Stefan Halper (born 1944) is a foreign policy scholar. He served as a White House official in the Nixon, Ford, and Reagan administrations and is currently the Director of American Studies at the Department of Politics, University of Cambridge. He is also a Life Fellow at Magdalene College, Cambridge.
He is the co-author of the bestselling book, America Alone: The Neo-Conservatives and the Global Order published by the Cambridge University Press (2004), and The Silence of the Rational Centre: Why American Foreign Policy is Failing (Basic Books, 2007). In April 2010, his book The Beijing Consensus: Legitimizing Authoritarianism in our Time, was published by Basic Books. Also a "best seller," it has been published in Japan, Taiwan, China, South Korea and France.
Halper graduated from Stanford University in 1967 and gained a doctorate in philosophy from the University of Oxford (1971) and the University of Cambridge (2004). Halper is the son-in-law of Ray S. Cline.
Halper began his US government career in 1971 in the United States Domestic Policy Council, part of the Executive Office of the President of the United States, serving until 1973. He then served in the Office of Management and Budget until 1974, when he moved to the Office of the White House Chief of Staff as Assistant to the Chief of Staff where he had responsibility for a range of domestic and international issues. During this time, Halper worked as an assistant for three Chiefs of Staff, Alexander Haig, Donald Rumsfeld, and Dick Cheney. He held this position until January 20, 1977.
In 1977 Halper became Special Counsel to the Congressional Joint Economic Committee and Legislative Assistant to Senator William V. Roth, Jr. (R-Del.). In 1979 he became National Policy Director for George H. W. Bush's Presidential campaign and then in 1980 he became Director of Policy Coordination for the Reagan- Bush Presidential campaign. In connection with this position Halper's name came up in the 1983/4 investigations into the Debategate affair.
After Reagan entered the White House, Halper became Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Political-Military Affairs. Upon leaving the Department in 1984, he remained a Senior Advisor to the Department of Defense and a Senior Advisor to the Department of Justice until 2001.
From 1986 to 2000 Halper wrote a national security and foreign policy-focused weekly newspaper column, syndicated to 30 newspapers.
Halper has worked as a senior foreign policy advisor to various think-tanks and research institutions, including the Center for Strategic and International Studies, The Center for the National Interest, where he is a Distinguished Fellow, and The Institute of World Politics where he is a Research Professor. He has served on the Advisory Board of Directors of the Paul H. Nitze School of Advanced International Studies and contributed to various magazines, journals, newspapers and media outlets. These include: The National Interest, The Washington Times, The Washington Post, The Los Angeles Times, The Wall Street Journal, The American Spectator, the BBC, CNN, SKY NEWS, ABC, CBS, NBC, C-Span, and a range of radio outlets.
Professor Halper is a member of the Cosmos Club in Washington, and the Travellers Club in London. He is a recipient of the State Department’s Superior Honor Award, the Justice Department’s Director’s Award and the Defense Department’s Superior Honor Award.