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Winston Lord, Nancy Pelosi and Richard Gere

Winston Lord (born in New York City on August 14, 1937) is a United States diplomat and administrator. He served as the president of the Council on Foreign Relations between 1977 and 1985.


Lord, who speaks some Chinese[1], was a key figure in the restoration of relations between the United States and China in 1972. From 1969–73, as a member of the United States National Security Council’s planning staff, he was an aide to National Security Advisor Henry Kissinger, accompanying him on his secret trip to Beijing in 1971. The following year, he was part of the U.S. delegation during President Richard Nixon's historic visit to China. Later, Lord became the State Department's top policy adviser on China (1973–77), United States Ambassador to China (1985–1989), and Assistant Secretary of State for East Asian and Pacific Affairs during the first term of President Clinton.

Lord is the second of three sons born to Oswald Bates Lord (1903–1986) and Mary Pillsbury Lord (1904–1978). His older brother, Richard, died in 1935, aged three months. His younger brother is Charles Pillsbury Lord. His mother served for eight years as United States Delegate to the United Nations and U.S. Representative to the United Nations Commission on Human Rights and recipient of the International Rescue Committee's Freedom Award. Mary Pillsbury Lord was a survivor of the sinking of the Clyde-Mallory Line's passenger liner SS Mohawk off the New Jersey Coast in January, 1935.

He is married to author Bette Bao Lord and has two children.

After preparing at The Hotchkiss School, Lord graduated magna cum laude from Yale University in 1959 and obtained an M.A. at the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy in 1960. He has received honorary doctorate degrees from Williams College, Tufts University, Dominican College, and Bryant College. He is a member of the Yale secret society Skull and Bones.[2][3]


  1. ^ Conrad Black, Nixon, The Invincible Quest, McClelland & Stewart, 2007, p780
  2. ^ Alexandra Robbins, Secrets of the Tomb: Skull and Bones, the Ivy League, and the Hidden Paths of Power, Little, Brown and Company, 2002, page 174-5, 189
  3. ^ David W. Dunlap, "Yale Society Resists Peeks Into Its Crypt", New York Times, November 4, 1988

External links

Diplomatic posts
Preceded by
Arthur W. Hummel, Jr.
US Ambassador to China
1985 – 1989
Succeeded by
James R. Lilley


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