Morton H. Halperin is a senior advisor to the Open Society Foundations. In this capacity, he provides strategic guidance on U.S. and international issues. Halperin previously served as director of U.S. Advocacy for the Foundations.
Halperin has a distinguished career in federal government, having served in the Clinton, Nixon, and Johnson administrations. In the Clinton administration, Halperin was director of the Policy Planning Staff at the Department of State (1998–2001), special assistant to the president and senior director for democracy at the National Security Council (1994–1996), and consultant to the secretary of defense and the under secretary of defense for policy (1993). He was nominated by President Clinton for the position of assistant secretary of defense for democracy and peacekeeping. During the first nine months of the Nixon administration, Halperin was a senior staff member of the National Security Council staff with responsibility for National Security Planning (1969). In the Johnson administration, Halperin worked in the Department of Defense where he served as deputy assistant secretary of defense (International Security Affairs), responsible for political-military planning and arms control (1966–1969). He serves on the Board of the Millennium Challenge Corporation having been nominated by President Obama and confirmed by the Senate.
Halperin also has a long record as a Washington advocate on national and international issues. He spent many years at the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), serving as the director of the Washington office from 1984 to 1992, where he was responsible for the national legislative program as well as the activities of the ACLU Foundation based in the Washington office. Halperin also served as the director of the Center for National Security Studies from 1975 to 1992, where he focused on issues affecting both civil liberties and national security.
Halperin has been associated with a number of universities and think tanks including Harvard University where he taught for six years (1960–1966), the Council on Foreign Relations and the Center for American Progress (CAP). He has been widely published in newspapers and magazines across the world, and has authored, coauthored, and edited more than a dozen books.
The recipient of numerous awards, he serves on the boards of J Street and ONE.
Halperin holds a PhD in international relations from Yale University. He received his BA from Columbia College.