- Howard C. Petersen
Howard Charles Petersen (b. 1910,
East Chicago, Indiana– d. 1995) was an American government official. He graduated from DePauw Universityin 1930 and the University of Michigan Law Schoolin 1933. From 1933 to 1941, Petersen was an associate in the New York law firm Cravath, deGersdorff, Swaine & Wood (the predecessor firm to Cravath, Swaine & Moore).
While at the Cravath firm, Petersen was introduced to
Grenville Clark, through which connection he came to be a principal drafter of the Selective Training and Service Act of 1940. In December 1945, Petersen was appointed the Assistant Secretary of War by President Harry S. Truman, a position he held until August 1947. He was the last person to hold that title, since the Department of War became part of the new Department of Defense in 1947.
He worked on the economic recovery of occupied
Germanyand the Western Allies and supervised U.S. military occupational activities in Germany, Japan, Korea, Austria, and Italy. One of his significant contributions was to help prevent famine in Europe by laying the groundwork for the Marshall Plan.
Petersen subsequently served as Special Assistant to President
John F. Kennedyfor International Trade Policy from 1961 to 1963. He was appointed to manage Kennedy's controversial campaign for a new foreign trade policy. His main task was to assist with the passage of the Trade Expansion Actof 1962, and he also negotiated the conclusion of the 1960-1962 General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade(GATT) negotiations with the European Economic Community.
In addition, Petersen served as a Director of the
Panama CanalCorporation, and a trustee of the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace.
Petersen was chairman of the boards of the
Institute for Advanced Studyin Princeton, New Jersey, the University of Pennsylvania Museum, and the Marshall Foundation, and chairman and advisory committee member of Export-Import Bank.
* [http://diglib.princeton.edu/xquery?_xq=ead-retrieve&_xsl=ead2005&_urn=diglib.princeton.edu/ead/MC196 Howard C. Petersen Papers, Mudd Library, Princeton University]
* [http://www.jfklibrary.org/Historical+Resources/Archives/Archives+and+Manuscripts/Kennedy.John+F/jfk_prez/whstaff/fa_petersen_wh.htm Howard C. Petersen Files, John F. Kennedy Presidential Library]
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