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Robert Boorstin


Updated August 05, 2008


Robert O. Boorstin is a writer and advisor with “more than twenty years experience in national security, political communications, research and journalism” (Center for American Progress). Mr. Boorstin is currently the Senior Vice President for National Security and International Policy at the Center for American Progress.


His career highlights include:

  • Service as the President’s national security speechwriter for the Clinton Administration
  • Service as an advisor to Treasury Secretary Robert Rubin regarding communications and foreign policy
  • Service as an adviser to Secretary of State Warren Christopher regarding the developing world
  • Service on four U.S. presidential campaigns
  • Reporting as a writer for The New York Times


In 1981, Boorstin received his B.A. from Harvard. He received a Master of Philosophy in International Relations from Cambridge University in 1983.

Selected Articles:

About Bipolar Disorder:

In July of 1987, Robert Boorstin was diagnosed with bipolar disorder (manic depression) when his first manic episode, which followed a long struggle with depression, resulted in hospitalization. In a presentation entitled Smooth Sailing at a symposium held by the Depression and Related Affective Disorders Association (DRADA) and Johns Hopkins, Mr. Boorstin openly shared his experiences with this disorder.

    He describes his first hospitalization as "ego shattering. One day you are a writer for the New York Times and the next you are in a mental hospital." He developed a pattern of castigating himself for being mentally ill; then he said, "I would get mad at myself for getting mad at myself!" He humorously described the antipsychotic medication given early in his hospitalization as "steel wool to the brain." He does well on lithium, which he says keeps him from going too far up or too far down. He has a few side effects from lithium, such as a slight tremor, some slowing of his thinking, and some daytime sleepiness. He handles the sleepiness with daily half-hour naps, which he is entitled to as a "reasonable accommodation" under the Americans with Disabilities Act (DRADA, 1994).


Center for American Progress. Robert O. Boorstin, Senior Vice President for National Security and International Policy. (No longer online)

DRADA. "Smooth Sailing: An Interview at a Johns Hopkins Symposium." April 1994.

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