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Anthony Lake

In office
President Bill Clinton
Deputy Sandy Berger
Preceded by Brent Scowcroft
Succeeded by Sandy Berger

Born April 2, 1939 (1939-04-02) (age 70)
New York City, New York
Political party Democratic
Alma mater Harvard College, PhD Princeton University
Profession Academician, diplomat, negotiator, political advisor
Religion Jewish

Anthony Lake, or William Anthony Kirsopp Lake (born April 2, 1939) is a retired American diplomat, political figure, and academic. He has been a foreign policy advisor to many Democratic U.S. presidents and presidential candidates, and served as National Security Advisor under U.S. President Bill Clinton from 1993 to 1997. Anthony Lake is credited to be among those who developed the policy that led to the resolution of the Bosnian War[1]. He is currently a faculty member at the Edmund A. Walsh School of Foreign Service at Georgetown University, holding the chair of Distinguished Professor in the Practice of Diplomacy.


Early life

Lake was born in New York City. He attended Middlesex School and Harvard College, graduating with a Bachelor of Arts degree in 1961. Lake studied international economics at Trinity College, Cambridge and later received a Ph.D from the Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs at Princeton University in 1974.


Lake joined the State Department in 1962, serving until 1970 as a Foreign Service Officer. Lake was an assistant to Ambassador Henry Cabot Lodge, Jr. during the Vietnam War. His State Department career included assignments as consul at the US Embassy, Saigon, South Vietnam (1963), vice consul in Huế (1964-1965) and special assistant to the assistant to the president for national security affairs (1969-1970) in the Nixon administration. In 1969, he accompanied National Security Advisor Henry Kissinger on his first secret meeting with North Vietnamese negotiators in Paris. In 1970, he had a falling-out with Kissinger over the Nixon administration's Cambodian Campaign and left the State Department as a result.[2] He later wrote a book critical of Kissinger's approach to Africa.

Lake worked for Democratic U.S. Senator Edmund Muskie of Maine in his 1972 presidential campaign. After Muskie lost the nomination to George McGovern, Lake served briefly at the Carnegie Endowment and International Voluntary Services before returning to serve as Director of Policy Planning under Jimmy Carter (1977-1981).

After Carter lost the 1980 election to Ronald Reagan, Lake became a professor, holding the Five College Professor of International Relations chair in Massachusetts (1981-1992). Lake taught at Amherst College. In 1984, he moved to Mount Holyoke College, where he taught courses on the Vietnam War, Third World revolutions, and American foreign policy. (He left Mount Holyoke College in 1993 to become National Security Advisor from 1993 to 1997.) Among his protegees at Mount Holyoke was his student research assistant Mona Sutphen who would later serve in the Barack Obama White House as Deputy Chief of Staff for Policy.[3] Since 1997, he has taught diplomacy at Georgetown University; he is now Distinguished Professor in Practice of Diplomacy.[4]

During the 1992 presidential campaign, he was one of Clinton's chief foreign policy advisers. Lake later served as National Security Advisor (1993-1997). Told by the White House to sell his stocks in energy companies when he took the office in 1993, Lake did not do so.[2] When Clinton decided in 1994 to allow Iran to arm the Bosnian army, Lake admitted he made a mistake when he didn't push to inform Congress of the decision.[2]

Following Clinton's 1996 re-election, Lake was nominated to become the Director of the Central Intelligence Agency, but his nomination was withdrawn due to Republican opposition.[citation needed] It has also been reported that the failure of his nomination was related to his decision to withdraw support at the last minute for an Iraqi coup that might have removed Saddam Hussein without U.S. intervention.[citation needed] However, others have speculated that Lake's nomination "failed, in part, because Lake stated in a television interview that he was not sure if Alger Hiss was guilty."[5][6]

Lake (left) meets with Bill Clinton and Leon Panetta at the White House in 1994.

After the withdrawal of his CIA nomination, Lake became White House Special Envoy (1998-2000). As special envoy Lake mediated the drafting of the Algiers Agreement, ending the Eritrean-Ethiopian War.

Lake co-founded Intellibridge Corporation in 2000 with David Rothkopf. In 2005 the assets of Intellibridge were acquired by the Eurasia Group.

Lake was a foreign policy adviser for Barack Obama's 2008 presidential campaign, having endorsed him over Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton, alongside whom he had worked with during the Clinton administration. [7][8] Lake was considered a potential Secretary of State until Sen. Clinton was named to the position.

Lake was an advisory board member for the Partnership for a Secure America, a not-for-profit organization dedicated to recreating the bipartisan center in American national security and foreign policy. He has also served as chair on the boards of the United States Fund for UNICEF and the Marshall Legacy Institute. He also is serving a term from 2005-2010 on the Mount Holyoke College Board of Trustees.

Anthony Lake converted to Judaism in 2005, before marrying a Jewish investment banker, Julie Katzman, as his second wife.[9][10] He was previously married to Antonia Lake, with whom he had three children; they divorced in 1995.[11] His second child is a godson of his former colleague and ex-friend Richard Holbrooke[12]. After the Obama administration nominated him, Anthony Lake will take over as the sixth Executive Director of UNICEF[13].

Books authored

  • More Than Humanitarianism: A Strategic U.S. Approach Toward Africa (2006, co-author with Christine Todd Whitman)
  • 6 Nightmares: The Real Threats to American Security (2001)
  • After the Wars: Reconstruction in Afghanistan, Central America, Indochina, the Horn of Africa, and Southern Africa (1990, editor)
  • Somoza Falling: A Case Study of Washington at Work (1989)
  • Third World Radical Regimes: U.S. Policy Under Carter and Reagan (1985)
  • Our Own Worst Enemy: The Unmaking of American Foreign Policy (1984, co-author)
  • The "Tar Baby" Option: American Policy Toward Southern Rhodesia (1976).
  • Legacy of Vietnam: The War, American Society, and the Future of U.S. Foreign Policy (1976, contributing editor)


  1. ^ Newsweek, Feb 22, 1993
  2. ^ a b c "The Dossier on Anthony Lake". The New York Times. Retrieved 2008-11-12. 
  3. ^ [1] Retrieved 14 Jan 2010
  4. ^ Anthony Lake, Georgetown University faculty profile. Moment magazine (May/June 2008) notes that he has been at Georgetown since withdrawing his nomination. Retrieved 1 February 2008
  5. ^ "The Mystery of "ALES" — Central Intelligence Agency". Retrieved 2008-06-29. 
  6. ^ "The Uncabinet". Retrieved 2008-11-12. 
  7. ^ "CNN Political Ticker: All politics, all the time - Obama outlines foreign policy vision". Retrieved 2008-06-29. 
  8. ^ Bumiller, Elisabeth (2008-07-18). "A Cast of 300 Advises Obama on Foreign Policy". The New York Times. Retrieved 2008-07-18. 
  9. ^ N.H. Shul's Forum Draws Some Big Names
  10. ^ The Conversions of Anthony Lake Moment Magazine article discussing Lake's conversion by Rabbi Arnold Resnicoff, and his family background.
  11. ^ < Moment magazine (May/ June 2008) notes>:

    "The 18-hour days at the office took their toll on Lake's marriage, and in 1995 he and Antonia, the parents of three, separated. They eventually divorced and five years ago, Lake began dating Jewish investment banker Julie Katzman."

    . In 2000, she was then 41, or 20 years his junior. Retrieved 1 February 2008
  12. ^ Roger Cohen. < "The Mother of Friendships Lost." The New York Times online, 10 July 2008. Retrieved 1 February 2009
  13. ^ UNICEF Press Centre. "UNICEF welcomes announcement of next Executive Director. Retrieved on March 18, 2010

External links

Legal offices
Preceded by
Brent Scowcroft
United States National Security Advisor
Succeeded by
Sandy Berger


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