Richard V. Allen

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Richard V. Allen
File:Richard V. Allen.jpg
11th United States National Security Advisor
In office
January 21, 1981 – January 4, 1982
President Ronald Reagan
Preceded by Zbigniew Brzezinski
Succeeded by William P. Clark, Jr.
Personal details
Born (1936-01-01) January 1, 1936 (age 86)
Collingswood, New Jersey
Political party Republican
Alma mater University of Notre Dame
Profession Politician

Richard Vincent Allen (born January 1, 1936)[1] was the United States National Security Advisor to President Ronald Reagan from 1981 to 1982, having been Reagan's chief foreign policy advisor from 1977. He has been a fellow of the Hoover Institution since 1983.[2] He is a past member of the Defense Policy Board Advisory Committee.


Allen was born in 1936 in Collingswood, New Jersey.[1][3] A graduate of Saint Francis Preparatory School in Spring Grove, Pennsylvania,[citation needed] Allen received his B.A. and M.A. degrees from the University of Notre Dame.[4] His M.A. from Notre Dame is in political science.[2]


Allen worked at the Center for Strategic and International Studies from 1962 to 1966.[1] He was then a senior staff member of the Hoover Institution from 1966 to 1968, leaving to become foreign policy coordinator to Richard Nixon, and serving twice in the Nixon White House.[2] He was then Ronald Reagan's chief foreign policy advisor from 1977 to 1980, before being appointed as Reagan's first National Security Advisor.[2]

National Security Advisor (1981–82)

In November 1981, while serving as Reagan's National Security Advisor, Allen was accused of receiving a bribe from a journalist from Japan for setting up an interview in January 1981 with First Lady Nancy Reagan. Ronald Reagan said, in his diary, that the Japanese magazine gave cash gifts to people that it interviewed, and that Allen had stepped in to intercept the check to avoid embarrassment for Nancy Reagan, then gave the check to his secretary, who put it in an office safe. Then when Allen changed offices, the check was found left in the safe. The FBI cleared everyone involved, then the Justice Department began its own investigation, and the story got leaked to the press. Reagan believed it was just political sabotage behind leaking the story.[5] Although the claims were never proven, Allen was eventually pressed into resigning his position on 4 January 1982.[1]

Also in 1981 Richard Allen said that an unidentified third country (possible Canada) had passed on an offer of 50 Vietnam War POWs in return for $4 billion. In lengthy, closed-door testimony under oath to committee investigators on June 23, 1992, he generally confirmed Hanoi’s 1981 offer. Allen was asked by a committee staffer, “Soon after taking office, did the Reagan administration become involved in an offer made by the Vietnamese government for the return of live prisoners of war, if you can recall?”

He responded, “This $4 billion figure sticks in my mind, and I remember writing something — I don’t know whether it was during a meeting with the president or to him — saying that it would be worth the president’s going along and let’s have the negotiation…”

Then Allen was asked, “Do you recall whether the $4 billion was for live American prisoners? To which he replied, “Yes, I do if it was $4 billion, it was indeed for live prisoners.” He later recanted and no other official has supported the statement in public.[6]

Later career

He is currently a senior fellow at Stanford University's Hoover Institution, and a member of the The Heritage Foundation's Asian Studies Center Advisory Council, the Council on Foreign Relations, the United States Defense Policy Board, the American Alternative Foundation, and the United States National Security Advisory Group. He also serves on the advisory council of the Nixon Center.

Allen is president of the Richard V. Allen Company, a Washington-based consulting services firm. He provides consulting services to international companies and organizations. He currently serves on APCO Worldwide's Iraq reconstruction task force and is considered one of the most influential lobbyists in Washington for South Korean interests.[7]

Richard Allen is also a fellow of St Margaret's College, Otago, one of New Zealand's most prestigious residential colleges.[8]


  • Allen, Richard V. (1969). Yearbook On International Communist Affairs 1968. Hoover Institution Press. ISBN 0-8179-1801-9.


External links

Legal offices
Preceded by
Francis M. Bator
Deputy National Security Advisor
Succeeded by
Alexander Haig
Preceded by
Zbigniew Brzezinski
United States National Security Advisor
Succeeded by
William P. Clark, Jr.