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L. Paul Bremer III Papers

Call Number: MS 2123

Scope and Contents

The papers document Bremer’s career in government service and the private sector from 1976 through 2011. The collection highlights Bremer's service as the United States presidential envoy and administrator of the Coalition Provisional Authority in Iraq from May 2003 until June 2004. Bremer's Iraq material in Series III includes his contemporaneous notes, working files, speeches, daily schedules, and personal correspondence with his family. Documents and photographs showcase his work, daily life, and relationships with officials from the United States, Iraq, and other countries and international organizations who were involved in the country’s rebuilding following the regime of Saddam Hussein and the United State military invasion. While in Iraq, Bremer corresponded with his wife Frances daily. His outgoing letters track his daily activities, meetings, travels, and conversations, providing a detailed account of his time in Iraq.

Series III also include the Coalition Provisional Authority executive secretary archive. This archive was maintained by Coalition Provisional Authority Executive Secretary Jessica LeCroy, who reported directly to Bremer. This executive secretary archive includes reports, presentations, briefing papers, budgets, surveys, strategic plans, subject files, legal orders, memoranda. The material was housed on fifteen disks, and Bremer later provided the disks to the Rand Corporation for a study they conducted following the United States occupation. The Rand Corporation returned the disks and twenty-seven binders with materials printed from the disks. Both the fifteen born digital disks and the printed material from the twenty-seven binders are housed in this series. Additional materials on Bremer's time in Iraq are found in Series IV, including items from the preparation of his memoir My Time in Iraq: The Struggle to Build a Future of Hope published in 2006.

Speeches from Bremer’s tenure as United States deputy chief of mission to Norway (1976 to 1979) and ambassador to the Netherlands (1983 to 1986) focus on United States foreign relations with NATO allies during the final decade of the Cold War. The speeches address a range of issues, including arms control, international trade and commerce, perspectives on United States-Soviet relations, and cultural diplomacy.

Speeches, editorials, interviews, and working files from Bremer’s service as United States Ambassador-at-Large for Counterterrorism (1986-1989) and as Chairman of the National Commission on Terrorism, known as the Bremer Commission (1999-2000), highlight the concerns and debates over global terrorism and counterterrorism in the 1980s and 1990s.

The collection also has press clippings, interviews, and speeches from Bremer’s private sector work as chief executive officer of Marsh Crisis Consulting and managing director of Kissinger Associates during the 1990s. These materials detail Bremer’s assessment of the global business climate in the aftermath of the Cold War and how corporations might manage risk during at the time.


  • 1976-2011


Conditions Governing Access

The collection is open for research.

Original born digital files, as well as preservation masters, may not be accessed due to their fragility. Researchers must consult use copies, or if none exist request that they be made. Born digital files cannot be accessed remotely. System requirements include a Manuscripts and Archives computer and file viewing software.

Conditions Governing Use

Copyright is retained by L. Paul Bremer III for works authored or otherwise produced by the donor. Copyright status for other collection materials is unknown. Transmission or reproduction of materials protected by U.S. Copyright Law (Title 17, U.S.C.) beyond that allowed by fair use requires the written permission of the copyright owners. Works not in the public domain cannot be commercially exploited without permission of the copyright owners. Responsibility for any use rests exclusively with the user.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Received from L. Paul Bremer III, 2021.


Arranged into four series: I. Government service, 1976-2002; II. Professional and personal activities, 1989-2003; III. Administrator, Coalition Provisional Authority in Iraq, 2003-2004; IV: Writings and activities, 2004-2011.


22.25 Linear Feet (54 boxes)

Language of Materials



Catalog Record

A record for this collection is available in Orbis, the Yale University Library catalog

Persistent URL


The collection documents the career of L. Paul Bremer III in the United States State Department and his work in the private sector. The bulk of material in the collection centers on Bremer's tenure as administrator of the Coalition Provisional Authority in Iraq from May 2003 until June 2004. This material includes subject files, correspondence with his family, contemporaneous notes, speeches, and his daily schedules while in Iraq. Material related to the writing of his 2006 memoir, My Year in Iraq, is also part of the collection. Additional material including editorials, interviews, working papers, and notes provide insight into United States foreign relations during the final decade of the Cold War and the global war on terrorism.

Biographical / Historical

Lewis Paul “Jerry” Bremer III was born on September 30, 1941, in Hartford, Connecticut to Lewis Bremer, Jr., president of Christian Dior perfumes, and Nina Bremer, teacher of art and architectural history at the University of Bridgeport. Bremer graduated from Yale College in 1963. He received a certificate in political studies from the Institut d’Etudes Politiques de Paris in 1964 and an MBA from Harvard Business School in 1966. Bremer married Frances Winfield on June 11, 1966.

Bremer joined the United States Foreign Service serving at posts in Kabul, Afghanistan and Malawi during the late 1960s and early 1970s. In 1973, Bremer returned to the United States as executive secretary for United States Secretary of State Henry Kissinger until 1976. He worked as deputy chief of mission at the United States Embassy in Oslo, Norway from 1976 until 1979. In the early 1980s, he became special assistant to the United States secretary of state. In 1983, United State president Ronald Reagan nominated Bremer to be ambassador to the Netherlands. In 1986, Reagan nominated Bremer to be United States ambassador-at-large for counter terrorism. Bremer retired from the United States State Department in 1989.

Bremer worked in the private sector as managing director of Kissinger Associates and later as chief executive officer and chairman of Marsh Crisis Consulting. Bremer performed consulting work and spoke to civic and trade groups about the post-Cold War climate for international business and how corporations might manage their overseas risk. Bremer returned to government service in 1999 when tapped to chair the National Commission on Terrorism from 1999 until 2000. Informally known as the "Bremer Commission," the bipartisan committee issued its report and recommendations, “Countering the Changing Threat of International Terrorism,” in June 2000. Subsequently, Bremer served on the United States Congressional Advisory Panel to Assess Domestic Response Capabilities for Terrorism Involving Weapons of Mass Destruction, known as the Gilmore Commission, from 2000 until 2002. During this time, and in the aftermath of the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks, Bremer published numerous op-ed pieces and gave interviews discussing terrorism and counter terrorism policy.

In March 2003, the United States invaded Iraq, citing the need to conduct a preemptive military strike against Saddam Hussein’s regime due to allegations Iraq harbored weapons of mass destruction and international terrorists, as well as the Bush administration’s desire to promote democracy in the Middle East. Although the United States toppled the Hussein regime and occupied Baghdad by April, the situation quickly deteriorated during the United States occupation due to a humanitarian crisis, economic insecurity, political instability and violence caused by rival factions seeking primacy in the post-Saddam Hussein era, and competing visions within the United States government on how best to rebuild and stabilize Iraq.

On May 9, 2003, President George W. Bush nominated Bremer to serve as United States presidential envoy to Iraq, reporting to Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld. Bremer assumed responsibility for the civilian administration in Iraq, heading the newly formed Coalition Provisional Authority (CPA), which replaced the United State's Office for Reconstruction and Humanitarian Assistance (ORHA). Bremer was tasked with stabilizing Iraq and creating conditions that could permit the country’s transition to a democratic state under the control of the Iraqi people. He helped establish the Iraqi Governing Council consisting of Iraqi leaders of different religious and ethnic groups who were charged with drafting a constitution and constructing a framework for government. Bremer worked with the Iraqi Governing Council and national leaders, the United States and coalition political establishment, military officials, contractors, and international organizations to confront a host of issues in the country. Among the most pressing challenges for Bremer and the CPA included the removing Ba'athist influence, reconstructing the disbanded Iraqi army, fostering civil society, addressing a growing insurgency directed against United States and coalition forces, restoring basic public services, and responding to torture and human rights abuses by United States soldiers at the Abu Ghraib Prison. As CPA administrator, Bremer announced the capture of Saddam Hussein by United States forces on December 14, 2003. On behalf of the United States government and coalitions forces, Bremer formally transferred governing authority to the Iraq Interim Government on June 28, 2004.

Bremer has continued to write and speak on his experiences in Iraq and in the United States foreign service. In December 2004, President George W. Bush awarded Bremer the Presidential Medal of Freedom. In 2006, Bremer published a memoir on his time in Iraq, My Year in Iraq: the Struggle to Build a Future of Hope, co-authored with Malcolm McConnell.

Career Outline of L. Paul Bremer, III

30 September 1941
Born in Hartford, Connecticut
BA, Yale College
Certificate of Political Studies, Institut d’Etudes Politiques de Paris
MBA, Harvard Business School
11 June 1966
Married Frances Winfield
Diplomat, United States State Department
Executive Secretary to United States Secretary of State Henry Kissinger
United States Deputy Chief of Mission, Norway
Special Assistant and Executive Secretary to United States Secretary of State
United States Ambassador to the Netherlands
United States Ambassador-at-Large for Counter Terrorism
Managing Director, Kissinger Associates
Chairman, National Commission on Terrorism (Bremer Commission)
Member, United States Congressional Advisory Panel to Assess Domestic Response Capabilities for Terrorism Involving Weapons of Mass Destruction (Gilmore Commission)
Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, Marsh Crisis Consulting
9 May 2003 - 28 June 2004
United States Presidential Envoy to Iraq and Administrator of Coalition Provisional Authority
December 2004
Awarded United States Presidenital Medal of Freedom by George W. Bush
Published, My Year in Iraq: The Struggle to Build a Future of Hope, co-authored with Malcolm McConnell
Guide to the L. Paul Bremer III Papers
compiled by Joshua D. Cochran
August 2021

Part of the Manuscripts and Archives Repository

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