia University and in the magazine business, owning and editing two publications. A during World War I was his first posting in what later became a distinguished diplomatic career. His successor, Secretary of State Dean Rusk, for “a lifetime of selfless and brilliant service.” President Lyndon B. Johnson as “a wise, gentle, and wholly dedicated patriot.”