Kenneth Lee Adelman is an American diplomat, political writer, policy analyst and William Shakespeare historian.
Adelman graduated from Grinnell College in Iowa, majoring in philosophy and religion. He received his Masters in Foreign Service studies and Doctorate in political theory from Georgetown University.
Adelman began working for the government in 1969 at the Commerce Department, and then served in the Office of Economic Opportunity. From 1975 to 1977 during the Gerald Ford administration, Adelman was an Assistant to United States Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld, and was later a member of the Defense Policy Board. He has also served as a national editor of Washingtonian magazine for more than 17 years.
He was the deputy U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations for two-and a half years, working with Jeane Kirkpatrick. He also served as the Director of the U.S. Arms Control and Disarmament Agency for nearly five years, during the Reagan administration. He was an advisor to President Ronald Reagan during the superpower summits between Reagan and Soviet General Secretary Mikhail Gorbachev.
He took part in the Zaire River Expedition in 1975, traveling down the Congo River on the 100th Anniversary of Henry Morton Stanley's legendary exploration.
Adelman was a member of the Pentagon's Defense Policy Board well-known for his involvement in conservative policy efforts dating back to the 1970s, when he was a member of the Committee on the Present Danger. More recently, he strongly supported the war on Iraq and worked for the think tank Project for the New American Century, arguing for new policies to help the United States remain a global leader. Adelman, called "a lifelong neocon activist", worried in 2006 that the incompetence shown in handling the war in Iraq would damage the neoconservative movement: neoconservatism, he said, "is not going to sell" for at least a generation.
Adelman now serves as senior counsel to Edelman Public Relations and has led several campaigns linked to U.S. trade and intellectual property interests via the organization USA Innovations, an organization which he also leads. Using the USA Innovations platform and through other published articles Adelman has attacked the Government of Thailand for violating U.S. pharmaceutical industry HIV/AIDs drug intellectual property patents and other topics linked to Edelman Public Relations clients.