Robert E. Hunter

Robert E. Hunter
United States Ambassador to NATO
In office
PresidentBill Clinton
Preceded byReginald Bartholomew
Succeeded byAlexander Vershbow
Personal details
Robert Edwards Hunter

Cambridge, Massachusetts, U.S.
Spouse(s)Shireen Hunter
ResidenceWashington, D.C.
Naples, Florida, U.S.
Alma materWesleyan University (B.A.)
London School of Economics (Ph.D)

Robert Edwards Hunter is an American government employee and foreign policy expert, who served as United States Ambassador to NATO during the Clinton Administration.

Early life and Education

Hunter was born in Cambridge, Massachusetts in 1940. He earned a B.A. from Wesleyan University, graduating in 1962 with honors and Phi Beta Kappa. Hunter earned a Doctor of Philosophy in International Relations from the London School of Economics in 1969 as a Fulbright Scholar.[1][2]


He was United States Ambassador to NATO (1993–1998), in the administration of President Bill Clinton, where he was principal architect and negotiator of the post-Cold War "new NATO" and of the NATO airstrike decisions that ended the Bosnia War. Throughout the administration of President Jimmy Carter, he was senior-most official on West European Affairs (1977–1979) and then Middle East Affairs (1979-1981)on the National Security Council Staff. He was the first Foreign Policy Advisor to Senator Edward M. Kennedy (1993-1997). He served on the White House staff, focusing on education, under President Lyndon Johnson (1964–1965). He was an Administrative Management Intern at the U.S. Navy's Polaris Project, both in Washington and the British Admiralty.

He was President of the Atlantic Treaty Association, the umbrella organization for NATO's 41 Atlantic Councils, headquartered in Brussels from 2003 to 2008. Hunter was Chairman of the Council for a Community of Democracies for 2001 to 2014. He was Senior Fellow at the Overseas Development Institute (1970-1973); Lead Consultant to the National Bipartisan Commission on Central America, the "Kissinger Commission" from 1983 1984; Advisor on Lebanon to the Speaker of the United States House of Representatives (1983); and served on the Secretary of Defense's Defense Policy Board from 1998 to 2001. He is a member of the Executive Committee of the Board of the American Academy of Diplomacy, and a former member of the Board of the Atlantic Council of the United States,[3][4] and member of the Board of the European Institute. He was a member of the Academic Advisory Board of the NATO Defense College[5] in Rome, from 2010 to 2013. He was Chairman of the Charlemagne Council of the Boy Scouts of America from 1994 to 1997, and is a Distinguished Eagle Scout. He was an Associate at the Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs from 1998 2010.

Ambassador Hunter has authored more than 1000 publications, written for Foreign Policy, Foreign Affairs, The Washington Quarterly, and many other journals, and chapters in books and op-ed articles in The Los Angeles Times, The New York Times, and The Washington Post (more than 400 articles from 1981–93). His books include Security in Europe, Indiana University Press, 1972; Presidential Control of Foreign Policy: Management or Mishap, Center for Strategic and International Studies, 1982; The European Security and Defense Policy: NATO's Companion - or Competitor?, RAND, 2002; Building a Successful Palestinian State: Security (with Seth Jones), RAND, 2006; and Building Security in the Persian Gulf, RAND, 2010.[6] His oral history, Education Never Ends, was published by the Association for Diplomatic Studies and Training in 2011.[7] He has given speeches and appeared on radio and television in more than 20 countries, several thousand appearances. He has taught at the London School of Economics, George Washington University, Georgetown University, Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies, and Washington College, where he was Louis L. Goldstein Chair in Public Policy in 1989. He has been decorated by eight foreign countries and has twice been decorated with the Department of Defense Medal for Distinguished Public Service, the Pentagon's highest civilian decoration.

Hunter has played a national policy role in eight U.S. presidential election campaigns and written speeches and articles for presidential candidates, three U.S. Presidents four Vice Presidents, Secretaries of State and Defense, Senators, Representatives and other political figures.[8][9][10][11][12]

Hunter has most recently (until July 2018) been a Senior Fellow at the Center for Transatlantic Relations at the Paul H. Nitze School of Advanced International Studies. From 2011 to 2017, he was also a member of the Secretary of State's International Security Advisory Board, until it was dissolved.[13] He was Director of the Center for Transatlantic Security Studies at the National Defense University from 2010 to 2012, and Senior Advisor at the RAND Corporation from 1998 to 2010.

Personal Life

He is married to Shireen Hunter (née Tahmasseb), and they reside in Washington, D.C. and Naples, Florida.


  1. ^ "Robert E. Hunter". Nndb.com. Retrieved 2018-09-11.
  2. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2013-03-06. Retrieved 2016-06-24.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  3. ^ "Robert E. Hunter". Archived from the original on 2008-10-17.
  4. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2010-06-20. Retrieved 2014-09-13.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  5. ^ http://ndc.nato.int
  6. ^ RAND Policy Currents (2018-08-14). "Building Security in the Persian Gulf". RAND. Retrieved 2018-09-11.
  7. ^ http://www.adsy.org/OH%20TOCs/Hunter,%Robert%20E,TOC,pdf
  8. ^ http://www.acus.org/users/robert-hunter
  9. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2012-04-04. Retrieved 2010-10-09.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  10. ^ "Robert E Hunter: used books, rare books and new books @". Bookfinder.com. Retrieved 2018-09-11.
  11. ^ "Robert E. Hunter". Foreign Affairs. 2011-03-16. Retrieved 2018-09-11.
  12. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2011-07-16. Retrieved 2010-10-09.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  13. ^ "International Security Advisory Board (ISAB)". State.gov. 2016-12-29. Retrieved 2018-09-11.

Chairman, Council for a Community of Democracies, 1992- ; lSenior Advisor, RAND Corporation, Arlington, VA, 1998 -2012

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