Lieutenant General (Ret.) Brent Scowcroft, chairman emeritus of the Atlantic Council, president of the Scowcroft Group, and a former national security advisor to the President of the United States passed away on August 6, 2020, at the age of ninety-five.
Gen. Scowcroft served as the National Security Advisor to both Presidents Gerald Ford and George H.W. Bush, the only individual in U.S. history appointed to the position under two different Presidents. From 1982 to 1989, he was Vice Chairman of Kissinger Associates, Inc., an international consulting firm. In this capacity, he advised and assisted a wide range of U.S. and foreign corporate leaders on global joint venture opportunities, strategic planning, and risk assessment.
His extraordinary 29-year military career began with graduation from West Point and concluded at the rank of Lieutenant General following service as the Deputy National Security Advisor. His Air Force service included Professor of Russian History at West Point; Assistant Air Attaché in Belgrade, Yugoslavia; Head of the Political Science Department at the Air Force Academy; Air Force Long Range Plans; Office of the Secretary of Defense International Security Assistance; Special Assistant to the Director of the Joint Chiefs of Staff; and Military Assistant to President Nixon.
Out of uniform, General Scowcroft continued in a public policy capacity by serving on the President’s General Advisory Committee on Arms Control, the President’s Commission on Strategic Forces, the President’s Blue Ribbon Commission on Defense Management and the President’s Special Review Board. In recent years, he served as a Co-Chair for both the Blue Ribbon Commission on America’s Nuclear Future and the National Academies of Science’s Committee on Science, Security, and Prosperity. He also formerly served as the Chairman of the Foreign Intelligence Advisory Board and was a member of the United Nations Secretary-General’s High-Level Panel on Threats, Challenges and Change.
General Scowcroft was a member of the Secretary of State’s Advisory Board, the Secretary of Energy’s Advisory Board, and the Secretary of Defense’s Policy Board. He was recognized as a Distinguished Graduate of West Point, and earned his master’s and doctorate in international relations from Columbia University.
In 1991, General Scowcroft was presented with the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the nation’s highest civilian honor, by President George H.W. Bush, and in 1993 was awarded an honorary knighthood – a Knight Commander of the Order of the British Empire (KBE) – by Queen Elizabeth II. In 2009, he was presented the Grand Cross of the Order of Merit of the Federal Republic of Germany.
In 2011, the Atlantic Council launched the Brent Scowcroft Center on International Security, now known as the Scowcroft Center for Strategy and Security. The Center honors Scowcroft’s legacy of service and embodies his ethos of nonpartisan commitment to the cause of security, support for US leadership in cooperation with allies and partners, and dedication to the mentorship of the next generation of leaders.