The Foreign Relations Series at 160: Considering the Past and Planning the Future

Solicited by the Society for History in the Federal Government and Society for Historians of American Foreign Relations

Friday, April 16, 2021, 6:15 PM - 6:45 PM

Type: Roundtable Discussion

Tags: International Relations; Politics; Public History and Memory


The Office of the Historian, U.S. Department of State will celebrate three major anniversaries over the next three years, including the 160th anniversary of the Foreign Relations of the United States series, the official record of significant U.S. diplomatic decisions and activities. The anniversaries offer the Office of the Historian and the scholarly community an opportunity to examine recent efforts to expand coverage, pursue openness and transparency, and record the Department of State’s history. Panelists will discuss these developments, including successes and challenges in documenting U.S. foreign policy in the post-1945 world.

Session Participants

Chair: Kathleen Britt Rasmussen, U.S. Department of State
Kathleen Rasmussen is the General Editor of the Foreign Relations of the United States (FRUS) series, the official documentary history of U.S. foreign relations. She joined the Office of the Historian, U.S. Department of State, which produces the series, in 2002, becoming Chief of the Global Issues and General Division in 2009. She has researched and compiled three FRUS volumes focusing on U.S. foreign economic policy and U.S. relations with Western Europe during the 1970s; her current volume documents U.S. international trade and monetary policies during Ronald Reagan’s second administration. As a division chief, she reviewed more than twenty-five FRUS volumes and compilations on topics such as U.S. relations with Europe, the Americas, and Asia; transnational issues such as arms control and counterterrorism; and thematic topics such as national security policy, the organization and management of U.S. foreign policymaking, and the intellectual foundations of U.S. foreign policy.
Outside of the Office, Dr. Rasmussen served from 2008 to 2012 as a Professorial Lecturer in History at George Washington University, where she taught the U.S. diplomatic history survey. Her most recent publication is “Canada and Bretton Woods” in Giles Scott-Smith and J. Simon Rofe, Editors, Global Perspectives on the Bretton Woods Conference and the Post-War World Order. She is currently working on a book examining Canada’s role in the creation of the postwar liberal international economic order.

Proposal Submitter Only: Kristin L. Ahlberg, U.S. Department of State

Panelist: Nicole Anslover, Indiana University Northwest
Nicole L. Anslover is Associate Professor of History and Chair of the Department of History, Philosophy, Political Science, and Religious Studies at Indiana University Northwest. She received her Ph.D. in American History with an emphasis on international relations from the University of Kansas in 2007. Anslover specializes in 20th Century American History, with an emphasis on international relations and the modern presidency. She is the author of Harry S. Truman : The Coming of the Cold War (Routledge 2013), and several journal articles and book chapters. She is currently working on a study of the transition period between presidential administrations and the impact on American foreign policy. Using case studies of four different incoming administrations during the Cold War, this book will explore how the successes and failures in presidential transitions had long term effects on U.S. foreign policy, grand strategy, and international position. Anslover’s forthcoming article, “Trouble with the Transition: The Transfer of Power from Carter to Reagan”, will highlight many of these themes. Anslover regularly presents her research at conferences.

Panelist: Adam M. Howard, U.S. Department of State
Adam Howard, a career member of the Senior Executive Service, is the Director of the Office of the Historian (OH) at the Foreign Service Institute of the U.S. Department of State. The Office publishes the congressionally-mandated Foreign Relations of the United States (FRUS) series, the official documentary history of U.S. foreign relations, and prepares historical studies on U.S. diplomacy, foreign affairs matters, and institutional history for use by policymakers. Office historians teach historical components for Department and interagency personnel as well as work closely with other federal government history offices, the academic historical community, and specialists across the globe. Previously, Dr. Howard served from 2012 until 2019 in OH as the General Editor of the FRUS series, supervising the research, compilation, declassification, editing, and publishing of nearly 100 FRUS volumes during his tenure. Prior to that, he served from 2009 until 2012 as OH’s Chief of the Middle East and Asia Division, supervising the production of FRUS volumes covering those two geographic regions. From 2003 until 2009, he was a historian in the Middle East and Africa Division. He is the editor of Foreign Relations, 1977–1980, vol. VIII, Arab-Israeli Dispute, 1977–1978 and Foreign Relations, 1969–1976, vol. XXVI, Arab-Israeli Dispute, 1974–1976. With Linda Qammaqami, he is the co-editor of Foreign Relations, 1969–1976, vol. XXIV, Middle East Region and Arabian Peninsula, 1969–1972; Jordan, September 1970. Dr. Howard has previously won the Department’s Superior Honor Award, two Meritorious Honor Awards, and a Quality Step Increase Award. Howard also received a Bemis Research Grant from the Society For Historians of American Foreign Relations. He is the author of Sewing the Fabric of Statehood: Garment Unions, American Labor, and the Establishment of the State of Israel (Urbana, IL: University of Illinois Press, 2017). Dr. Howard has presented at the annual meetings of the American Historical Association, National Council on Public History, Society for Historians of American Foreign Relations, and the International Conference of Editors of Diplomatic Documents. Prior to joining the Department of State, he earned a Ph.D. in U.S. history from the University of Florida in 2003. He earned a M.A. in U.S. history from SUNY Buffalo in 1997.

Panelist: Richard H. Immerman, Temple University
Richard H. Immerman, a specialist in the history of U.S. foreign relations, the Cold War, and intelligence, is The Edward J. Buthusiem Family Distinguished Faculty Fellow in History, Emeritus, at Temple University. He is also the Marvin Wachman Director Emeritus of the Center for the Study of Force and Diplomacy at Temple University. From 2013 until 2016, Immerman served as the Francis W. DeSerio Chair of Strategic Intelligence, Department of National Security and Strategy, at the U.S. Army War College. He was also the Assistant Deputy Director of National Intelligence for Analytic Integrity and Standards and Analytic Ombusman for the Office of the Director of National Intelligence. He earned his Ph.D. in History from Boston College in 1978. Immerman is the author of numerous publications, including The Hidden Hand: A Brief History of the CIA (Wiley-Blackwell, 2014), “Transforming Intelligence: The Intelligence Community’s Best Kept Secret,” Intelligence and National Security, Vol. 26, Issues 2–3, 2011; Empire for Liberty: A History of American Imperialism from Benjamin Franklin to Paul Wolfowitz (Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 2010); “Intelligence and Strategy: Historicizing Psychology, Policy, and Politics,” Diplomatic History, Vol. 32, No. 1, January 2008; John Foster Dulles: Piety, Pragmatism, and Power in U.S. Foreign Policy (Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, 1999), and The CIA in Guatemala: The Foreign Policy of Intervention (Austin, TX: University of Texas Press, 1982). He has co-authored other works with Beth Bailey, Petra Goedde, Fred Greenstein, and Robert Bowie. Immerman served as the President of the Society for Historians of American Foreign Relations from 2007 until 2009 and has held other leadership roles within the organization. He is the current chair of the Department of State’s Advisory Committee on Historical Documentation and has represented the AHA on the Committee since 2009.

Panelist: Adriane D. Lentz-Smith, Duke University
Adriane D. Lentz-Smith is Associate Professor of history at Duke University where she also holds secondary appointments in women’s studies and African and African American studies. Her specializations are African American History, Twentieth Century U.S. History, and the History of the United States and the World. She earned her Ph.D. from Yale University in 2005. Lentz-Smith is the author of Freedom Struggles: African Americans and World War I (Cambridge, MA and London: Harvard University Press, 2009), which received the Honor Book Award from the Black Caucus of the American Library Association in 2010. Her articles have appeared in the Oregon Historical Quarterly and American Quarterly. She is an OAH Distinguished Lecturer. Lentz-Smith currently serves on the Council of the Society for Historians of American Foreign Relations and on the Department of State’s Advisory Committee on Historical Documentation. She has served as co-chair of the SHAFR Committee on Minority Historians, the SHAFR Program Committee, the American Studies Association Laura Romero Book Prize Committee, and the Southern Historical Association Program Committee.