Zbigniew Brzezinski is an American political scientist, public official and advisor to numerous corporations, and global policy-making organizations. He has had a huge influence on late Cold War and post-Cold War international relations. He was born in Warsaw, Poland on March 28, 1928, and grew up in Canada. He received a B.A. (1949), and M.A. (1950) from McGill University in Montreal, and a Ph.D. from Harvard
in 1953. He was the son of a Polish diplomat, but later became a US citizen.
He started his high profile political career with the Department of State from 1966-68, later serving as National Security Advisor to President Jimmy Carter from 1977 to 1981. He maintained a hardline policy against the Soviet Union and supported terrorist training camps in Pakistan and Afghanistan, coordinated mostly by the Central Intelligence Agency. He was key in forming the strategy of empowering Islamic fundamentalism in Central Asia, especially in the overthrow of the People's Democratic Party of Afghanistan.
In 1981 he was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom for his work normalizing trade relations with China, as well as formulating human rights and national security policies in the United States. He was again
part of the National Security Council from 1987-88, on the DOD Commission on Integrated Long-Term Strategy. He was on the faculty of Harvard University from 1953 to 1960, and then at Columbia University until 1989. Interestingly, he has also been on the Board of Directors at
He is currently a professor of American foreign policy at the Johns Hopkins University School of Advanced International Studies. He is also a Counselor for the Center for Strategic and International Studies, member of the Council on Foreign Relations, as well as a Trustee of the Trilateral Commission (he was the Director from 1973-1976). He has authored many books, most recently The Grand Chessboard: American Primacy and its Geostrategic Imperatives, published in 1997.