Lawrence native Robert Ellsworth has been elected chair of the governing council for the International Institute for Strategic Studies, the first American to hold the position since the institute was founded 32 years ago.
Ellsworth, Comus, Md., was born in Lawrence and graduated from Kansas University. He represented Lawrence in the U.S. House from 1961 to 1967. He also served as deputy U.S. secretary of defense and as ambassador to NATO.
Ellsworth's election to the London-based institute was announced Monday in Hot Springs, Va. The independent institute has 3,000 members in 90 countries. It is devoted to research and debate on issues of global security and peace.
As chairman of the council, which consists of representatives from 16 countries, Ellsworth will play a key role in shaping the institute's policies and programs. The current institute director is Francois Heisbourg of France.
Ellsworth is a director and investor in six U.S. corporations, several with operations in Asia and Europe. He's director of the Atlantic Council of the United States and American Council on Germany and a member of the Council on Foreign Relations.
He's also the son of the late Fred Ellsworth, a longtime executive secretary of the KU Alumni Association, and the late Lucile Ellsworth. A residence hall and an alumni association award are named in honor of Fred Ellsworth.