Dec 24 2023 Watch
Guest Profile

Professor Graham Allison

Graham Allison is one of those scholars who have found the transition between teaching, running seminars with principals and serving in important posts an easy and fruitful transition. He has taught national security issues at Harvard University since 1968, first as a graduate assistant and now as the Douglas Dillon Professor of Government, where he specializes in nuclear weapons policy and decision-making. He wrote Nuclear Terrorism: The Ultimate Preventable Catastrophe and Essence of Decision: Explaining the Cuban Missile Crisis.

Allison was the first Dean of Harvard’s John F. Kennedy School of Government, created in 1977, and later Director of the Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs of the Kennedy School until 2017.

Allison served in government at the Pentagon for President Bill Clinton as Assistant Secretary of Defense, beginning in 1993. He rreceived the Defense Department’s highest civilian award, the Defense Medal for Distinguished Public Service.

Graham Allison has always had an interest in competition among nations. His book, Destined for War: Can America and China Escape Thucydides’s Trap? (2017), is often cited in analysis of today’s conflict between China and the United States. His 2013 book, Lee Kuan Yew: The Grand Master’s Insights on China, the United States and the World is a reflection of his analysis of leadership, especially in the comparison of Asia and the United States.

Henry Kissinger, who died on November 29, 2023 at his home in Kent, Connecticut, at age 100, was a colleague and friend of Graham Allison. On October 13, 2023, Kissinger and Allison published an article in Foreign Affairs, about the necessity of China and the United States working together on Artificial intelligence to prevent catastrophe, using the lessons from seven decades of nuclear policy that stopped any use of nuclear weapons after the Japanese explosions in World War II. Kissinger and Allison frequently exchanged zoom conversations and at the World Economic Forum in January of 2023, Allison interviewed him, Kissinger, beginning the last year of his life, discussed the hot war in Ukraine and the possibility of a cold war between the United States and China becoming a hot war and confirming the Thucydides principle.

Graham Allison was born in Charlotte, North Carolina, educated at Davidson College, Harvard College, Oxford University and Harvard University.


Niall Ferguson on Henry Kissinger

A few weeks ago, I spoke with historian Niall Ferguson, who is currently writing Volume Two of Henry Kissinger’s biography, which will be published in 2024.

Niall Ferguson


Thomas Kaplan

Philanthropist and businessman Thomas Kaplan discusses the Hamas attacks on Israel on October 7th, and what may happen next in the region.

Thomas Kaplan

Questions Matter

Ehud Barak

The former Prime Minister of Israel discusses the latest round of conflict between Israel and Hamas, as well as next steps in the region.

Ehud Barak