Harold Saunders

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Dr. Harold H. Saunders, "Director of International Affairs at the Kettering Foundation...

"Harold Saunders was born December 27, 1930, in Philadelphia, Pa. He received an A.B. from Princeton University in 1952 and a Ph.D. from Yale University in 1956. Following completion of his Ph.D., Dr. Saunders served his country in the Air Force from 1956 to 1959. After his time in the armed forces, Dr. Saunders began using his experience to help and educate others, a theme which is present throughout his life. From 1959 to 1961, he was a lecturer at George Washington University and an analyst for the Central Intelligence Agency. For over a decade (from 1961 to 1974), Dr. Saunders served as a resource to three presidents as a member of the National Security Council senior staff.

"Dr. Saunders was promoted and served as Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Near Eastern and South Asian Affairs in 1974 and 1975. This appointment began Dr. Saunders career as one of the world’s most respected and knowledgeable diplomats concerning middle-eastern affairs. In 1978, Dr. Saunders was appointed by President Carter to be Assistant Secretary of State for Near Eastern and South Asian Affairs; this position put Saunders in a central role to observe some of the most influential occurrences in the Middle East of the twentieth century. Soon after becoming Assistant Secretary, Dr. Saunders had the opportunity to participate in the Camp David Accord, by all accounts a lard-mark achievement in peace for the Middle East. During Dr. Saunders’ time as Assistant Secretary, the United States also faced its most significant hostage crisis, the hostile take-over and imprisonment of US Embassy Officials in 1979 in Tehran, Iran.

"When Dr. Saunders left government in 1981, he became U.S. co-chair of the Task Force on Regional Conflicts (RCTF) of the Dartmouth Conference—the longest continuous dialogue between American and Soviet citizens. His Soviet co-chair was Yevgeny Primakov, who after the dissolution of the Soviet Union in 1991 became foreign minister and then prime minister of the new Russia. They met every six months through the 1980s. From that experience, Hal observed that bringing the same group together time after time creates four opportunities: (1) they develop a cumulative agenda; (2) they learn to talk analytically rather than polemically; (3) they develop a common body of knowledge—not just about positions but why problems are important to each group; and (4) they can learn to work together...

"Another excellent resource concerning Dr. Saunders is an interview he had with the Carnegie Reporter concerning how to demonstrate the value of his work empirically. http://www.carnegie.org/reporter/11/trackii/saunders.html" [1]

Resources and articles


  1. Dr. Harold Saunders - Public Lecture, Blackburn Institute, accessed July 19, 2007.
  2. IRSS personnel, IRSS, accessed July 19, 2007.
  3. Advisory Council, U.S. Center for Citizen Diplomacy, accessed August 17, 2008.