Nelson S. “Strobe” Talbott

Nelson S. “Strobe” Talbott, whose career spans journalism, government service and academe, is an expert on U.S. foreign policy, with specialties on Europe, Russia, South Asia and nuclear arms control. Talbott received an honorary doctor of laws degree in 2010.


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Educating the American public on foreign affairs

As deputy secretary of state in the Clinton administration, Talbott was deeply involved in both the conduct of U.S. policy abroad and the management of executive branch relations with Congress.

Talbott entered government service after 21 years with TIME magazine. As a reporter, he covered Eastern Europe, the State Department and the White House.

He was TIME’s diplomatic correspondent from 1977-1984, Washington bureau chief from 1984-89 and editor-at-large and foreign affairs columnist from 1989-1992.

Talbott twice won the Edward Weintal Prize for distinguished reporting on foreign affairs and diplomacy. His contributions also were cited in three Overseas Press Club Awards to TIME.

Before becoming president in July 2002 of the Brookings Institution, a highly respected public policy research organization, Talbott served as founding director of the Yale Center for the Study of Globalization.

Prior to that, he had served in the State Department from 1993-2001, first as ambassador-at-large and special adviser to the secretary of state for the new independent states of the former Soviet Union, then as deputy secretary of state for seven years.

Talbott is the author of a number of books on diplomacy, U.S.-Soviet relations and U.S.-Soviet arms control. His most recent work, The Great Experiment: The Story of Ancient Empires, Modern States, and the Quest for a Global Nation, combines historical and political analysis with personal reflection on efforts to forge a peaceful community of nations.

In 2009, he was elected a fellow of the American Academy of Arts & Sciences.