Aspen Strategy Group

Philip Zelikow

 White Burkett Miller Professor of History at the University of Virginia
 Visiting Managing Director, Markle Foundation
 Visiting Research Fellow, Hoover Institution, Stanford University


 Aspen Strategy Group


Philip Zelikow is the White Burkett Miller Professor of History at the University of Virginia.  On leave from the University after completing a term as dean of the Graduate School, during 2014-15 he is a visiting managing director at the Markle Foundation and a visiting research fellow at Stanford University’s Hoover Institution. Dr. Zelikow began his career as a trial and appellate lawyer in Texas. After going back to graduate school for training to work on foreign policy, he taught briefly for the Navy and then became a career diplomat. He served overseas and in Washington, including on the NSC staff in the White House of President George H.W. Bush. He left the government to become a professor at Harvard University and later at the University of Virginia. While at Virginia he directed the 2001 Carter-Ford commission on national election reform, which led to the Help America Vote Act of 2002. In 2002 he directed the first Markle Task Force on National Security in the Information Age, which led to legislation that improved sharing and use of vital data. Dr. Zelikow also took two leaves from academia to return full-time to government service. In 2003-2004 he directed the 9/11 Commission, producing a report that led to many reforms and which was also a finalist for the National Book Award. In 2005-2007 he was the Counselor of the Department of State, a deputy to Secretary Rice with responsibilities including the Iraq war, Middle East policy, India, North Korea, intelligence, and counterterrorism issues. He has served on several part-time boards, from being elected to his Massachusetts town's school board to serving as a member of the President's Intelligence Advisory Board, which he did for President George W. Bush (2001-2003) and for President Barack Obama (2011-2013). He also served on the advisory board for global development of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and remains a consultant to the Office of the Secretary of Defense. His books include Germany Unified and Europe Transformed: A Study in Statecraft (with Condoleezza Rice), The Kennedy Tapes: Inside the White House during the Cuban Missile Crisis (with Ernest May), and Essence of Decision (with Graham Allison). He is a member of the Aspen Strategy Group.