William J. Perry, a senior fellow at the Freeman Spogli Institute for International Studies, is the Michael and Barbara Berberian Professor at Stanford University. He is co-director of the Preventive Defense Project, also at Stanford University. His previous academic experience includes professor (halftime) at Stanford from 1988 to 1993, when he was the co-director of the Center for International Security and Arms Control. He also served as a part-time lecturer in the Department of Mathematics at Santa Clara University from 1971 to 1977.
Perry was the 19th United States secretary of defense, serving from February 1994 to January 1997. His previous government experience was as deputy secretary of defense (1993 to 1994) and undersecretary of defense for research and engineering (1977 to 1981).
His business experience includes serving as a laboratory director for General Telephone and Electronics (1954 to 1964); founding and serving as the president of ESL (1964 to 1977); executive vice-president of Hambrecht & Quist (1981 to 1985); and founding and serving as the chairman of Technology Strategies and Alliances (1985 to 1993). He is on the board of directors of LGS Bell Labs Innovations and several emerging high-tech companies and is chairman of Global Technology Partners.
Perry received his B.S. and M.S. degrees from Stanford University and his Ph.D. from Pennsylvania State University, all in mathematics. He is a member of the National Academy of Engineering and a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. From 1946 to 1947, Perry was an enlisted man in the Army Corps of Engineers and served in the Army of Occupation in Japan. He joined the Reserve Officer Training Corps in 1948 and was a second lieutenant in the Army Reserve from 1950 to 1955.
He has received numerous awards and decorations from U.S. and foreign governments, nongovernmental organizations and the military, including the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 1997.