The Aspen Strategy Group mourns the loss of our co-founder and Chairman Emeritus, Lt. General Brent Scowcroft, who passed away on August 6. We honor Brent’s patriotism, deep personal integrity, sense of humor, intellect, and his dear friendship to all of us.
Brent Scowcroft was an American original. From the age of eighteen, he dedicated his life to the United States. As an Air Force Officer, National Security Advisor to two Presidents (the only person to have held the position twice), public intellectual and writer, he was centrally involved in nearly every major national security challenge from the Vietnam War, the opening to China, détente with the Soviet Union, the peaceful end of the Cold War, the unification of Germany and the successful prosecution of the Gulf War in 1990-1991.
Admired by Presidents and junior civil servants alike, he was a singular figure in and outside of the Federal government for half a century.
We in the Aspen Strategy Group revered him. He was a co-founder of our group with Joe Nye and Bill Perry in the early 1980s. As our long-time Co-Chairman, he moderated our foreign policy debates with a mixture of intelligence, tact, irony and humor. He made a point of introducing into our group younger people such as Condoleezza Rice in the mid-1980s. He took the time to mentor many of our members regardless of age, background or rank. Outside of our meeting room in Aspen, Colorado, he joined the chorus at our annual singalong and led us in hikes high up in the Rockies well into his 80s.
Our lasting tribute to him is the Scowcroft Fellows Program that brings aspiring public servants to our group for internships.
We will miss his piercing intellect, acute sense of history, ready wit and warm smile at our annual gatherings.
We are all poorer for his loss, but infinitely richer for his life.
Joe Nye Condoleezza Rice
Nicholas Burns Anja Manuel