Donald Phinney Gregg is a retired American politician, CIA employee, and ambassador.

Personal history[edit | edit source]

Gregg worked for the CIA for 31 years, from 1951-1982. After graduating from high school he enlisted in the military and received training as a cryptanalyst. He then attended Williams College, in Williamstown, MA, until 1951. Upon his graduation, he was recruited by the CIA. After serving in the agency for 31 years, Gregg was national security advisor to U.S. Vice President George H. W. Bush, United States Ambassador to Korea (1989–1993), and the chairman of the board of The Korea Society, where he called for greater engagement with North Korea. In September 2009, Gregg retired to the role of chairman emeritus of The Korea Society and was replaced as chairman by Thomas C. Hubbard.

Gregg joined the CIA in 1951. (It is not known if Gregg worked in the Miami JM/WAVE office, as Webster Tarpley and Anton Chaitkin claim,[better source needed] or if he knew Bush from that time, when the latter was CEO of Zapata Corporation.) Gregg then served in Burma (1964–1966), Japan (1966–1969), and Vietnam (1970–1972). In Vietnam, he worked on the Phoenix Program, where he reported to Ted Shackley. (In 1976, when Bush was director of the CIA, Shackley became Bush's Associate Deputy Director for Operations, the third-highest post at the agency.)

A friend and associate of Bush, Gregg was involved with the Iran-Contra scandal from the inception. On March 17, 1983, Felix Rodriguez met with Gregg at the White House and presented his five-page proposal for the creation of a "Tactical Task Force" for the "pacification" efforts in El Salvador, Guatemala, and Nicaragua. Gregg then recommended Rodriguez' plan to National Security Council adviser Robert McFarlane, with a secret one-page memo on "anti-guerrilla operations in Central America". This marked the beginning of US support for the Nicaraguan contras. In June, 1985, Gregg met with Rodriguez and U.S. Army Col. Jim Steele of the U.S. Military Group in El Salvador during the height of the guerrilla war.[1] In December 1985 Rodriguez attended Bush's White House Christmas party and was introduced as an old friend of Gregg's. In January 1986 Rodriguez met with Gregg's deputy in Salvador. In May 1986 Rodriguez met with Gregg, Bush, and Oliver North in Bush's office. In August 1986 Gregg met with Rodriguez and Bush. (Gregg soon met with Alan Friers to support arms purchases from Rodriguez instead of Richard Secord.) John K. Singlaub warned North in September 1986 that too much contact with Rodriguez would be bad for the Administration.

Gregg's father was Abel J. Gregg of Washington, the national secretary of boys' work of the Young Men's Christian Association. His wife was Margaret Curry. Their daughter Lucy Steuart Gregg married the writer Christopher Buckley.[2][3]

Maxwell School at Syracuse University[edit | edit source]

Gregg, while at the Korea Society during President George W. Bush's administration, helped establish a program "of bringing North Koreans for information technology training and other issues" to Maxwell.[4] Following a North Korean nuclear agreement with the United States in February, 2012, North Korea's vice foreign minister and envoy to nuclear disarmament negotiations Ri Yong Ho reportedly planned to attend a forum at Maxwell.[5][6] Gregg also appeared on PBS News Hour to discuss the agreement with Balbina Hwang, visiting professor at Georgetown University and a Korea specialist at the State Department during the last Bush administration.[7]

In fiction[edit | edit source]

References[edit | edit source]

  1. "Jim Steele Bio", Premiere Motivational Speakers Bureau webpage. Does not confirm anything about the meeting, just the bio facts. Retrieved 2011-12-19.
  2. "C. T. Buckley to Marry Lucy S. Gregg" (limited no-charge access), The New York Times, October 7, 1984. Retrieved 2011-12-19.
  3. Colacello, Bob, "Mr. and Mrs. Right", Vanity Fair, January, 2009. Headline refers to Buckley's parents. Retrieved 2011-12-19.
  4. "Donald Gregg’s pet project at Syracuse’s Maxwell School pays dividends", guamdiary blog, March 2, 2012. Retrieved 2012-04-23.
  5. "AP: Senior North Korea nuke envoy heading to N.Y.", via USA Today, March 1, 2012 2:07 update. Retrieved 2012-04-23.
  6. Lee, Jean H., "North Korean official to attend unofficial nuclear talks in US", AP via Boston Globe, March 2, 2012. Retrieved 2012-04-23.
  7. "North Korea's Nuclear Attitude: What's Next?", interview with Judy Woodruff, February 29, 2012. Retrieved 2012-04-23.
Preceded by
James R. Lilley
US Ambassador to Korea
Succeeded by
James T. Laney

External links[edit | edit source]

es:Donald Gregg

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