Richard Holbrooke, an American diplomat and author, had an extensive background in international conflicts. After joining the U.S. Foreign Service, he worked on the White House Vietnam staff under President Johnson. He also served as an American delegate to the Vietnam peace talks in Paris. During President Carter’s administration, Holbrooke served as assistant secretary of state for East Asian and Pacific affairs. It was during this period that the United States established full diplomatic relations with China. In the early 1990s, Holbrooke was appointed U.S. ambassador to Germany and then assistant secretary of state for European and Canadian affairs. He subsequently became U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, served on President Clinton’s cabinet, and was appointed special envoy to Bosnia and Kosovo.
In addition to his diplomatic duties, Holbrooke was the managing editor of Foreign Policy, authored To End a War, and co-authored Counsel to the President. He received 20 honorary degrees and was nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize.
The Great Negotiator Award was presented to the former ambassador for his role in constructing the 1995 peace agreement that ended the Bosnian war. In addition, his skilled negotiation was credited with resolving the dispute over dues owed in arrears by the United States to the United Nations.