Kenneth Juster (SHS 1972)


The son of a fine Scarsdale High School history teacher and a successful architect, Ken Juster was marked for achievement. Even before arriving in college, Juster had, for his day, an extraordinary experience, living in Thailand as part of the AFS Program.

His years at Harvard did not disappoint. He earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in government (Phi Beta Kappa and Magna Cum Laude.) He secured a Master’s degree in public policy from the John F. Kennedy School of Government and continued his education at Harvard Law School from which he graduated with honors in 1980.

Even before graduation from Law School. Juster continued to build on his AFS experience. This time he got a grant from the Center for International Affairs to spend a summer in Japan doing research. During the Carter years, Juster worked one summer on the staff of the National Security Council under Zbigniew Brzezinski. After graduation, Juster practiced law at the firm of Arnold & Porter, in time becoming a senior partner.
Among his special moments with the law was the appearance, unannounced, of George Kennan in his office. (Kennan had been the focus of a high school paper Juster had written years earlier.) He also represented Mikhail Gorbachev in a legal matter.

When George Herbert Walker Bush was elected President in 1988, Juster went to Washington D.C. where he was the senior advisor to Deputy Secretary of State Lawrence Eagleburger. He was a member of a three-man team that negotiated the release of a Chinese dissident following the events at Tiananmen Square in 1989. When in 1992 James Baker resigned as Secretary of State to run President Bush’s campaign for re-election, Eagleburger became Secretary of State and Juster became the Counselor of the U.S. Department of State, a position he held until the inauguration of Bill Clinton.

Juster was called back into government service with the election of George W. Bush, this time as Under Secretary of Commerce from 2001-2005. He was responsible for the Bureau of Industry and Security, focusing on those areas where business interests and national security overlapped. Upon completion of his four years, Juster received the William C. Redfield award, the Commerce Department’s highest honor.

In addition to his various legal and administrative duties, Juster has written and taught widely. One particularly significant work, “The Myth of Iraqgate” was published in Foreign Policy magazine in 1994. He taught law at the Georgetown University Law Center.

Finally Juster has been honored, and honored and honored. Seven weeks ago the Consul General of Germany decorated him with the Officer’s Cross of the Order of Merit of the Federal Republic of Germany. Now we are honored to have Kenneth Juster with us today.