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In Memoriam of Professor Jonathan Adelman

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Korbel Communications

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We are saddened to share the news that former Korbel School Professor Jonathan Adelman passed away on October 29, 2021.

Jonathan was a significant figure in the history of the Korbel School. He began teaching at the University of Denver in September of 1978 and became a full professor in 1992. A prolific writer, he wrote and edited twelve books spanning Russian and Chinese politics, security studies and revolutions. He received four degrees from Columbia University and loved his time in Manhattan. He was a frequent speaker on Israel for a variety of organizations in the United States.

In a recent appearance at Korbel, former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice shared that Jonathan served on Rice’s dissertation committee and then stepped in as her advisor when our School’s founder, Josef Korbel, died. Over the years, he stayed in contact with Rice, occasionally briefing her as Secretary of State on international issues.

Jonathan had extensive international experience. The State Department sent Jonathan on 15 international speaking tours to countries ranging from Japan and China to Russia, Germany and Spain. He was an Honorary Professor at both Peking University and People’s University in Beijing. He taught at the Diplomatic Academy in Moscow, Central European University in Budapest, and People’s University in Beijing. Beginning in the 1980s he served for eight years as Senior Scientist working for Science Applications International Corporation (SAIC) on contracts on the Soviet military for the Department of Defense.

Jonathan’s colleagues have noted that he had an encyclopedic mind and a real gift for using that mind. One of his students shared, “I have never encountered someone who can use the lessons of history to help illuminate, frame, or inform the realities and problems of today as well as Dr. Adelman.”

All of us here at Korbel honor Jonathan’s long service to Korbel and extend our deepest sympathies to his family and friends.