Anthony Lake (born April 2, 1939) is an American diplomat, political figure, and academic. He has been a foreign policy advisor to many Democratic U.S. presidents and presidential candidates, and served as National Security Advisor under U.S. President Bill Clinton from 1993 to 1997. Lake is credited with developing the policy that led to the resolution of the Bosnian War. He is currently a faculty member at the Edmund A. Walsh School of Foreign Service at Georgetown University, holding the chair of Distinguished Professor in the Practice of Diplomacy.
Lake was born in New York City. He attended Middlesex School and Harvard College, graduating with a Bachelor of Arts degree in 1961. Lake studied international economics at Trinity College, Cambridge and later received a Ph.D from the Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs at Princeton University in 1974.
Lake joined the State Department in 1962, serving until 1970 as a Foreign Service Officer. Lake was an assistant to Ambassador Henry Cabot Lodge, Jr. during the Vietnam War. His State Department career included assignments as consul in Saigon, South Vietnam (1963), vice consul in Huế (1964-1965) and special assistant to the assistant to the president for national security affairs (1969-1970) in the Nixon administration. In 1969, he accompanied National Security Advisor Henry Kissinger on his first secret meeting with North Vietnamese negotiators in Paris. In 1970, he had a falling-out with Kissinger over the Nixon administration's Cambodian Campaign and later wrote a book critical of Kissinger's approach to Africa.
Lake worked for Democratic U.S. Senator Edmund Muskie of Maine in his 1972 presidential campaign. After Muskie lost the nomination to George McGovern, Lake served briefly at the Carnegie Endowment and International Voluntary Services before returning to serve as Director of Policy Planning under Jimmy Carter (1977-1981).
After Carter lost the 1980 election to Ronald Reagan, Lake became a professor, holding the Five College Professor of International Relations chair in Massachusetts (1981-1992). Lake taught at Amherst College. In 1984, he moved to Mount Holyoke College, where he has taught courses on the Vietnam War, Third World revolutions, and American foreign policy.
During the 1992 presidential campaign, he was one of Clinton's chief foreign policy advisers. Lake later served as National Security Advisor (1993-1997), and following Clinton's 1996 reelection, Lake was nominated to become the Director of the Central Intelligence Agency, but his nomination was withdrawn due to Republican opposition. It has also been reported that the failure of his nomination was related to his decision to withdraw support at the last minute for an Iraqi coup that might have removed Saddam without U.S. intervention. John Ehrman speculates that Lake's nomination "failed, in part, because Lake stated in a television interview that he was not sure if [[Alger Hiss| [Alger] Hiss]] was guilty."
Bruce Gagnon, coordinator of the Global Network against Weapons and Nuclear Power, commented in OpEdNews on August 11: “The U.S. has long been involved in supporting ‘freedom movements’ throughout this region that have been attempting to replace Russian influence with U.S. corporate control. The CIA, National Endowment for Democracy . . . , and Freedom House (includes Zbigniew Brzezinski, former CIA director James Woolsey, and Obama foreign policy adviser Anthony Lake) have been key funders and supporters of placing politicians in power throughout Central Asia that would play ball with ‘our side’. . . . None of this is about the good guys versus the bad guys. It is power bloc politics . . . . Big money is at stake . . . . [B]oth parties (Republican and Democrat) share a bi-partisan history and agenda of advancing corporate interests in this part of the world. Obama’s advisers, just like McCain’s (one of his top advisers was recently a lobbyist for the current government in Georgia) are thick in this stew.”
Lake was an advisory board member for the Partnership for a Secure America, a not-for-profit organization dedicated to recreating the bipartisan center in American national security and foreign policy. He has also served as chair on the boards of the United States Fund for UNICEF and the Marshall Legacy Institute. He also is serving a term from 2005-2010 on the Mount Holyoke College Board of Trustees.
Anthony Lake also converted to Judaism in 2005.