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Nelson Strobridge "Strobe" Talbott III

Talbott (right) listening to a speech by Vice President Joe Biden, September 2009.

In office
February 23, 1994 – January 19, 2001
President Bill Clinton
Preceded by Clifton R. Wharton, Jr.
Succeeded by Richard Armitage

Born April 25, 1946
Dayton, Ohio
Political party Democrat
Profession journalist, translator, diplomat

Nelson Strobridge "Strobe" Talbott III (born April 25, 1946) is an American foreign policy analyst associated with Yale University and the Brookings Institution, a former journalist associated with Time magazine and diplomat who served as the Deputy Secretary of State from 1994 to 2001.

Contents

Early life

Born in Dayton, Ohio to Jo and Bud Talbott, Talbott attended the Hotchkiss School in Connecticut and graduated from Yale University in 1968 where he was chairman of the Yale Daily News, a position whose previous incumbents include Henry Luce, William F. Buckley, and Joe Lieberman. He was also a member of the Scholar of the House program in 1967-8, and participated in the Skull and Bones Society. He became friends with former President Bill Clinton when both were Rhodes Scholars at the University of Oxford;[1] during his studies there he translated Nikita Khrushchev's memoirs into English.[1]

Career

In 1972 Strobe Talbott, along with his friends Robert Reich (a fellow Rhodes Scholar) and 2nd Lt. David E. Kendall, rallied to his friends Bill Clinton and Hillary Clinton to help them in their Texas campaign to elect George McGovern president of the United States. Through the 1980s he was Time magazine's principal correspondent on Soviet-American relations, and wrote several books on disarmament, and his work for the magazine was cited in the three Overseas Press Club Awards won by Time in the 1980s.[2]

Following Bill Clinton's election to national office, Talbott was invited into government where he served at first managing the consequences of the Soviet breakup as Ambassador-at-Large and Special Adviser to the Secretary of State on the New Independent States. After leaving government, he was for a period Director of the Yale Center for the Study of Globalization.[3] He is currently the president of the Brookings Institution in Washington, D.C.

At Brookings he is responsible for formulating and setting policies, recommending projects, approving publications and selecting staff. Talbott, whose career spans journalism, government service and academe, is an expert on U.S. foreign policy[4], with specialties on Europe, Russia[5], South Asia and nuclear arms control.[6]

Criticism and controversies

A former Russian Foreign Intelligence Service operative Sergei Tretyakov claimed that SVR considered Talbott a source of intelligence information and classified him as "a special unofficial contact", although "he was not a Russian spy."[7] These unproven allegations center on Talbott's relationship with Russian ambassador Mamedov, who called the allegations "blatant lies."[7] Talbott himself has similarly rejected the accusations, calling them "erroneous and/or misleading in several fundamental aspects...[T]here was never a presumption that what we (he and Mamedov) said to each other in our one-to-one sessions would remain private."[8] Further, Talbott has noted that his meetings with Mamedov advanced US objectives, such as getting Russia to accept NATO enlargement and help end the Kosovo conflict.[7]

Family

Talbott's wife of 38 years, former Clinton administration official Brooke Shearer, died on May 19, 2009.[9]

Partial bibliography

  • The Great Experiment: The Story of Ancient Empires, Modern States, and the Quest for a Global Nation (2008)
  • Engaging India: Diplomacy, Democracy, and the Bomb (2004)
  • The Russia Hand: A Memoir of Presidential Diplomacy (2002)
  • Master of the game : Paul Nitze and the Nuclear Peace (1989)
  • Endgame: The Inside Story of SALT II (1979)

Quotes

“The Russians have provided an opening for renewed diplomacy. Since last summer, President Dmitry Medvedev has been calling for a 'new Euro-Atlantic security architecture'. So far, except for rehashing old complaints and the unacceptable claim that other former Soviet republics fall within Russia ’s 'sphere of privileged interests', Mr Medvedev and Mr Lavrov have been vague about what they have in mind.

That creates a vacuum that the United States and its European partners can fill with their own proposals. The theme of those should be accelerating the emergence of an international system (of which NATO is a part) that is prepared to include Russia rather than exclude or contain it, and to encourage positive forces in Russia that want to see their nation integrated in a globalised world organised around the search for common solutions to common problems.” -Strobe Talbott [10]

References

  1. ^ a b "Strobe lights up the world stage for his friend Bill...". The Independent. 8 January 1994. http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/strobe-lights-up-the-world-stage-for-his-friend-bill-praise-is-mixed-with-some-doubt-as-mr-clinton-promotes-an-old-chum-at-the-state-department-writes-rupert-cornwell-from-washington-1405466.html. Retrieved 9 September 2009. 
  2. ^ "Yale Lecture Series: Putin's Path: Russian Foreign Policy Since 9/11". http://www.yale.edu/dsj/lectures/01-27-02.htm. Retrieved 9 September 2009. 
  3. ^ "Talbott to leave for Washington". Yale Daily News. 25 January 2002. http://www.yaledailynews.com/news/university-news/2002/01/25/talbott-to-leave-for-washington/. Retrieved 9 September 2009. 
  4. ^ "Spiegel interview with Strobe Talbott...". Der Spiegel. 16 December 2008. http://www.spiegel.de/international/world/0,1518,596810,00.html. Retrieved 9 September 2009. 
  5. ^ "State Dept. Expert Upbeat About Russian Fund Case". New York Times. 24 September 1999. http://select.nytimes.com/gst/abstract.html?res=FB0A15FA395B0C778EDDA00894D1494D81. Retrieved 9 September 2009. 
  6. ^ "Strobe Talbott: “Not clear what Russia is going to do next”". Georgian Times. 26 August 2008. http://www.geotimes.ge/index.php?m=home&newsid=12136. Retrieved 9 September 2009. 
  7. ^ a b c Pete Earley Comrade J, Putnam Adult, January 24, 2008
  8. ^ Stein, Jeff (2008-01-19). "Top U.N. Nuclear Watchdog a Russian Spy, Defector Says in New Book". Congressional Quarterly. http://www.cqpolitics.com/wmspage.cfm?parm1=5&docID=hsnews-000002657689. Retrieved 2008-01-31. 
  9. ^ http://www.politico.com/blogs/bensmith/0509/Brooke_Shearer_RIP.html?showall
  10. ^ Financial Times, February 23, 2009

External links and further reading

Political offices
Preceded by
Clifton R. Wharton Jr.
United States Deputy Secretary of State
19942001
Succeeded by
Richard Armitage
Non-profit organization positions
Preceded by
Michael Armacost
President of the Brookings Institution
2002 – present
Succeeded by
incumbent







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