Graham Allison is Director of the Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs and Douglas Dillon Professor of Government at the Harvard Kennedy School, where he served as the founding dean from 1977 to 1989. Allison served as Special Advisor to the Secretary of Defense under President Reagan and as Assistant Secretary of Defense for Policy and Plans under President Clinton, coordinating DOD strategy and policy towards Russia, Ukraine, and the other states of the former Soviet Union. He has the sole distinction of having twice been awarded the DOD's highest civilian award, the Distinguished Public Service Medal. He served as a member of the Defense Policy Board for Secretaries Weinberger, Carlucci, Cheney, Aspin, Perry and Cohen. He has authored five books, including his first, Essence of Decision: Explaining the Cuban Missile Crisis (1971), which was released in a revised second edition (1999) and ranks among the all-time bestsellers.