M. Paul Claussen, history's friend: office of the historian suffers a big loss.
Paul Claussen, chief of the Policy Studies and Outreach Division of the Office of the Historian The Office of the Historian, United States Department of State, is within the Bureau of Public Affairs. The Office of the Historian is responsible, under law, for the preparation and publication of the official historical documentary record of U.S. , died unexpectedly on April 21, 2007. He was 65 years old. Dr. Claussen was known to many throughout the Department of State for his exuberant advocacy of the relevance of history to today's diplomacy, and for his warm personality. He was a salesman of history who believed in his product.
Dr. Claussen was born in the District of Columbia District of Columbia, federal district (2000 pop. 572,059, a 5.7% decrease in population since the 1990 census), 69 sq mi (179 sq km), on the east bank of the Potomac River, coextensive with the city of Washington, D.C. (the capital of the United States). and raised in Northern Virginia Northern Virginia (NoVA) consists of Arlington, Fairfax, Loudoun, and Prince William counties and the independent cities of Alexandria, Falls Church, Fairfax, Manassas, and Manassas Park. . He studied Russian history and language at George Washington University, where he wrote a doctoral dissertation on Soviet-American relations and the Russian famine. He received his doctorate in history in 1976.
He joined the Department of State Historical Office in 1972 as a member of the division that prepared the official documentary series, Foreign Relations of the United States This article or section has multiple issues:
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Please help [ improve the article] or discuss these issues on the talk page. . Working closely with former Historical Office Director William Franklin William Franklin (1731-December 13, 1813) was the last Colonial Governor of New Jersey. William was a steadfast Loyalist throughout the Revolutionary War, despite his father's role as one of the most prominent Patriots during the conflict, a difference that tore the two apart. , Dr. Claussen did the final editorial work on the series' 1948 volume on U.S. diplomacy and the birth of Israel. He also contributed to the expansion of the scope of foreign relations Foreign relations may refer to:
Beginning in 1976, Dr. Claussen supervised historians organized along geographic lines and assigned to simultaneously prepare the Foreign Relations series and respond to Department and public requests for historical information. His responsibilities covered primarily the Middle East, Africa and South Asia.
By 1980, Dr. Claussen had adopted an activist approach to the Office of the Historian's internal research program, reaching out to Department officers to better understand their needs for historical research. He then devised diverse and imaginative means of meeting those needs. He first sought funding for historical research from outside the Department in the mid-1980s, when he convinced the Defense Department to fund the publication of an update of Documents on Germany, a collection of public and previously classified documents of importance to the military and diplomatic authorities in Berlin.
He worked closely with the leadership of the Bureau of Public Affairs The Bureau of Public Affairs is the part of the United States Department of State that carries out the Secretary of State's mandate to help Americans understand the importance of foreign affairs. The Bureau is led by an Assistant Secretary who also serves as Department spokesman. over the years, providing historical data to amplify the Bureau's message to the public. He always considered history to be supportive of policy and had the courage to take a position on sensitive political issues, as he did in 1985 when he and his staff politely supplied the White House with factual reasons indicating why it would not be a good idea for the President to visit Bitburg.
During these years, budget constraints and lack of bureaucratic support caused the Office's policy-supportive research program to be more reactive than proactive. Dr. Claussen's efforts to reinstate a dynamic historical research program responsive to the Department's needs came to fruition in the 21st century with the infusion of new human resources to the office. He understood how current and past bureaucracies operated and integrated that knowledge into his work.
Dr. Claussen's interest in the Department's history and the role of historical precedent in foreign policy developed into an expertise that he made readily available to those both inside and outside the Department. He taught about Department of State history at the Foreign Service Institute, represented the Department on interagency groups dealing with major historical questions, appeared on the Discovery Channel to speak about the Great Seal and, most recently, sought new ways to spread the historical word on the role of U.S. foreign policy through the Internet.
The Department of State has lost a unique asset. He shall be sorely missed.