CSIS Mourns the Loss of Fred C. Iklé

WASHINGTON, November 11, 2011 – The Center for Strategic & International Studies (CSIS) mourns the loss of CSIS distinguished scholar Fred C. Iklé who died of complications related to a fall at his home in Bethesda. Surrounded by his family, Dr. Iklé passed away at 5 PM on November 10, 2011. He was 87.

Iklé is survived by his beloved wife Doris, daughters Miriam Iklé-Khalsa and Judith C. Iklé, sons-in-law Sat Jiwan Iklé-Khalsa and Aaron Maizlish, grandchildren Anna A. and Leo C. Iklé-Maizlish and Kyah S. Iklé-Khalsa.

“Fred Iklé will be remembered as a giant in foreign policy and national security.  He helped steer the Department of Defense through the final critical years of the Cold War and always imagined a more hopeful future based on the principles of democracy," said CSIS Chairman of the Board of Trustees Senator Sam Nunn.

In 1988, Iklé joined CSIS as a distinguished scholar. Before his death he was engaged in studies about the impact of technology on national security and the prospects for democracy.

“Fred Iklé’s work on deterrence, the challenges of nuclear disarmament, and the march of technology have forever changed our understanding of the world,” said CSIS President and CEO John J. Hamre. “He was a remarkable man, a mentor and a friend.  His keen intellect and his presence will be sorely missed at CSIS.”

Prior to joining CSIS, Iklé was undersecretary of defense for policy during the first and second Reagan administrations. In 1987, he co-chaired the bipartisan Commission on Integrated Long-Term Strategy, which published Discriminate Deterrence. From 1977 to 1978, he was chairman of the Republican National Committee’s Advisory Council on International Security and, from 1979 to 1980, coordinator of Governor Ronald Reagan’s foreign policy advisers. From 1973 to 1977, he served Presidents Nixon and Ford as director of the U.S. Arms Control and Disarmament Agency.

He was a member of the Defense Policy Board, a governor of the SmithRichardson Foundation, a director of the U.S. Committee for Human Rights in North Korea, and an advisory board member of the Center for Security Policy.

He became chairman of CMC Energy Services in 1988. He served for nine years as a director of the National Endowment for Democracy, and in 1999-2000 served as commissioner on the National Commission on Terrorism. He was director and chairman of Telos Corporation and director of the advisory board of Zurich Financial Services. From 1964 to 1967, Iklé was a professor of political science at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

He has held positions with the Center for International Affairs at Harvard University, the RAND Corporation, and the Bureau of Applied Social Research at Columbia University. His many publications include Annihilation From Within (New York: Columbia University Press, 2006), Every War Must End (Columbia University Press, 1970); and How Nations Negotiate (Harper & Row, 1964).

In 1987, Iklé received the highest civilian award of the Department of Defense, the Distinguished Public Service Medal, and in 1988, he was awarded the Bronze Palm. He has published many articles in Foreign Affairs, Fortune, the National Interest, and op-eds in leading newspapers.

Iklé was born in the Engadin region of Switzerland and grew up in the town of St. Gallen. He attended the University of Zurich before moving to the United States in 1946.  He received his Master’s Degree in social sciences from the University of Chicago in 1948 and a PhD in sociology in 1950.


The Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) is a bipartisan, nonprofit organization that seeks to advance global security and prosperity by providing strategic insights and practical policy solutions to decisionmakers.

H. Andrew Schwartz