Dr. Steve R. Pieczenik, MD, PhD is a critically acclaimed author of psycho-political thrillers and the co-creator of the New York Times best-selling “Tom Clancy’s Op-Center” and “Tom Clancy’s Net Force” book series. He is also one of the world’s most experienced international crisis managers and hostage negotiators. His novels are based on his twenty years experience in resolving international crises for five U.S. administrations.
Dr. Pieczenik received his B.A. from Cornell University,trained in Psychiatry at Harvard and has both an M.D. from Cornell University Medical College and a Ph.D. in International Relations from M.I.T.
He was the first psychiatrist ever to receive a PhD. focusing on international relations, and is the only psychiatrist to ever have served as a Deputy Assistant Secretary of State. He served four presidents as Deputy Assistant Secretary of State under Nixon, Ford, Carter, and Bush Sr. and was a Senior Policy Planner under president Reagan. Dr. Pieczenik worked directly with, and reported directly to, Secretaries of State Henry Kissinger, Cyrus Vance, George Schultz and James Baker, as well as the respective White Houses. Dr. Pieczenik was drafted into the Vietnam War. He was assigned in the Public Health Services with the rank of Navy Captain (0-6) to run three psychiatric wards at St. Elizabeth’s Hospital in Washington, D.C., including a ward where serial killers were housed. He was subsequently offered a promotion to Rear Admiral (0-7), which he refused on the grounds that he felt honored enough to serve his country, did not want to take a pension and wished to return to civilian life to follow his passions as a physician, entrepreneur and novelist.
Dr. Pieczenik is an expert in psychological warfare, political psychology, regime change, intelligence, counterintelligence and covert operations. During his career as a senior State Department official, Dr. Pieczenik utilized his unique abilities and expertise to develop strategies and tactics that were instrumental in resolving major conflicts in Asia, the Middle East, Latin America, Europe and the United States.
Dr. Pieczenik was the principal International Crisis Manager and Hostage Negotiator under Secretaries Kissinger and Vance. During this time he developed conflict resolution techniques that were instrumental in saving over five hundred hostages in different terrorist episodes, including the Hanafi Muslim Siege in Washington, DC, the TWA Croatian Hijacking, the Aldo Moro Kidnapping, the JRA Hijacking, the PLO Hijacking, and many other incidents involving terrorists such as Idi Amin, Muammar Quaddafi, Carlos, FARC, Abu Nidal and Saddam Hussein. Based on these experiences, Dr. Pieczenik, along with other senior officials at the State Department developed the mandate to create Delta Force and other quick-strike special forces units that could be used in future hostage situations and international crises. Dr. Pieczenik resigned over President Carter’s handling of the Iran Hostage siege. He was recruited by Dr. Richard Solomon to the RAND Corporation in Santa Monica, CA to develop the strategy and tactics using the principles of psychological warfare to dismantle the Soviet Union without the use of military force.
He was subsequently recruited into the Reagan Policy Planning Staff at the State Department. While at the State Department, Dr. Pieczenik was tasked with creating and implementing regime change in Panama to overthrow General Manuel Noriega. As a result, General Noriega repeatedly accused Dr. Pieczenik in the Panamanian newspaper, La Critica, of being an “assassin” and neutralizing several of Noriega’s associates. This is a charge Dr. Pieczenik neither confirms nor denies.
Dr. Pieczenik helped develop negotiation strategies for major U.S.- Soviet arms control summits under the Reagan administration. He was also involved in advising senior officials on important psycho-political dynamics and conflict mediation strategies for President Carter’s successful Camp David Peace Conference. In 1991, Dr. Pieczenik was a chief architect of the Cambodian Peace Conference in Paris.
He has worked with Dr. Richard Solomon to develop the theoretical basis for the Chinese Negotiating Behavioral Strategy, a classic in transcultural negotiations.
Dr. Pieczenik continues to volunteer his time and expertise as a consultant to the Department of Defense. He does not accept any remuneration for his services. He felt honored to work for his country that adopted him as a refugee and saved his family from extermination in the Holocaust. He has made it his life-long commitment to work to protect and preserve America’s liberties and freedoms, even when it meant going against the president of the United States and the very organizations with which he was working. To this day he still strongly believes in the integrity of the Office of the Presidency and the Republic, both of which must be bereft of corruption, deception, betrayal, collusion and crony capitalism by any and all parties, including financial, political, medical, pharmaceutical and academic special interests. His basic belief is that no one person is indispensable to the viability of State.
Dr. Pieczenik has started several successful companies, employing his methodologies in various industries, including investment banking, publishing, television/film and medicine. He has been directly involved as an Angel Investor with starting twenty-eight companies.