MIT News Office (source): Carl Kaysen, Deputy Special Assistant for National Security Affairs (1961-1963), undated

Carl Kaysen was born March 5, 1920 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. He attended a variety of educational institutions, including the University of Pennsylvania, Columbia University, and Harvard Law School. Dr. Kaysen served as Deputy Special Assistant for National Security Affairs from 1961 until his resignation in June 1963 working directly under National Security Advisor McGeorge Bundy. Dr. Kaysen took over the position from Walt Rostow and focused on some of the key issues of the Kennedy presidency including foreign trade, economic policy, and the potential use of nuclear weapons. Dr. Kaysen advised President Kennedy on a wide variety of topics, including disarmament, National Security Policy and balance of payments.

Upon accepting his resignation President Kennedy wrote: "I know of no one who has the comparable ability to analyze a large amount of material and then put the essential information in a report in a way which makes the decision process much easier and more precise. We are going to miss you greatly."

A staff memo prepared for McGeorge Bundy described "the limits of Kaysen's empire, like that of Darius, were undefined and expanding." Dr. Kaysen continued to serve as a Special Consultant to President Kennedy after his resignation.

In addition to his time in the White House, Mr. Kaysen's professional career spanned over 60 years and included work for such disparate institutions as the National Bureau of Economic Research, the U.S. Office of Strategic Services, U.S. Army Air Force, Harvard University, the Institute for Advanced Study, and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

1920 Born, Philadelphia, Pennylvania

1940 A.B., University of Pennsylvania

1940-1942 Graduate study at Columbia University

1940-1942 Staff, National Bureau of Economic Research

1942-1943 Economist, U.S. Office of Strategic Services

1943-1945 Intelligence, U.S. Army Air Forces

1947 M.A., Harvard University

1950-1955 Assistant Professor, Harvard University

1950-1952 Clerk to Judge E. E. Wyzanski, U.S. District Court

1954 Ph.D., Military/Wartime Service

1955-1957 Associate Professor, Harvard University

1957-1966 Professor of Economics, Harvard University

1961-1963 Deputy Special Assistant to President Kennedy for National Security Affairs

1960-1966 Associate Dean, Graduate School of Public Administration, Harvard University

1963 Special Consultant to the President

1964 Chairman, President’s Task Force on Foreign Economic Policy

1964-1966 Lucius N. Littauer Professor of Political Economy, Harvard University

1966-1976 Director, Institute for Advanced Study, Princeton, New Jersey

1968 Member, Carnegie Commission on Higher Education

1977 David W. Skinner Professor of Political Economy

1977-1979 Vice Chairman and Director of Research, Sloan Commission on Government and Higher Education

1981-1987 Director, Program in Science, Technology and Society, MIT

2010 February 8, Died


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The American Business Creed (with F.K. Sutton, W.E. Harris, and J. Tobin), 1956.
Anti-Trust Policy: An Economic and Legal Analysis (with Donald F. Turner), 1959.
The Demand for Electricity in the United States (with Franklin M. Fisher), 1962.
The Higher Learning: The Universities and the Public, 1969.
Content and Context: Essays on College Education (editor), 1973.
A Debate on “A Time to Choose” (with William Tavoulareas), 1977.
Program for Renewed Partnership: A Report, 1980.


Contemporary Authors Online. The Gale Group, 1999.