Leslie H. Gelb

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Leslie (Les) Howard Gelb (born March 4, 1937) is a former correspondent for The New York Times and is currently President Emeritus of the Council on Foreign Relations. He is a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and is a member of the editorial board of Encyclopædia Britannica. Gelb is associated with the US Department of Defense and was director of the Pentagon Papers project (creation of the papers that were eventually leaked by Daniel Elsberg).

Gelb is also on the board of the Baker Institute for Public Policy and reportedly has ties to the intelligence community. Gelb's name has been linked with the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace. He is also a Commissioner with the Hart-Rudman Commission on U.S. on National Security in the 21st Century and its National Security Study Group.


Gelb, born into a Jewish family, attended School, in New Rochelle, New York, graduating in 1955. He received a BA from Tufts University in 1959, and an MA in 1961 and Ph.D. in 1964 from Harvard University. From 1964-1967 he was Assistant Professor of Government at Wesleyan University. [1]


Gelb entered public life as an executive assistant to U.S. Senator Jacob K. Javits from 1966 to 1967. Robert McNamara appointed Gelb as director of the project that produced the infamous Pentagon Papers, on the Vietnam War. A substantial portion of the 7000 page document was leaked to the public in 1971. From 1969 to 1973 he was both a visiting professor at Georgetown University and a senior fellow at the Brookings Institution. He was an Assistant Secretary of State in the Carter Administration from 1977 to 1979, serving as director of the Bureau of Politico-Military Affairs. After working as a senior associate for the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace (1980-81) he spent the next 12 years at The New York Times as a columnist, deputy editorial page editor, op-ed page editor, national security correspondent, and diplomatic correspondent. Gelb became President of the Council on Foreign Relations in 1993 and is now President Emeritus.

Affiliations (alpha order)


  • Leslie H. Gelb and Richard K. Betts, The Irony of Vietnam: The System Worked, The Brookings Institution, 1979.
  • Leslie H. Gelb The Irony of Vietnam: The System Worked, 1980.
  • I. M. Destler, Leslie H. Gelb, and Anthony Lake, Our Own Worst Enemy: The Unmaking of American Foreign Policy, Simon & Schuster, 1985.
  • Leslie Gelb and Seymour Weiss, Will Nuclear Arms Agreements Work?, Greenhaven Press, 1985.
  • Leslie H. Gelb, Anglo American Relations, 1945-1949: Toward a Theory of Alliances, Taylor & Francis, 1989.
  • Leslie H. Gelb, Intervention and American Foreign Policy, W W Norton, 2002.

External links

  1. ^ Department of Government at Wesleyan University