June 26, 2000 Kissinger Chair Established at the Library of Congress

Press Contact: Jill Brett (202) 707-2905

Librarian of Congress James H. Billington announced today the establishment of the Henry Alfred Kissinger Chair in Foreign Policy and International Relations at the Library of Congress. Made possible by generous donations of many friends and admirers of Dr. Kissinger, the gifts for programs and an endowment will support a range of activities in the study of foreign policy and international relations.

"These gifts to honor Henry Kissinger establish unique opportunities for scholars," said Dr. Billington. "Outstanding thinkers and practitioners will work with the largest and most international collection of library materials in the world, served by an extraordinary staff and located directly across from the Capitol. Dr. Kissinger, who is himself both a statesman and scholar of distinction, knows the value of combining reflection with active involvement. At the Library of Congress, we are gratified that the first Chair to be endowed in the Library's third century honors both a man and a field of inquiry so important for America's future." The establishment of the Kissinger Chair comes during the Library's Bicentennial year, as the institution turned 200 on April 24, 2000.

"The resources of this universal Library make it the most fitting home for this Chair, so generously supported by friends and colleagues," Dr. Kissinger said.

The Kissinger Chair Program will be guided by a steering committee, chaired by the Librarian of Congress; other members are Alan Batkin of Kissinger Associates in New York; Lloyd Cutler of Wilmer, Cutler & Pickering in Washington; Nancy Kissinger; and Peter Rodman, director of national security affairs at the Nixon Center in Washington. It is the only Chair in foreign policy at the Library of Congress.

Appointed annually by the Librarian, the holder of the appointment to the Kissinger Chair will be called the Kissinger Scholar. The Chair is a distinguished senior research position with a residency of nine months. Using research facilities and services at the Library of Congress, the Scholar is expected to engage in research on foreign policy and international affairs that will lead to publication. The Scholar may be of any nationality. The annual appointments will be made by the Librarian of Congress upon the recommendation of a selection committee, members of which are appointed by the steering committee for three-year rotating terms. The four-person selection committee will consist of two members of the academic community and two high-ranking foreign policy experts no longer in office.

As part of the Kissinger program, a Kissinger Lecturer will be appointed annually to deliver the Kissinger Lecture. Like the Kissinger Scholar, the Lecturer may be of any nationality. The Lecturer will have achieved distinction in the field of foreign affairs. Each lecture will be published and, every five years, the lectures will be aggregated into an edited volume that may contain additional material. The Lecturers, who will receive a $20,000 honorarium and round- trip transportation, will be appointed upon recommendation of the Steering Committee.

With total gifts of $4.2 million for programs and endowment, the Kissinger Chair establishes an important focus at the Library of Congress for research and discussion of foreign policy and international affairs. The publications of the Kissinger Lecturers and Kissinger Scholars are intended to serve as a catalyst for fresh analysis of foreign affairs in the global era.

The Library will issue a call for nominations and applications on Sept. 15. Information about the particulars required in letters of nomination or applications may be obtained after that date by writing to the Office of Scholarly Programs, Library of Congress, 101 Independence Avenue, S.E., Washington DC 20540-4860; telephone (202) 707-3302); fax (202) 707-3595) or e-mail: [email protected].


PR 00-091
ISSN 0731-3527