Harry S. Truman Presidential Library (source): Richard Neudstadt (crop), Advisor to President Kennedy, undated

Richard Neustadt served as adviser to Presidents Kennedy and Johnson. After serving in the Navy during World War II, he worked for the Bureau of the Budget and then joined the White House staff as an Administrative Adviser. Mr. Neustadt advised President Kennedy on staff appointments and undertook a major study of the cancellation of the Skybolt Project, an air-to-ground missile which, prior to 1963, was thought to be the most effective means of demonstrating U.S. nuclear power. He played a vital role in the development of the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University, helping to shape the school’s curriculum and directing the Institute of Politics from 1966-1971.



1919 Born, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

1939 A.B., University of California, Berkeley

1941 M.A., Harvard University

1941-1942 Assistant Economist, Office of Price Administration

1942-1946 Lieutenant, U.S. Navy

1946-1950 Assistant to Director, Bureau of the Budget

1950-1953 Special assistant, White House Staff

1951 Ph.D., Harvard University

1953-1954 Assistant Professor of Government, Cornell University

1954-1965 Professor of Government, Columbia University

1956 Staff member, Democratic Platform Committee

1957 Visiting Professor, Princeton University

1959-1968 Consultant, Senate Subcommittee on National Policy Machinery; Senate Subcommittee on National Security Staffing and Operations

1960 Member and Consultant, Democratic Platform Committee

1960-1961 Consultant to President-elect Kennedy

1961-1970 Consultant, Bureau of the Budget

1962 Consultant, Ford Foundation

1962-1968 Consultant, Atomic Energy Commission

1962-1969 Consultant, Department of State

1964 Consultant, Rand Corporation

1965-1989 Professor of Government, Harvard University

1965-1975 Associate Dean, John F. Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University

1966-1971 Director, Institute of Politics, John F. Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University

1972 Chairman, Democratic Platform Committee

2003 Died, London, England


Presidential Power: The Politics of Leadership from FDR to Carter, 1960.
Alliance Politics, 1970.
The Epidemic That Never Was, 1983.
Thinking in Time: The Uses of History for Decision-makers (with Ernest R. May), 1986.
Presidential Power and the Modern Presidents: The Politics of Leadership from Roosevelt to Reagan, 1990.
Report to JFK: The Skybolt Crisis in Perspective, 1999.
Preparing to Be President: The Memos of Richard E. Neustadt, 2000.

See Also

Archives and Manuscripts