David Manker Abshire

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David Manker Abshire
David M Abshire.jpg
David M. Abshire
United States Permanent Representative to NATO
In office

David Manker Abshire (April 11, 1926 – October 31, 2014) served as a Special Counselor to President Reagan and was the U.S. Ambassador to NATO from 1983–87. Abshire presided over the Center for the Study of the Presidency and Congress.

In July 2002, he was elected President of the Richard Lounsbery Foundation of New York. He was a member of the exclusive Alfalfa Club.[1]

Abshire was a Republican and the author of seven books, the most recent being A Call to Greatness: Challenging Our Next President, which was published in 2008. Abshire was married and had five children.

He was a member of the advisory council of the Victims of Communism Memorial Foundation[2] and sat on the advisory board of America Abroad Media.[3]


Abshire was born in Chattanooga, Tennessee in 1926. He graduated from The Bright School in 1938, Baylor School in Chattanooga in 1944 and from West Point in 1951. He fought in the Korean War and was decorated as a company commander. Abshire received his doctorate in History from Georgetown University in 1959, where for many years he was an adjunct professor at its Edmund A. Walsh School of Foreign Service. He is a member of the Project on National Security Reform.[4][5]

Political life

In 1962, Abshire and Admiral Arleigh Burke founded the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS). Dr. Abshire served as Assistant Secretary of State for Congressional Relations from 1970–1973 and later as Chairman of the U.S. Board of International Broadcasting (1975–77). He was a member of the Murphy Commission (1974–75), the President's Foreign Intelligence Advisory Board (1981–1982), and the President's Task Force on U.S. Government International Broadcasting (1991).[6]

During the transition of government in 1980, Abshire was asked by President-elect Reagan to head the National Security Group, which included the State and Defense Departments, the U.S. Information Agency, and the Central Intelligence Agency. He served for nine years on the board of Procter & Gamble.[7]

Ambassador to NATO

In 1983–1987 Abshire was Ambassador to NATO where, in reaction to the threat posed by Soviet SS-20 missiles, he was appointed to oversee the deployment of Pershing and Cruise missiles. For his service, he was given the Distinguished Public Service Medal.[7]

Special Counselor to President Reagan

Abshire was recalled as the Iran-Contra Affair unfolded to serve as Special Counselor to President Reagan with Cabinet rank. His charge was to assure a full investigation of the sale of arms to Iran so as to restore the confidence of the nation in the Reagan presidency.



Abshire died on October 31, 2014 of pulmonary fibrosis in Alexandria, Virginia.[9][10] He was buried at Arlington National Cemetery.[11]



  1. USC Center on Public Diplomacy Profile of David M. Abshire, uscpublicdiplomacy.org; accessed October 31, 2014.
  2. "National Advisory Council". Victims of Communism Memorial Foundation. Archived from the original on 2011-05-20. Retrieved 2011-05-20.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  3. Profile, americaabroadmedia.org; accessed October 31, 2014.
  4. CSIS Abshire biodata, csis.org; accessed October 31, 2014.
  5. Abshire profile, rlounsbery.org; accessed October 31, 2014.
  6. Profile, Center for the Study of the Presidency and Congress], thepresidency.org; accessed October 31, 2014.
  7. 7.0 7.1 The Civility Defense Force, Washington Post, April 7, 2006; accessed October 31, 2014.
  8. Awards and Honors.com
  9. Langer, Emily (November 1, 2014). "David M. Abshire, CSIS founder, NATO ambassador and policymaker, dies at 88 – The Washington Post". The Washington Post. Washington DC: WPC. ISSN 0190-8286. Retrieved November 3, 2014.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  10. Ambassador David M. Abshire, CSPC Vice Chairman, dies
  11. David Manker Abshire at Find a Grave, verified via ANC Explorer

External links

Government offices
Preceded by
William B. Macomber, Jr.
Assistant Secretary of State for Legislative Affairs
April 20, 1970 – January 8, 1973
Succeeded by
Marshall Wright
Diplomatic posts
Preceded by
W. Tapley Bennett, Jr.
United States Permanent Representative to NATO
Succeeded by
Alton G. Keel, Jr.