About the Founders

Founded and inspired by Dr. David Abshire and Dr. Kazuo Inamori in 2002
David M. Abshire

"Ideas and findings must have leaders to implement them."

David M. Abshire (1926-2014) cofounded CSIS in 1962, serving as its chief executive for many years. He then cofounded the Abshire-Inamori Leadership Academy in 2002 with Kazuo Inamori. In addition, he served as vice chairman and counselor of the Center for the Study of the Presidency and Congress and president of the Richard Lounsbery Foundation of New York. Abshire was a distinguished graduate of Baylor Preparatory School and served as a trustee there for six years. Dr. Abshire graduated from West Point, and received its Distinguished Graduate Award in 1966. He served in the Korean War and was decorated with several honors for his service. He subsequently served as an instructor at the Infantry School in Georgia. Dr. Abshire received a Ph.D., with honors (Gold Key Society), in history from Georgetown University, where he also served as an adjunct professor at its School of Foreign Service. In 2006, he received an honorary doctorate from the university, as well as three additional honorary degrees from other institutions.

Abshire served with distinction in government, including as assistant secretary of state for congressional relations (1970–1973), head of the National Security Group under President Ronald Reagan (1980), U.S. ambassador to NATO (1983–1987), and special counsellor to President Reagan (1987). As ambassador to NATO, he was given the highest Defense Department civilian award, the Distinguished Public Service Medal. Dr. Abshire was also awarded the Presidential Citizens Medal and received numerous other awards, including the John Carroll Award for outstanding service by a Georgetown University alumnus. He served as the first chairman of the Board for International Broadcasting. Dr. Abshire also served as a member of the Murphy Commission on the Organization of the Government, the President’s Foreign Intelligence Advisory Board, the President’s Task Force on U.S. Governmental International Broadcasting, as one of the coconvenors of the 2006 congressionally mandated Baker-Hamilton Iraq Study Group, the Advisory Board of the Naval War College, the Executive Panel of the Chief of Naval Operations, the congressionally mandated Advisory Group for Public Diplomacy, and chair of a panel for the Homeland Security Advisory Board.

In the corporate world, from 1987 to 1996, he served on the Board of Procter and Gamble Company and was the first chairman of its Public Policy Committee. He also served on the Board of Directors of the Ogden Corporation and on the Advisory Board of BP America. He has been decorated by seven heads of government and was the author of seven books, a contributing editor and primary author of several other works, and a founding editor of The Washington Quarterly. Dr. Abshire was a vice chair of the Council of American Ambassadors and served on the Advisory Board of the School of Public Service at St. Albans School and as a trustee of the George C. Marshall Foundation. He was a member of the Council on Competitiveness, Council on Foreign Relations, Fondation Paul-Henri Spaak (Brussels), International Institute for Strategic Studies (London), Alfalfa Club, Alibi Club, Cosmos Club, Metropolitan Club, and an honorary member of the University Club. He also was the coconvenor and a founding member of the Trinity National Leadership Roundtable.

Kazuo Inamori

"People have no greater calling than to serve the greater good of humankind and society."

Dr. Kazuo Inamori cofounded the Abshire-Inamori Leadership Academy in 2002. He was born in 1932 in Kagoshima, Japan. He graduated from Kagoshima University in 1955 and has received honorary doctorates from several universities in the U.S., the U.K., and Japan. In 1959 he established Kyocera Corporation, which has grown into a well-known international firm supplying a wide range of products from electronic components to consumer products such as cellular phones and cameras. In 1984, quickly responding to deregulation of the telecommunications industry, he founded DDI Corporation (currently called KDDI, the second largest common carrier in Japan). He established The Inamori Foundation in 1984 using his own funds and also the Kyoto Prizes, international awards that honor significant contributors to humanity in the fields of Advanced Technology, Basic Sciences, and Arts and Philosophy. Dr. Inamori is a member of several overseas civic and professional organizations, including the Royal Swedish Academy of Engineering Sciences and the Board of Trustees of the Carnegie Institution of Washington. His representative books include A Passion for Success and For People and For Profit.