Announcement - Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, Harvard Kennedy School

Remembering Donald Rumsfeld

| June 30, 2021

Colleagues:

A brief word of condolences on the passing of Don Rumsfeld. When I had my first job in the Office of Secretary of Defense Caspar Weinberger, there was already a portrait of Don Rumsfeld on the long wall right outside the Secretary’s office in the Pentagon. Over the years, it moved down the hall as history passed and newer Secretaries took their nearer places. Then a second portrait of Don appeared—the only person to occupy the office twice!

Among other connections over many years, I served on Don’s Defense Science Board, a body of part-time scientists set up after Sputnik to apply their knowledge of sciences and technology to help the Pentagon and advise the Secretary. He understood very well the importance of these fields to American superiority. He had a special interest in space, and we testified to Congress almost a quarter century ago(!) about the importance of military space.

When he was Secretary again, he occasionally asked me to drop by the Pentagon for a chat, and when I was Secretary, I always tried to do him the courtesy of offering special briefings about anything that was going on. This was all in the tradition of courtesy and national continuity that should always accompany national affairs.

I’m sure the Rumsfeld family knows the big defense community shares their sadness.

Best,
Ash

For more information on this publication: Belfer Communications Office
For Academic Citation: Carter, Ash.“Remembering Donald Rumsfeld.” Announcement, Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, Harvard Kennedy School, June 30, 2021.