Hon. Richard J. Danzig

  • The RAND Corporation

Richard Danzig is Vice Chair of the Board of Trustees of The RAND Corporation, a member of the Defense Policy Board and The President’s Intelligence Advisory Board, a Trustee of Reed College, a Director of the Center for a New American Security and a Director of Saffron Hill Ventures (a European investment firm). In recent time he has been a director of National Semiconductor Corporation (NY Stock Exchange) and Human Genome Sciences Corporation (NASDAQ). He has also served as The Chairman of the Board of The Center for a New American Security and Chairman of the Board of the Center for Strategic and Budgetary Assessments.

From the spring of 2007 through the Presidential election of 2008, Dr. Danzig was a senior advisor to Senator Obama on national security issues. Dr. Danzig served as the 71st Secretary of the Navy from November 1998 to January 2001.  He was the Under Secretary of the Navy between 1993 and 1997. 

Dr. Danzig is a member of the Aspen Strategy Group and a senior advisor at the Center for New American Security, the Center for Naval Analyses, and the Center for Strategic and International Studies in Washington DC. His primary activity is as a consultant to the Departments of Defense and Homeland Security on terrorism.

Dr. Danzig was born in New York City in 1944.  He received a B.A. degree from Reed College, a J.D. degree from Yale Law School, and Bachelor of Philosophy and Doctor of Philosophy degrees from Oxford University, where he was a Rhodes Scholar.  Upon his graduation from Yale, Dr. Danzig served as a law clerk to U.S. Supreme Court Justice Byron White.

Between 1972 and 1977, Dr. Danzig was an Assistant and then Associate Professor of Law at Stanford University, a Prize Fellow of the Harvard Society of Fellows, and a Rockefeller Foundation Fellow.  During this period, he wrote a book on contract law and articles on constitutional history, contracts, criminal procedure, and law and literature.

From 1977 to 1981, Dr. Danzig served in the Office of the Assistant Secretary of Defense, first as a Deputy Assistant Secretary and then as the Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Manpower, Reserve Affairs and Logistics.  In these roles, he contributed particularly to the development of the Department’s ability to mobilize manpower and materiel for deployment abroad.  In 1981, he was awarded the Defense Distinguished Public Service Award.  He received that same honor—the highest Department of Defense civilian award—twice more in 1997 and 2001 for his work with the Navy and Marine Corps.

Between 1981 and 1993, Dr. Danzig was a partner in the law firm of Latham and Watkins.  Resident in Washington, his unusually broad legal practice encompassed white-collar crime defense work, civil litigation, and corporate work, including heading the firm’s Japan practice.  During this time he co-authored a book on National Service, taught contracts at Georgetown Law School, and was a Director of the National Semiconductor Corporation, a Trustee of Reed College, and litigation director and then vice chair of the International Human Rights Group.  In 1991, he was awarded that organization’s Tony Friedrich Memorial Award as pro-bono human rights lawyer of the year.

Dr. Danzig and his wife, Andrea, reside in Washington, DC where Mrs. Danzig has an active practice as a psychotherapist.  They have two adult children, David and Lisa.  Mr. Danzig’s recent publications include “Driving in the Dark: Ten Propositions About Prediction” and as co-author of “Aum Shinrikyo: Insights into How Terrorists Develop Biological and Chemical Weapons,” both published in 2011 by The Center for a New American Security.