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Navy Names Destroyer to Honor SAIS Founder Paul H. Nitze

Washington, D.C. - 01/10/2001 - Secretary of the Navy Richard Danzig announced today the decision to name the 44th ship of the Arleigh Burke class of guided missile destroyers in honor of Paul H. Nitze, co-founder of the Johns Hopkins University Paul H. Nitze School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS).

The USS NITZE will honor Nitze whose distinguished government career included serving as the 57th secretary of the Navy from 1963 to 1967.

"Paul Nitze, in his many central roles in and out of government, brought strategic intellect and extraordinary courage to bear that helped shape our national security in an era when it was uniquely challenged," said Secretary Danzig. "As secretary of the Navy, he also demonstrated a respect and care for Sailors and Marines that directly improved their quality of service. USS NITZE will reflect Paul Nitze's toughness and care in all that the vessel undertakes for America in the years ahead."

SAIS Dean Paul Wolfowitz said, "Today it is my privilege to serve as the dean of the Paul H. Nitze School of Advanced International Studies of Johns Hopkins University, a school that is in many ways Paul's creation. His spirit lives in that school, a spirit of dedication to public service without concern for rank or title, a spirit of combining theory and practice in the best possible way for the good of the nation and the world. It is altogether fitting that the same distinguished name will now grace one of the ships of our great Navy."

Nitze, adviser to five presidents and leading strategist and arms control expert, founded SAIS in 1943 along with Christian Herter and other leading statesmen. In 1989 the school, which became a division of The Johns Hopkins University in 1950, was renamed in his honor to recognize his distinguished private and public career and exceptional service to SAIS and the university for five decades.

After graduation from Harvard University and a decade as an investment banker at Dillon, Read & Company and P.H. Nitze & Company, Nitze joined the U.S. government in 1940 and advised every president from Franklin Roosevelt to Ronald Reagan, with the exception of Jimmy Carter. In 1950, while at the State Department, Nitze was responsible for the formulation of NSC 68 - the document which provided the framework for the Cold War between the U.S. and the former Soviet Union. He also served as director of the Department of State Policy Planning Staff, deputy secretary of Defense, and member of the U.S. delegation to the Strategic Arms Limitations Talks from 1969 to 1974. In 1962, he was a member of the group of top officials who met daily with President Kennedy to advise him during the Cuban Missile Crisis.

As head of the U.S. negotiating team at the Arms Control Talks in Geneva (1981-1984), Nitze took his now famous "walk in the woods" with Soviet negotiator Yuli Kvitsinsky in an effort to break the deadlock between the super powers on Euromissiles. From 1984 to 1989, he was ambassador-at-large and special adviser to the president and secretary of State on arms control matters, playing a crucial role in negotiating the Immediate-Range Nuclear Force (INF) and strategic arms treaties. President Reagan awarded Nitze the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 1985 for his contributions to the freedom and security of the United States.

The USS NITZE will be built by Bath Iron Works in Bath, Maine, and will join the fleet in 2004. Arleigh Burke class destroyers are equipped to operate with battle groups in high-threat environments and conduct a variety of missions, from peacetime presence and crisis management to sea control and power projection, in support of national military strategy. They also provide essential escort capabilities to Navy and Marine Corps amphibious forces, combat logistics ships and convoys.

SAIS is one of the country's leading graduate schools devoted to the study of international relations. Located along Embassy Row in Washington's Dupont Circle area, the school enrolls more than 450 full-time graduate students and mid-career professionals and has trained more than 10,000 alumni in all aspects of international affairs.

For more information, contact Felisa Klubes in the SAIS Public Affairs Office at (202) 663-5626 or [email protected].

Tuesday, January 9, 2001
Press Release Type: 
Contact Person: 
Felisa Neuringer Klubes
Zip Code: 
(202) 663.5626