HBO History Makers Series: A Conversation with Brent Scowcroft

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This interview was recorded October 3, 2007. In the interview, Brent Scowcroft, president of The Scowcroft Group, reflects on his years on the National Security Council as part of Council on Foreign Relations HBO History Makers Series.

SPEAKER: Brent Scowcroft, President, The Scowcroft Group; Former Assistant to the President for National Security Affairs, National Security Council (1974-77 and 1989-93)

PRESIDER: Timothy Naftali, Director, The Richard Nixon Presidential Library and Museum

About Brent Scowcroft

Brent Scowcroft was president of The Scowcroft Group and one of the country’s leading experts on international policy, who gave unparalleled strategic advice and assistance in dealing in the international arena.

Brent Scowcroft served as the National Security Advisor to both Presidents Gerald Ford and George H.W. Bush, the only individual in U.S. history appointed to the position under two different Presidents. From 1982 to 1989, he was Vice Chairman of Kissinger Associates, Inc., an international consulting firm. In this capacity, he advised and assisted a wide range of U.S. and foreign corporate leaders on global joint venture opportunities, strategic planning, and risk assessment.

His extraordinary twenty-nine-year military career began with graduation from West Point and concluded at the rank of Lieutenant General following service as the Deputy National Security Advisor. His Air Force service included Professor of Russian History at West Point; Assistant Air Attaché in Belgrade, Yugoslavia; Head of the Political Science Department at the Air Force Academy; Air Force Long Range Plans; Office of the Secretary of Defense International Security Assistance; Special Assistant to the Director of the Joint Chiefs of Staff; and Military Assistant to President Nixon.

Out of uniform, General Scowcroft continued in a public policy capacity by serving on the President’s General Advisory Committee on Arms Control, the President’s Commission on Strategic Forces, the President’s Blue Ribbon Commission on Defense Management and the President’s Special Review Board. In recent years, he has served as a co-chair for both the Blue Ribbon Commission on America’s Nuclear Future and the National Academies of Science’s Committee on Science, Security, and Prosperity. He also formerly served as the Chairman of the Foreign Intelligence Advisory Board and was a member of the United Nations Secretary-General’s High-Level Panel on Threats, Challenges and Change.

General Scowcroft served on numerous corporate and nonprofit boards. He was a member of the Secretary of State’s Advisory Board and the Secretary of Defense’s Policy Board. He was a former board member of Qualcomm Inc. and the Secretary of Energy’s Advisory Board. He was recognized as a Distinguished Graduate of West Point, and earned his masters and doctorate in international relations from Columbia University.

In 1991, General Scowcroft was presented with the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the nation’s highest civilian honor, by President George H.W. Bush, and in 1993 was awarded an honorary knighthood – a Knight Commander of the Order of the British Empire (KBE) – by Queen Elizabeth II. In 2009, he was presented the Grand Cross of the Order of Merit of the Federal Republic of Germany.

Brent Scowcroft passed away at his home in Falls Church, Virginia on August 6, 2020. He was 95 years old.

Source: The Scowcroft Group Website