Librarian of Congress James H. Billington announced the establishment of the Henry A. Kissinger Chair in Foreign Policy and International Relations at the Library of Congress on June 26, 2000. The Kissinger Scholar, the holder of the appointment to the Kissinger Chair, is an annual appointment made by the Librarian. The Scholar is a distinguished senior research position in residence at the Library for a period of up to ten months. Using research facilities and services at the Library of Congress, the Scholar is expected to engage in research on foreign policy and international affairs that will lead to publication. The Scholar may be of any nationality. A stipend of $13,500 per month during the term of appointment supports the Scholar.
Made possible by generous donations of many friends and admirers of Dr. Kissinger, the Kissinger Scholarship is one part of a wider Kissinger Chair Program that supports a range of activities in the study of foreign policy and international relations. "These gifts to honor Henry Kissinger establish unique opportunities for scholars," said Dr. Billington. "Outstanding thinkers and practitioners will work with the largest and most international collection of library materials in the world, served by an extraordinary staff and located directly across from the Capitol. Dr. Kissinger, who is himself both a statesman and scholar of distinction, knows the value of combining reflection with active involvement. At the Library of Congress, we are gratified that the first Chair to be endowed in the Library's third century honors both a man and a field of inquiry so important for America's future." The establishment of the Kissinger Chair came during the Library's Bicentennial year, as the institution turned 200 on April 24, 2000. "The resources of this universal Library make it the most fitting home for this Chair, so generously supported by friends and colleagues," Dr. Kissinger said.
The annual appointment of the Kissinger Scholar is made by the Librarian of Congress upon the recommendation of a Selection Committee consisting of representatives from the academic community and high-ranking foreign policy experts no longer in office. Members of the Selection Committee are in turn appointed for rotating terms by a Steering Committee that administers the Kissinger Chair Program. Chaired by the Librarian of Congress, other members of the Steering Committee are Alan Batkin, formerly of Kissinger Associates in New York; and Nancy Kissinger.
Another part of the Kissinger Program is the Kissinger Lecturer, who is appointed annually to deliver the Kissinger Lecture. Like the Kissinger Scholar, the Lecturer may be of any nationality. The Lecturer will have achieved distinction in the field of foreign affairs. Each lecture will be published and, every five years, the lectures will be aggregated into an edited volume that may contain additional material. The Lecturers, who will receive a $25,000 all-inclusive honorarium and round- trip transportation, will be appointed upon recommendation of the Steering Committee.
With total gifts of $4.2 million for programs and endowment, the Kissinger Chair establishes an important focus at the Library of Congress for research and discussion of foreign policy and international affairs. The publications of the Kissinger Lecturers and Kissinger Scholars are intended to serve as a catalyst for fresh analysis of foreign affairs in the global era.