The Hoover Institution Library & Archives has acquired the papers of Dr. Stanley Riveles, an expert on nuclear disarmament and a chief negotiator of nuclear reduction treaties under Presidents Ronald Reagan, George H. W. Bush, and Bill Clinton. The collection consists of documents, records, correspondence, printed matter, notes, digital and other electronic files related to Dr. Riveles’ forty-year career in national security and arms control. The collection spans Dr. Riveles’ work with Radio Free Europe in the 1960s as Czechoslovak analyst; service at the Department of State and the Arms Control and Disarmament Agency from 1977–2006; and his work on the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty, Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (START), and Anti-Ballistic Missile (ABM) Treaty negotiations in various capacities in Washington, DC and Geneva from 1981–2000, including as President Clinton’s Head of the ABM Treaty Delegation. Containing valuable materials related to many of the most significant disarmament events in the twentieth century, the collection will be a boon to researchers studying the history of nuclear weaponry, ballistic missile defense, arms reduction negotiations, Cold War politics, military strategy, and national security.  

Born in Plainfield, New Jersey, Riveles is the child of an American mother and a father who had emigrated from Poland. Yiddish was spoken in his childhood home.  Throughout his life and career Riveles would show great aptitude in learning languages, being fluent in three (Russian, Czech, and German) and studying many more—a skill that would quickly advance his career as a diplomat (Riveles was nominated for Rank of Ambassador by President Bill Clinton).  He earned a B.A. in Russian Studies from Yale University (where he also played varsity football); an M.A. in Modern Languages, Russian, and Czech from Clare College at Cambridge University (where he excelled at boxing); and a PhD in Political Science from Columbia University. 

Though Riveles retired in 2006 from the State Department (where, in 1999, he was the winner of the U.S. Department of State Distinguished Honor Award), he has continued as a research staff member at the Institute for Defense Analyses (IDA). His collection includes published and unpublished studies and materials related to his work at IDA, including research on Iraq, Sudan, counterterrorism, counter-narcotics, and arms control verification. Riveles also taught international relations and national security at the University of Southern California, National War College, George Mason University, Munich University and, most recently, the University of New Mexico-Taos.

Detailing many of the most significant arms reduction efforts of the last four decades, the Stanley Riveles collection on Arms Control and National Security will without a doubt enhance scholars’ understanding of international relations and foreign policy.


Jean McElwee Cannon

Curator for North American Collections / Research Fellow

Jean M. Cannon is a research fellow and curator for North American Collections at the Hoover Institution Library & Archives at Stanford University, where she specializes in acquisitions,…

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