A chronological file documenting handling of letters addressed to Kissinger or Scowcroft and reminders to the National Security Adviser about matters requiring his attention, and a fragmentary subject file concerning several foreign policy issues. A few important documents appear, including a handwritten memorandum of conversation of Henry Kissingers discussions with President Asad of Syria on Aug. 23, 1975 and original maps associated with the negotiation of the Sinai Accords. Most memoranda of conversations for foreign affairs meetings that Rodman produced do not appear here, but can be found in other NSC collections.

0.6 linear feet (ca. 1,200 pages)

Gerald R. Ford (accession number 77-118)

Open, but some materials continue to be national security classified and restricted. Access is governed by the donors deed of gift, a copy of which is available on request, and National Archives and Records Administration regulations (36 CFR 1256).

Gerald Ford donated to the United States of America his copyrights in all of his unpublished writings in National Archives collections. The copyrights to materials written by other individuals or organizations are presumed to remain with them. Works prepared by U.S. Government employees as part of their official duties are in the public domain

Prepared by William McNitt, October 1996, revised by Donna Lehman, June 2004
[s:\bin\findaid\nsc\staff assistant Peter Rodman files.doc]


Peter Warren Rodman

November 24, 1943 - Born, Boston, Massachusetts

1964 - B.A. summa cum laude, Harvard University

1966 - B.A. & M.A., Oxford University, Oxford, England

1969 - J.D., Harvard University

1969-77 - Staff Member, National Security Council

1977-83 - Fellow in Diplomatic Studies, Center for Strategic and International Studies, Georgetown University

1982-83 - Director of Research, Kissinger Associates, Washington, D.C.

1983-84 - Member, Policy Planning Council, Department of State

1984-86 - Director, Policy Planning Staff, Department of State

1986-87 - Deputy Assistant to the President for National Security Affairs

1987-90 - Counselor to the Assistant to the President for National Security Affairs

1990- - Fellow, Johns Hopkins Foreign Policy Institute

1991-99 - Senior editor, National Review

1995-2001 - Director of National Security Programs, The Nixon Center

2001-2007 - Assistant Secretary of Defense for International Security Affairs

August 2, 2008 - Died, Baltimore, MD


The Staff Assistant Peter W. Rodman Files is one of many subcollections that comprise the National Security Adviser Files.

Peter Rodman served as a staff assistant to National Security Advisers Henry Kissinger and Brent Scowcroft from 1969 to 1977. His duties ranged from the routine (drafting farewell and thank you letters for Kissinger and Scowcroft) to the important (creating memoranda of conversations for high-level foreign affairs discussions).

Rodman shared an office on the ground floor of the White House West Wing with other assistants to the National Security Adviser, including Robert McFarlane and John Matheny. He often traveled with Kissinger and Scowcroft, took notes on their meetings with foreign officials, and produced memoranda of conversations for the meetings. When not traveling, he assisted Kissinger and Scowcroft by conducting research, drafting talking points and speeches, and writing responses to their mail.

The Rodman collection is small; the subject file is fragmentary. Most memoranda of conversations of foreign policy discussions are filed in other NSC collections. This collection, however, does contain several important documents. Included are a handwritten memorandum of conversation of discussions of the Middle East peace process between Henry Kissinger and President Asad of Syria on August 23, 1975 as well as the maps drawn up during Kissinger's discussions with leaders of Israel and Egypt that led to the Sinai Agreement in September 1975.

The chronological file contains some substantive documents, including memoranda to Kissinger and Scowcroft, draft talking points for meetings, and suggestions and draft language for presidential speeches. Among the topics covered here are the Middle East, Cyprus, and Japan. There is correspondence relating to the retirement of General A.J. Goodpaster, Supreme Allied Commander, Europe, who was replaced by General Alexander Haig, former Chief-of-Staff to Presidents Nixon and Ford. Also included is a copy of a letter written in 1822 by Prince Klemens von Metternich, the Austrian diplomat who dominated the Congress of Vienna. The original letter was a gift to Henry Kissinger from an admiring citizen. The remainder of this file consists of Rodman's routine correspondence or concerns the handling of routine correspondence for Kissinger or Scowcroft.

Related Materials (June 2004)
Memoranda of conversations created by Rodman appear in the Kissinger-Scowcroft Office File and the Kissinger Reports on USSR, China, and Middle East Discussions.


Subject File, 1970-77.  (Box 1, 0.25 linear feet)
A small and fragmentary file of memoranda, reports, speech drafts, maps, a memorandum of conversation, and publications.

Arranged alphabetically by subject and chronologically thereunder.

Chronological File, 1974-77. (Box 2, 0.35 linear feet)
Incoming and outgoing memoranda, letters, telegrams, talking points, speeches, and messages drafted by Rodman. The materials concern most aspects of his work. The file contains Rodmans correspondence, his memoranda to the National Security Advisers and others, letters that he drafted for the National Security Advisers signature, suggestions or draft language for Presidential speeches, and talking points for meetings. The bulk of the letters that Rodman drafted for Kissinger or Scowcroft to sign were routine in nature. The file contains occasional mentions of the meeting memoranda of conversations drafted by Rodman, but copies of the memoranda of conversations are not included.

Arranged chronologically.


Box 1 - Subject File

  • Brzezinski, Zbigniew, 1970-75
  • Chile - Kissinger Statements, 1970-74
  • Chile - [redacted, 25X1]
  • China - Published Article on Peking Man
  • Foreign Policy
    • Gerald Ford's First Year Accomplishments, July 1975
    • Presidential Speech, Dec. 1974-Feb. 1975
    • President's Annual Review, 1973-75
  • France - Draft Program for Meeting Between Presidents Ford and d'Estaing, Nov. 1974
  • Glomar Explorer
  • Israel - Arms Shipments, Oct. 1974
  • Middle East
    • Kissinger Meeting with President Asad of Syria, Aug. 23, 1975 (handwritten memorandum of conversation)
    • Report on Jordan and the Arab-Israeli War, 1974
    • Sinai Maps Showing Current and Proposed Israeli and Egyptian Lines, Aug. 1975
  • SALT, Oct.-Nov. 1974 and Aug.-Sept. 1975

Box 2 - Chronological File

  • August 1974
  • September 1974
  • October 1974 - January 1975
  • February - March 1975
  • April - May 1975
  • June 1975
  • July - October 1975
  • November - December 1975
  • January - February 1976
  • March - May 1976
  • June - July 1976
  • August - September 1976
  • October 1976 - January 1977