Puneet Varma (Editor)

Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs

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Formation  1973
Director  Graham T. Allison
Type  Think tank
Website  www.belfercenter.org
Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs
Headquarters  79 John F. Kennedy Street
Location  Cambridge, Massachusetts, U.S.

The Robert and Renée Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs (also known as the Belfer Center) is a permanent research center located within the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University. The center's current director is political scientist Graham T. Allison, former dean of the Kennedy School.


Belfer was founded in 1973 by biochemist Paul M. Doty as the 'Program for Science and International Affairs' within Harvard's Faculty of Arts and Sciences to provide analysis on arms control and nuclear threat reduction. Following a grant from the Ford Foundation, the program was re-established as the Center for Science and International Affairs, becoming the first permanent research center at the newly formed School of Government. In 1997, following further endowment, the center was renamed as the Robert and Renée Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs in honor of Robert A. Belfer, founder of Belco Oil & Gas Corporation.

In 2012, the Stanton Foundation provided funds for a paid Wikipedian in residence at the Belfer Center. This became controversial due to links between the Belfer Center and the Stanton Foundation (the directors of each are a married couple) and public concerns about conflict-of-interest editing on Wikipedia. The center is organized into subgroups with specific areas of focus; for example, an energy technology innovation policy group led by Laura Diaz Anadon.

Board members

Center board members include:

  • Lewis M. Branscomb, Professor emeritus of Public Policy and Corporate Management
  • Albert Carnesale, former Harvard University provost
  • Ashton B. Carter, Chair of International Relations, Security & Science faculty, physicist, and United States Secretary of Defense
  • John M. Deutch, former Director of Central Intelligence
  • John P. Holdren, John Heinz Professor of Environmental Policy
  • Joseph Nye, University Distinguished Service Professor
  • Advisory board

    The center has a large international advisory board. Members include:

  • Robert Blackwill, former United States NSC Deputy for Iraq
  • Gregory C. Carr, Boston Technology founder
  • Tim Collins, Ripplewood Holdings founder
  • Oleg Deripaska, UC RUSAL chairman
  • Tom Foley, Trilateral Commission chairman
  • Steven J. Green, former U.S. Ambassador
  • Jahangir Hajiyev, Chairman of the International Bank of Azerbaijan
  • Nathaniel Rothschild, Atticus Capital co-chairman
  • James Schlesinger, former U.S. Secretary of Defense
  • Paul Volcker, former United States Chairman of the Federal Reserve
  • Past notable members

  • Stephen Biddle, theorist setting U.S. counterinsurgency policy
  • References

    Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs Wikipedia

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