Remembering Ambassador David M. Abshire
We are saddened to announce the passing of Council member David M. Abshire. Ambassador Abshire died on October 31 in Alexandria, VA at the age of 88. Ambassador Abshire, who served as a Vice Chairman as well as a Director of our Council until 2012, was the United States Ambassador to NATO from 1983 to 1987.
Ambassador Abshire was a 1951 graduate of West Point, served as an Infantry Company Commander in the Korean War, and later received his doctorate with Honors in history from Georgetown University, where for many years he was an adjunct professor at its School of Foreign Service.
In Washington, Ambassador Abshire served as Assistant Secretary of State for Congressional Relations and as a cabinet level Special Counselor to the President. He was also a member of the Murphy Commission on the Organization of Government, the President’s Foreign Intelligence Advisory Board, and the President’s Task Force on US Government International Broadcasting during the Iran-Contra affair. His time in Washington was intersected by a period spent in Brussels serving as the United States Ambassador to NATO during the height of the Cold War.
After his time in government, Ambassador Abshire co-founded the internationally acclaimed Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) with Admiral Arleigh Burke, where he served as President and CEO.
Most recently, Ambassador Abshire served as Vice Chairman of the Center for the Study of the Presidency & Congress (CSPC), which he led as its President and CEO from 1999 to 2012. Under his leadership and at a mandate of Congress, CSPC co-convened the 2006 Baker-Hamilton Iraq Study Group, as well as the 2008 Afghanistan Study Group. Over the same period, Ambassador Abshire also led the Richard Lounsbery Foundation, a grant making institution focused on science, education, and technology.
He is survived by his wife of 56 years, Carolyn Abshire; five children: Lupton Abshire, Anna Bowman, Mary Lee Jensvold, Phyllis D’Hoop, and Caroline Hall; and eleven grandchildren.