chapter
Interview
ByAvis T. Bohlen
Pages 3

In January of 1991, Avis T. Bohlen was serving as Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for European and Canadian Affairs, a position which involved responsibility for NATO, political-military affairs and arms control issues. Her career had begun in the Arms Control and Disarmament Agency, where she was a member of the U.S. delegation to the Mutual and Balanced Force Reductions Talks in Vienna. Ms. Bohlen entered the State Department in mid-career at a middle level position as a Political Military Officer in the Office of the Soviet Union. From this initial position, she held a series of increasingly important jobs involving arms control issues, including Chief of the Strategic Affairs and Arms Control Section in the Office of NATO Affairs, Executive Director of the United States Delegation to the U.S.-Soviet Nuclear and Space Arms Talks in Geneva, and Director of the Office of Western European Affairs. Unlike Ambassador Ridgway, Ms. Bohlen’s background led her almost naturally to the field of foreign service. Her father was a Foreign Service Officer and, as she explained her choice of career, “I didn’t start out my working life doing this, but I was born into it.”