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At JINSA's 1987 Awards Dinner Gala, Henry M. Jackson Distinguished Service Award recipient Amb. Max M. Kampelman (second from left) is seen with with Secretary of Defense Frank Carlucci (far left) and Catherine and Senator Ted Stevens.

We mourn the passing of Ambassador Max M. Kampelman, a founder of the Jewish Institute for National Security Affairs (JINSA) and a longtime member of our Board of Advisors. He was 92 years old.


On November 5, 1987, he was presented with JINSA's Henry M. Jackson Distinguished Service Award. Click here to read an excerpt from his acceptance speech that evening and to view a photo and read the congratulatory letter from President Ronald Reagan. 


Max M. Kampelman, a lawyer, diplomat and educator served as Ambassador and Head of the United States Delegation to the negotiations on nuclear and space arms, in Geneva. A partner, until his retirement in 1985, in the law firm of Fried, Frank, Harris, Shriver & Kampelman, he has lived and worked in Washington since 1949.


In addition to his diplomatic assignment, he was a Senior Advisor to the U.S. Delegation to the United Nations and served as Legislative Counsel to U.S. Senator Hubert H. Humphrey. He served by Presidential appointment as a member of the Board of Directors of the United States Institute of Peace; and as Trustee of the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars, which he previously served as Chairman.


He was appointed by President Reagan to serve as Ambassador and Head of the U.S. Delegation to the Conference on Security and Cooperation in Europe, which took place in Madrid from 1980 to 1983. During these negotiations, he secured the release of Soviet religious and political dissidents.


Until his diplomatic assignment, he served as Chairman of Freedom House, Vice Chairman of the Coalition for a Democratic Majority, on the Executive Committee of the Committee in the Present Danger, Honorary Vice Chairman of the Anti-Defamation League, Chairman of the National Advisory Committee of the American Jewish Committee, and Vice President of the Jewish Publication Society.


An educator, he received his J.D. from New York University and his Ph.D. in Political Science from the University of Minnesota, where he taught from 1946 to 1948. He has also served on the faculties and on the governing boards of numerous universities and colleges. He received honorary Doctorate degrees from Georgetown University, the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, and Hebrew Union College.


He received the Presidential Citizens Medal from President Reagan in 1989 and the Presidential Medal of Freedom from President Bill Clinton in 1999, the highest civilian award in the nation.


JINSA will miss his wise counsel.


We offer our condolences to Ambassador Kampelman's family, friends, and legions of admirers.