International Relations Center
Right Web - Exposing the architecture of power that's changing our world

Richard Perle

Defense Policy Board: Member
American Enterprise Institute: Resident Fellow
Center for Security Policy: Adviser
Project for the New American Century: Signatory
Trireme: Managing partner

Send us your feedback
Email this page to a friend
Right Web
last updated: November 22, 2003

Institutional Affiliations

  • Foundation for the Defense of Democracies: Member, Board of Advisors (2)
  • Jewish Institute for National Security Affairs: Member, Board of Advisors (3)
  • Hudson Institute: Member, Board of Trustees (4)
  • Center for Security Policy: Member, National Security Advisory Council (7)
  • U.S. Committee for a Free Lebanon: Golden Circle Supporter (8)
  • Council on Foreign Relations: Chairman, Study Group on non-lethal options in overseas contingencies (report published in 1995) (2)
  • Project for the New American Century: Signed numerous PNAC advocacy letters (14)
  • Committee for the Liberation of Iraq: Member (13)
  • Committee on the Present Danger: Member (15)
  • Middle East Forum/U.S. Committee for a Free Lebanon: Signed 2000 document sponsored by both groups calling on the United States to force Syria from Lebanon (12)
  • American Committee for Peace in Chechnya: Member
  • American Enterprise Institute: Resident Fellow
  • Government Service

  • Department of Defense: Member, Defense Policy Board (was chairman until 2003) (1)
  • Department of Defense: Consultant to the Secretary (current) (4)
  • Department of Defense: Assistant Secretary of Defense (1981-87) (1)
  • U.S. Senate: Staff (1969-1980) (served on the staff of Sen. Henry M. "Scoop" Jackson, the Senate Committee on Government Operations, the Committee on Armed Services, and the Arms Control Subcommittee) (4)
  • Corporate Connections/Business Interests

  • Hollinger International Co-Chairman (1, 4)
  • Trireme Partners L.P.: Managing Partner (9)
  • Global Crossings: Consultant (11)
  • Morgan Crucible: Co-chairman (4)
  • Jerusalem Post: Co-chairman (4)
  • Education

  • Princeton University: M.A., Political Science (1967) (4)
  • University of Southern California: B.A., International Relations (1964) (4)
  • London School of Economics: Honors Examinations (1962-1963) (4)
  • Highlights & Quotes

    Richard Perle, dubbed the "Prince of Darkness" because of his advocacy of hardline anti-Soviet policies (i.e. "total war") while in Reagan's Defense Department, is the neocons' 10-ton guerilla. Perle's antics and questionable business interests--which have been widely reported--are too numerous to comprehensively recount here. Suffice it to say that when the New Yorker's Seymour Hersh documented Perle's business dealings in the Middle East on behalf of the venture capital firm Trireme, Perle threatened to sue the journalist, saying that he was the "the closest thing American journalism has to a terrorist." (9, 10)

    Hersh's article, "Lunch with the Chairman," discussed possible conflicts of interest resulting from Perle's dual role as chairman of the Defense Policy Board and as a partner for Trireme, a company that invests in homeland security and defense-related industries. Hersh recounts how Perle met with Adnan Khashoggi, a Saudi arms dealer, and another Saudi businessman in early 2003. Various people interviewed by Hersh, including Khashoggi, indicated that Perle and Trireme seemed to be sending the message that in return for Saudi investment backing, the "Chairman" would use his Pentagon connections to influence U.S. policy. (9)

    Soon after the Hersh piece was published, columnist Maureen Dowd and other journalists documented Perle's relationship to Global Crossings, a bankrupt communications giant and defense contractor that was seeking Pentagon permission to be sold to the Asian company Hutchinson Wampoa (the same Hutchinson Wampoa whose interests in Panama sparked a loud and nasty round of conservative hand-wringing about a Chinese attempt to take control of the Panama Canal). Although Perle denied any wrongdoing, he admitted through his attorney that he was hired by Global Crossings to consult with a reluctant Defense Department about the deal. (11)

    In late March 2003, Perle announced that he was stepping down from his post as chairman of the Defense Policy Board, writing in his resignation letter to Donald Rumsfeld, "I have seen controversies like this before and I know that this one will inevitably distract from the urgent challenge in which you are now engaged. I would not wish to cause even a moment's distraction from that challenge. As I cannot quickly or easily quell criticism of me based on errors of fact concerning my activities, the least I can do under these circumstances is to ask you to accept my resignation as chairman of the Defense Policy Board." (11)

    Widely regarded as one of the chief architects of the war in Iraq, Perle has for decades supported the work of a number of right wing think tanks and advocacy groups, including the Committee on the Present Danger, the Project for the New American Century, the Jewish Institute for National Security Affairs, the American Enterprise Institute, the Hudson Institute, and the Center for Security Policy.


    (1) American Enterprise Institute - Richard Perle Biography,filter./scholar.asp

    (2) Foundation for the Defense of Democracies - Richard Perle Biography

    (3) JINSA - Board of Advisors Biographies

    (4) Hudson Institute - Board of Trustees Biographies

    (5) Pilger, Carlton "Richard Perle Calls for 'Total War', Everywhere"

    (6) Hersh, Seymour M., "LUNCH WITH THE CHAIRMAN: Why was Richard Perle meeting with Adnan Khashoggi?" New Yorker, March 10, 2003

    (7) Center for Security Policy - National Security Advisory Council

    (8) U.S. Committee for a Free Lebanon: Golden Circle Supporters

    (9) Seymour Hersh, "Lunch with the Chairman," the New Yorker, November 4, 2003

    (10) "When Journalism Becomes 'Terrorism,'" Extra!, May/June 2003

    (11) "Perle Responds to Dowd and Other Critics,," March 24, 2003

    (12) Jim Lobe, "Neo-con Fingerprints on Syria Raid," Asia Times, October 9, 2003

    (13) Committee for the Liberation of Iraq: Members (Web Archive)

    (14) Right Web: Project for the New American Century

    (15) Group Watch: Committee on the Present Danger


    Support IRC's Work

    For media inquiries, email [email protected] or call (505) 388-0208.


    Published by the International Relations Center (IRC, online at ©Creative Commons - some rights reserved.

    Recommended citation:
    "Richard Perle," Right Web Profiles (Silver City, NM: Interhemispheric Resource Center, November 2003).

    Web location:

    Production Information:
    Author(s): IRC
    Editor(s): Michael Flynn
    Production: Tonya Cannariato, IRC

    Looking for a way to support efforts aimed at
    heightening public awareness of the outrageous policies advocated by the right?
    Then support the IRC's Right Web program.

    You can mail your donation, donate securely online at:,
    or call us at 505-388-0208. Thank you.

    IRC logo
    PO Box 2178, Silver City, NM  88062-2178 | [email protected] | 505.388.0208 | 866.628.0742 |
    This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 2.5 License.
    Creative Commons