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David Manker Abshire (born April 11, 1926) has served as a Special Counselor to President Reagan and was the U.S. Ambassador to NATO from 1983-1987. Currently David M. Abshire presides over the Center for the Study of the Presidency and Congress. In July 2002, he was elected President of the Richard Lounsbery Foundation of New Yorkmarker. He is also a member of the exclusive Alfalfa Club.

Dr. Abshire is a Republican and the author of seven books, the most recent being A Call to Greatness: Challenging Our Next President, which was published in 2008. Dr. Abshire is married and has five children.


David M. Abshire was born in Chattanoogamarker, Tennesseemarker in 1926. He graduated from Baylor Schoolmarker in Chattanooga in 1944 and from West Pointmarker in 1951. He fought in the Korean War and was decorated as a company commander. Abshire received his doctorate in History from Georgetown Universitymarker in 1959, where for many years he was an adjunct professor at its Edmund A.marker Walsh School of Foreign Servicemarker. He is a member of the Project on National Security Reform.

Political life

In 1962, Dr. Abshire and Admiral Arleigh Burke founded the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS). Dr. Abshire served as Assistant Secretary of State for Congressional Relations from 1970-1973 and later as Chairman of the U.S. Board of International Broadcasting (1975–1977). He was a member of the Murphy Commission (1974–1975), the President's Foreign Intelligence Advisory Board (1981–1982), and the President's Task Force on U.S. Government International Broadcasting (1991). During the transition of government in 1980, Dr. Abshire was asked by President-elect Reagan to head the National Security Group, which included the State and Defense Departments, the U.S. Information Agency, and the Central Intelligence Agency. He also served for nine years on the board of Proctor & Gamble.

Ambassador to NATO

In 1983-1987 Abshire was Ambassador to NATO where, in reaction to the threat posed by Sovietmarker SS-20 missiles, he was appointed to oversee the deployment of Pershing and Cruise missiles. For his service, he was given the Distinguished Public Service Medal.

Special Counselor to President Reagan

Abshire was recalled as the Iran-Contra Affair unfolded to serve as Special Counselor to President Reagan with Cabinet rank. His charge was to assure a full investigation of the sale of arms to Iranmarker so as to restore the confidence of the nation in the Reagan presidency.


  • Doctor of Humane Letters from Virginia Theological Seminary in 1992.
  • Doctor of Civil Law, honoris causa, from the University of the South in 1994.
  • John Carroll Award for outstanding service by a Georgetown University alumnus.
  • Distinguished Graduate Award of the United States Military Academy.
  • 1994 U.S. Military Academy's Castle Award
  • Gold Medal of the Sons of the American Revolution
  • Baylor Distinguished Alumni Award
  • Order of the Crown
  • Commander of the Order of Leopold
  • Medal of the President of the Italian Republic, Senate, Parliament and Government.
  • Grand Official of the Order of the Republic of Italy.
  • Order of Diplomatic Service Merit Heung-In Medal (Korea)
  • Insignia of the Commander, First Class, Order of the Lion of Finland
  • Order of the Liberator (Argentina) in 1999.
  • Order of the Sacred Treasure Gold and Silver Star (Japan) in 2001.
  • Department of Defense Medal for Distinguished Public Service.
  • Presidential Citizens Medal - Awarded in 1989 by President Ronald Reagan.


  • The South Rejects a Prophet, 1967
  • International Broadcasting: A New Dimension of Western Diplomacy, 1976
  • Foreign Policy Makers: President vs. Congress, 1979
  • Preventing World War III: A Realistic Grand Strategy, 1988
  • Putting America's House in Order: The Nation as a Family, with Brock Brower, 1996.
  • Saving the Reagan Presidency: Trust Is the Coin of the Realm, 2005.
  • A Call to Greatness: Challenging Our Next President, 2008.

See also


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