Graham T. Allison

2018, Houston, Texas

Michael L. J. Apuzzo Lecturer on Creativity and Innovation

Graham T. Allison Jr. is an American political scientist and Douglas Dillon Professor of Government at the Harvard Kennedy School. He is a best-selling author and leading analyst of US national security and defense policy with a special interest in nuclear weapons, terrorism, and decision-making. Previously, Allison was Director of Harvard's Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs from 1995 until July 2017. 

While serving as the Assistant Secretary of Defense during the first Clinton Administration, Dr. Allison received the Defense Department's highest civilian award, the Defense Medal for Distinguished Public Service, for "reshaping relations with Russia, Ukraine, Belarus, and Kazakhstan to reduce the former Soviet nuclear arsenal."

In addition, Dr. Allison has served as Special Advisor to the Secretary of Defense under President Reagan. He has the sole distinction of having twice been awarded the Department of Defense's highest civilian award, the Distinguished Public Service Medal, first by Secretary Cap Weinberger and second by Secretary Bill Perry. He served as a member of the Defense Policy Board for Secretaries Weinberger, Carlucci, Cheney, Aspin, Perry, Cohen, and Carter.

Dr. Allison has also written a number of bestseller and notable books, including Destined for War: Can America and China Escape Thucydides’s Trap?, Lee Kuan Yew: The Grand Master’s Insights on China, the United States and the World (co-authored with Robert Blackwill), Nuclear Terrorism: The Ultimate Preventable Catastrophe, and Essence of Decision: Explaining the Cuban Missile Crisis. 

Under his leadership and as a founding dean of the modern Kennedy School, from 1977 to 1989, a small, undefined program grew twenty-fold to become a major professional school of public policy and government.

General Scientific Session III
Tuesday, October 9, 11:50 am–12:15 pm
Can America and China Escape Thucydides’s Trap?