Dean Rusk

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Dean Rusk (1909-1994) was United States Secretary of State from 1961 to 1968 in the Administrations of John F. Kennedy and Lyndon B. Johnson. Prior to the cabinet post, he headed the Rockefeller Foundation.

Born on a farm in Georgia, he was a Rhodes Scholar, taught government at the college level for several years, and then studied law. During the Second World War, he rose from captain to colonel, serving as a staff officer in the China-Burma-India theater.

From the Army, he went to the U.S. Department of State, dealing with United Nations issues, and became a deputy undersecretary in 1949. During the Truman Administration, he was a special assistant to the President on Asian affairs.

He was a Cold War advocate of the containment policy, and especially intent on preventing Communist expansion into French Indochina and then South Vietnam, first being concerned with that region when he became Assistant Secretary of State for the Far East in 1950.

After the end of the Johnson Administration, he taught international law at the University of Georgia in Athens until his retirement in 1984.