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Picture of Eliot A. CohenBIOGRAPHY

Eliot A. Cohen
Counselor of the Department, Office of the Counselor of the Department
Term of Appointment: 04/30/2007 to present

Eliot Cohen is Counselor of the Department of State. As a principal officer of the Department, he is a special adviser to the Secretary and to the bureaus particularly with regard to matters of war and peace. He is on public service leave from the Paul H. Nitze School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS) of Johns Hopkins University, where he is Robert E. Osgood Professor of Strategic Studies, and the founding Director of the Philip Merrill Center for Strategic Studies.

Dr. Cohen graduated Harvard College in 1977 in government (political science) and received his Ph.D. there in the same subject in 1982. From 1982 to 1985 he was Assistant Professor of Government at Harvard, and Assistant Dean of Harvard College. In 1985 he became a member of the Strategy Department of the United States Naval War College. In February 1990 he joined the Policy Planning Staff of the Office of the Secretary of Defense, and in July of that year he was appointed to a professorship at SAIS. He is also the founding director of the Merrill Center for Strategic Studies there, whose activities include curriculum development and a university teacher training program. He was named to the Robert E. Osgood chair in 2004, and has twice won the school’s Excellence in Teaching Award.

Eliot Cohen is the author of Supreme Command: Soldiers, Statesmen, and Leadership in Wartime (2002). His other books are Commandos and Politicians (1978) and Citizens and Soldiers (1985). He is, as well, co-author of Military Misfortunes: The Anatomy of Failure in War (1990), Revolution in Warfare? Air Power in the Persian Gulf (1995), and Knives, Tanks, and Missiles: Israel’s Security Revolution (1998), and co-editor of Strategy in the Contemporary World (2002) and War over Kosovo (2001). In 1991-1993 he directed and edited the official study of air power in the 1991 war with Iraq. For his leadership of The Gulf War Air Power Survey, which included eleven book-length reports, he received the Air Force’s decoration for exceptional civilian service.

His articles have appeared in International Security, Foreign Affairs, The National Interest, Studies in Intelligence, Commentary, Military History Quarterly, and Foreign Policy and other journals. His shorter articles and reviews have appeared in The Washington Post, The Wall Street Journal, The Times of London, The Chronicle of Higher Education, Slate, The New Republic, National Review, and other publications. He is also the author of several widely used case studies for senior military and executive education.

In 1982 he was commissioned in the United States Army Reserve. His service included several years as Military Assistant to the Director of Net Assessment, Office of the Secretary of Defense. Before coming to the Department of State he was an adjunct professor at the United States Army War College, where he advised the Advanced Strategic Art Program, and was a longstanding member of the Defense Policy Advisory Board and of the National Security Advisory Panel for the National Intelligence Council.



Released on July 30, 2007

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