Published: Nov. 8, 2007

Former Secretary of Defense William Perry will meet with faculty and students in a roundtable discussion at the University of Colorado at Boulder Law School today as part of a campus visit for the College of Arts and Sciences' "Dialogue on Defense" program, which is bringing Perry to CU-Boulder.

The roundtable from 10 a.m. to noon will be in the Wittemyer Courtroom on the first floor of the Wolf Law Building. The roundtable is not open to the public but media are invited to attend.

Perry will be available to talk with reporters and answer questions following the roundtable from noon to 12:30 p.m. in room 205 of the law building. Photographers are welcome to shoot or videotape during the roundtable and at the noon media availability.

Media are asked to hold questions for Perry until the media availability following the roundtable.

Perry, who was secretary of defense in the Clinton Administration from February 1994 to January 1997, will discuss a wide range of topics with CU-Boulder faculty members from a variety of disciplines. A fact sheet on Perry attached below provides more background on Perry's term as secretary of defense.

The Wolf Law Building is located off Kittredge Loop Drive and can be accessed along Regent Drive near the Fiske Planetarium. Parking is available on the south side of the building.

For more information on the roundtable please contact Jeannine Malmsbury at (303) 492-3115 or (303) 358-8653 or Greg Swenson at (303) 492-3113 in the CU-Boulder Office of News Services.


Visit of Former Defense Secretary William Perry to the University of Colorado at Boulder

Nov. 9, 2007

o Perry served as secretary of defense under President Clinton from February 1994 to January 1997.

o Bosnia presented the most serious international crisis during Perry's tenure. The United States in 1995 committed air power under NATO to stop the bombardment of Bosnian cities and provided air support for United Nations troops.

o As part of the Dayton Accords, Perry testified before Congress in support of sending 20,000 U.S. ground troops to Bosnia in conjunction with a NATO-led force of 60,000 in September 1995.

o Perry is coming to CU-Boulder as part of "Dialogue on Defense: Briefings by the Secretary of Defense," a series conducted by the history and political science departments in conjunction with the Hoover Institution at Stanford University. The series is led by history and international affairs Professor Thomas Zeiler and political science lecturer Michael Kanner, who are inviting other defense secretaries to visit the CU-Boulder campus in the future.

o As part of the series, Kanner is teaching an undergraduate international affairs class this fall titled "Special Topic: The Secretary of Defense." The class is examining the role of the secretary of defense in American policy, including a presentation by Perry. The students also are examining the influence of individual secretaries, conducting original research and assisting with scholarly research. The goals of the class are to understand the politics and history of the office, its effect on American security policies and the effect of these policies on society as a whole.

o The "Dialogue on Defense: Briefings by the Secretary of Defense" Web site is at

o Perry adopted "preventive defense" as his guide to national security policy in the post-Cold War world. The three basic tenets of this strategy were to keep threats from emerging, to deter threats that did emerge and, if prevention and deterrence failed, to defeat the threat with military force.

o Perry thought it was essential to maintain a modern, ready military force capable of fighting two major regional wars at the same time.

o He worked to restructure the defense acquisition policy, signing a directive in June 1994 ordering the armed forces to buy products whenever possible from commercial sources rather than from defense contractors, signaling a major shift away from the purchase of high-cost items produced to meet military specifications. This also resulted in the military increasing contracts with private companies, such as Brown and Root, for carrying out supply functions supporting the military.

o Perry's career spanned eight years of profound changes at the Department of Defense, four years as undersecretary for research and engineering from 1977 to 1981, one year as deputy secretary of defense from 1993 to 1994 and three years as secretary.

o Perry, 80, was born in Vandergrift, Penn. He earned bachelor's and master's degrees from Stanford University and a doctorate in mathematics from Penn State University in 1957.

o Prior to becoming defense secretary, he was director of the Electronic Defense Laboratories of Sylvania/GTE in California from 1954 to 1964 and president of an electronics firm he helped to found, ESL Inc., from 1964 to 1977.

o After serving as undersecretary of defense for research and engineering, he was managing director of a San Francisco investment banking firm from 1981 to 1985 and then served as chairman of Technologies Strategies Alliances, engineering professor at Stanford and co-director of Stanford's Center for International Security and Arms Control.

o Perry is currently teaching two classes at Stanford this semester on "U.S. National Cybersecurity" and "Technology and National Security."

o A complete Perry biography is posted at