Lewis Libby

Lewis Libby is a distinguished fellow at Hudson Institute. He leads policy work on national security and defense issues, devoting particular attention to US national security strategy, strategic planning, the future of Asia, the Middle East, and the war against Islamic radicalism.

Before joining Hudson, Mr. Libby held several high level positions in the federal government related to his current work on national security and homeland security affairs. This included roughly a dozen years working in the White House, the US Department of Defense, and the US Department of State.

From 2001 to 2005, Mr. Libby served as chief of staff to Vice President Richard B. Cheney, assistant to the vice president for national security affairs, and assistant to the president. In these roles he attended nearly all National Security Council and Homeland Security Council meetings and participated in numerous high level meetings, at home and abroad, with foreign government and US officials. Mr. Libby’s responsibilities covered a broad range of topics, including those related to US national security strategy, the response to the 9/11 attacks, the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, the broader War on Terror, the Israeli-Palestinian dispute and Middle East matters, East Asian security, US relations with Russia, Central and Western Europe, Homeland Security organization, domestic preparedness and response to attacks involving weapons of mass destruction, and US economic and energy-related issues.

From 1998 to 1999, Mr. Libby served as the legal advisor to the US House of Representatives’ Select Committee on US National Security and Military/Commercial Concerns with the Peoples’ Republic of China, commonly known as the “Cox Committee.” The committee issued a unanimous, bipartisan multi-volume report in 1999.

From 1989 to 1993, during the George H. W. Bush administration, Mr. Libby served in the United States Department of Defense as principal deputy under secretary (strategy and resources), and later was confirmed by the US Senate as deputy under secretary of defense for policy. His responsibilities included contingency planning, defense strategy, policy aspects of the defense budget, policy planning, and defense relations with the newly emerging countries of Central and Eastern Europe and Central Asia. In this period, he led a number of official delegations to foreign capitals.

Mr. Libby first entered government service with the Department of State in 1981 as a member of the Policy Planning Staff in the Office of the secretary. From 1982 to 1985 he served in the Department of State as director of special projects in the Bureau of East Asian and Pacific Affairs. During these years he had extensive experience with US national security issues relating to Asia.

Prior to joining the George W. Bush administration, Mr. Libby served as the managing partner of the Washington office of the international law firm Dechert. He was a member of the firm’s litigation department and chaired the Washington office’s Public Policy Practice Group. He also served as the managing partner of the Washington office of the law firm, Mudge, Rose, Guthrie, Alexander & Ferdon. His legal practice in those years involved work on a major study of the legal framework for domestic security response, and a number of corporate governance and international and homeland security-related transactions or matters, as well as representation of major international corporations from various industries, including television and cable media, finance, energy, trading, computer, transportation, and defense. During these years Mr. Libby provided pro bono legal services to writers, artists, actors, scholars, public servants, and the arts.

In 1993, Mr. Libby was awarded the Department of Defense Distinguished Service Award and the Department of the Navy Distinguished Public Service Award. He received the Department of State’s Foreign Affairs Award for Public Service in 1985.

A magna cum laude graduate of Yale University, Mr. Libby received the Robert D. French Award for leadership and scholarship. He also graduated Columbia University Law School, where he was the Harlan Fiske Stone Scholar.

Mr. Libby’s notable publications and lectures on strategy, national security and homeland defense over the past dozen years range from “Twilight of the Arabs: The Contest for Leadership in the Muslim World” (with Hillel Fradkin), Weekly Standard, 2010, to recent works on COVID-19, China, Russia, and the war in Ukraine.

He was the executive editor of Conduct of the Persian Gulf War in 1992. His novel, The Apprentice, is set in Japan in 1903, and was published by Graywolf Press, 1996, and St. Martin’s Press, 2001, 2005.


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