In Memoriam: Zbigniew Brzezinski (1928-2017)

Zbigniew Brzezinski 1977

With sadness, the Ukrainian Research Institute acknowledges the loss of Zbigniew Brzezinski, esteemed foreign policy advisor and intellectual. Well-known for his influential role as National Security Advisor for President Jimmy Carter (1977-81), Brzezinski began his career in academia. 

After completing a Master’s degree in Canada, Brzezinski came to Harvard University for his doctorate in Government, focusing his work on the Soviet Union. Upon receiving his degree, he became a professor in the Department of Government at Harvard in 1953, after which he taught at Columbia University from 1960-1989.

In December 1996, Brzezinski spoke at a conference in Washington, DC, organized by Lubomyr Hajda (Senior Advisor to the Director at HURI), which HURI and George Washington University co-sponsored with support from the Embassy of Ukraine. A revised and abridged version of his speech appears as “Ukraine’s Critical Role in the Post-Soviet Space” in Vol. XX of HURI’s journal, Harvard Ukrainian Studies. The article, which is available online, reflects on the crucial role Ukraine played in the dissolution of the Soviet Union, its global geopolitical significance going forward, and the obstacles it would have to overcome to solidify its identity and independence.

For a more complete overview of Brzezinski's life and work, see his obituary in The New York Times or The Washington Post, among others.


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