photo: Leon Fuerth

Leon Fuerth

Research Professor of International Affairs
Suite 501
Address: Elliott School of International Affairs
1957 E Street, N.W.
Phone: 202-994-8921
Fax: 202-994-1639

Areas of Expertise

National security


Leon Fuerth is the former national security adviser to Vice President Al Gore. In the early 1980s, Fuerth worked with then-Congressman Gore on issues of arms control and strategic stability. When Gore was elected to the Senate in 1985, Fuerth joined his staff as senior legislative assistant for national security. When Gore became vice president, he appointed Fuerth to be his national security adviser. Fuerth served on the Principals' Committee of the National Security Council, alongside the Secretary of State, the Secretary of Defense, and the President's own national security adviser.

As the vice president's national security advisor, Fuerth created and managed five bi-national commissions with Russia, South Africa, Egypt, Ukraine and Kazakhstan. These commissions turned the vice president's vision of forward engagement in America's foreign affairs into a practical reality. Among other important initiatives, Fuerth led efforts to develop the International Space Station with the Russians and other partners; to marshal international support for sanctions against Slobodan Milosevic's regime, contributing to the victory of democracy in the Balkans; to raise awareness and take action to prevent the spread of HIV/AIDS in Africa; to denuclearize former Soviet states by providing alternative energy sources and employment opportunities for nuclear scientists; to win China's cooperation in protecting the environment and reducing pollution; and to spur foreign investment in Egypt, offering a positive example for other Arab nations involved in the Middle East peace process.

Before beginning his work on Capitol Hill in 1979, Fuerth spent eleven years as a foreign service officer, serving in such places as the U.S consulate in Zagreb and the State Department. He holds a bachelor's degree in English and a master's degree in history from New York University, as well as a master's degree in public administration from Harvard University.

Mr. Fuerth's term as J.B. and Maurice C. Shapiro Professor of International Affairs at the Elliott School ended in December 2002. In January 2003, he was appointed Research Professor at the Elliott School.


MPA, Harvard University

Classes Taught

IAFF 6186 Special Topics in Security Policy Studies

  • Forward Engagement

IAFF 6502 Long-Term Forecasting Skills Course