Rare Book & Manuscript Library
 

Joseph Elliott Slater papers, 1929-1996, bulk 1940-1996

Summary Information

Abstract

Joseph Elliot Slater was an American economist, internationalist and intellectual entrepreneur born in 1922. He died in 2002 of Parkinson's disease. Over the course of his lifetime, Slater was involved in a number of corporations, institutes, and government committees. From 1944-1954 he held a number of crucial post-war positions related to the denazification of Germany and the Allied High Commission. Throughout the twentieth century he worked as an economist and director of international affairs at a number of corporations including Creole Petroleum, the Ford Foundation and Volvo North America. While at the Ford Foundation Slater went on two details to work for the Executive Branch; first, as the Secretary for President Eisenhower's Commision on Foreign Assistance (the Draper Committee), and second, as the Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Education and Cultural Affairs during the Kennedy administration. Slater served as the President and the CEO of the Salk Institute from 1967-1972 and held the same positions at the Aspen Institute for Humanistic Studies from 1969-1986. After leaving the Aspen Institute, Slater served as the Chairman of the John J. McCloy International Center. In the final decade of his life Slater served as a trustee and member of the board of directors for a number of organizations related to education, science, the arts, and foreign relations. The material in this collection includes files and items from all of these eras of Slater's professional life. While much of this collection is related to Slater's various professional roles, there are personal files interspersed throughout the collection.

At a Glance

Call No.: MS#1667
Bib ID 6914999 View CLIO record
Creator(s) Slater, Joseph E ; McCloy, John J (John Jay), 1895-1989 ; Anderson, Robert O., 1917-2007
Title Joseph Elliott Slater papers, 1929-1996, bulk 1940-1996
Physical Description 29.5 linear feet (29 record storage cartons, 1 oversized box (#30))
Language(s) English , German , Spanish; Castilian .
Access You will need to make an appointment in advance to use this collection material in the Rare Book and Manuscript Library reading room. You can schedule an appointment once you've submitted your request through your Special Collections Research Account.

This collection is located off-site. You will need to request this material at least three business days in advance to use the collection in the Rare Book and Manuscript Library reading room.

This collection has no restrictions.

Box 30 is located on-site.

Arrangement

Arrangement

This collection is arranged in 12 series.

Description

Scope and Contents

The collection contains the papers of Joseph Elliot Slater and in the main, relates to Slater's professional career, as represented in Series II-XI. The series are arranged chronologically and correspond to the institutions that Slater worked for or directed throughout his life. There is a small first series related to Slater's college years and naval experience, as well as a final miscellaneous series. Before processing, Slater's personal files were wholly interspersed with his professional papers. This collection maintains that structure, with minimal separation of the professional and the personal. These files primarily range in date from 1940-1996. The files include correspondence, newspaper clippings, material published by the institutions he worked for, collected literature, drafts, meeting minutes, and oral history material for John J. McCloy and Robert O. Anderson. One sub-series is dedicated to Robert O. Anderson, the founder of Atlantic Richfield Company and a Chairman of the Aspen Institute for Humanistic Studies.

  • Series I: College and Navy

    Series I: "College and Navy" consists of the material related to Joseph E. Slater's college career and time in the US navy. This includes his college transcripts, naval records from and following WWII, and his passport from the time.

  • Series II: Germany and the Allied High Commission

    Series II: "Germany and the Allied High Commission" contains files related to Slater's time in post-war Europe. This includes correspondence and papers from his time with the Allied Control Council and the Allied High Commission. This series also includes directories and manuals from the Allied High Commission, reports on Berlin, military posters, laws, regulations, and directives for the Allied High Commission, publications produced by the commission and collected newspaper clippings and magazines. The compiled magazines include copies of the State Department Bulletin, Information Bulletin, and Time Magazine. The series also contains files related to Slater's work for NATO and the OEEC under the Marshall Plan. Slater's personal documents and correspondence are also interspersed throughout this series, as is the case in every series. One oversized poster and one map of Europe are held in an oversized item folder external to the boxes in this series.

  • Series III: Creole Petroleum Corporation

    Series III: "Creole Petroleum Corporation" contains files related to Slater's time in Venezuela as the Chief Economist of the Creole Petroleum Corporation and the Executive Director of Fundación Creole (the Creole Foundation) from 1954-1959.

  • Series: IV: Ford Foundation

    Series IV: "Ford Foundation" houses files related to the Ford Foundation's International Affairs Program. These files include a Ford Foundation oral history project, annual reports, correspondence, Ford Foundation directives and terms of reference, and policy, program, and operational directives for the 1960s. Slater's office files from his time at the foundation are also included in this series, as are papers delivered at The King Baudouin Foundation conference on the Ford Foundation. Ford Foundation directives and terms of reference, and policy, program, and operational directives for the 1960s were all originally bound, but have been removed from their bindings due to rust. The labels for this material are identical to the titles of the bound manuscripts.

  • Series V: The Draper Committee

    Series V: "The Draper Committee" includes documents related to Slater's time as the Secretary of President Eisenhower's Commission on Foreign Assistance. These files include correspondence between Slater and members of the committee, specifically William H. Draper (who headed the committee), and meeting minutes. The composite report from the committee as well as a supplement are also included in this series.

  • Series VI: Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs

    Series VI: "Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs" contains material from Slater's time as the Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Education and Cultural Affairs under President Kennedy from 1961-1962. He remained a consultant for the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs from 1961-1968. These files include the Report of Working Group on Education in Medicine and Related Fields in Latin America, Africa, and Asia, Slater's agenda from the time, and correspondence related to the bureau. This series also contains other material related to John F. Kennedy's presidency, including files on the space program and the Development Loan Fund. Personal material here includes invitations from the White House.

  • Series VII: The Salk Institute for Biological Studies

    Series VII: "The Salk Institute for Biological Studies" houses material related to Slater's time as President and CEO of The Salk Institute for Biological Studies from 1967-1972. This includes files on the Salk Institute's finances, meeting minutes, and correspondence related to Slater's role and resignation. This series also contains later Salk Institute material from Slater's time as a lifetime trustee.

  • Series VIII: The Aspen Institute for Humanistic Studies

    Series VIII: "The Aspen Institute for Humanistic Studies" holds material related to the Aspen Institute for Humanistic Studies, of which Slater was the President and CEO from 1969-1986. Also contains files related to Aspen Berlin and correspondence between Slater and Robert O. Anderson. There is additional oral history material for Robert O. Anderson housed in this series.

  • Series IX: John J. McCloy International Center

    Series IX: "John J. McCloy International Center" includes an oral history with John J. McCloy as well as material related to the John J. McCloy International Center from Slater's time as the Chairman of the center from 1986 onward.

  • Series X: Volvo North America

    Series X: "Volvo North America" contains material related to Slater's position as the Director of Volvo's Public Issues Review Committee, the Volvo-Renault merger, and Pehr Gyllenhammar, the former CEO and Chairman of Volvo.

  • Series XI: Later Life

    Series XI: "Later life" contains material from the final years of Joseph E. Slater's life. During this time he was a board member and trustee of a number of organizations and societies. These organizations may be divided into a number of subcategories: education, music and the arts, science and medicine, and foreign affairs. These organizations include the Native American Preparatory Academy, the National Academy of Engineering, the Southampton School of Music, the European Mozart foundation, the American Council on Germany, and the European Roundtable, to name a few. This series also includes correspondence between Slater and individuals, including a number of artists whom Slater recommended for fellowships and awards. These artists include the modern dancer Erick Hawkins, the artist Denise Carvalho, and the filmmaker Rohesia Hamilton Metcalfe, along with others. The series also includes correspondence between Slater and various politicians and government officials including John Brademas, Clifton R. Wharton, and John W. Gardner. This series contains a sizable amount of material related to the President's Circle, the Century Club, the Eisenhower Exchange Fellowship and the Institute for East-West Dynamics.

  • Series XII: Miscellaneous

    Series XII: "Miscellaneous" contains miscellaneous collected and personal items including yearbooks, books, artwork, and a copy of Jazzworks.

Using the Collection

Rare Book and Manuscript Library

Restrictions on Access

You will need to make an appointment in advance to use this collection material in the Rare Book and Manuscript Library reading room. You can schedule an appointment once you've submitted your request through your Special Collections Research Account.

This collection is located off-site. You will need to request this material at least three business days in advance to use the collection in the Rare Book and Manuscript Library reading room.

This collection has no restrictions.

Box 30 is located on-site.

Terms Governing Use and Reproduction

Single photocopies may be made for research purposes. The RBML maintains ownership of the physical material only. Copyright remains with the creator and his/her heirs. The responsibility to secure copyright permission rests with the patron.

Preferred Citation

Identification of specific item; Date (if known); Joseph Elliott Slater Papers; Box and Folder; Rare Book and Manuscript Library, Columbia University Library.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

There is no accession record on file for the Joseph Elliot Slater Papers, although they were received in 2000 and there is record of Joseph Slater communicating with Jean Ashton, then Director of the Rare Book and Manuscript library, about donating his papers to Columbia in February, 2000.

About the Finding Aid / Processing Information

Columbia University Libraries, Rare Book and Manuscript Library

Processing Information

This collection was processed by Evelyn MacPherson (GSAS). Finding aid written by Evelyn MacPherson in August 2022.

Subject Headings

The subject headings listed below are found in this collection. Links below allow searches at Columbia University through the Archival Collections Portal and through CLIO, the catalog for Columbia University Libraries, as well as ArchiveGRID, a catalog that allows users to search the holdings of multiple research libraries and archives.

All links open new windows.

Subject

Heading "CUL Archives:"
"Portal"
"CUL Collections:"
"CLIO"
"Nat'l / Int'l Archives:"
"ArchivedGRID"
Allied High Commission for Germany Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Aspen Institute Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Aspen Institute Berlin Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Creole Foundation Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Creole Petroleum Corporation Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Economics Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Economists Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Eisenhower fellowships Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Ford Foundation Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Fundación Creole Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Germany (Territory under Allied occupation, 1945-1955). Control Council Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Germany -- History -- 1945-1955 Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
North Atlantic Treaty Organization Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Organisation for European Economic Co-operation Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Salk Institute for Biological Studies Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Standard Oil Company Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Volvo North America Corp. Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID

History / Biographical Note

Biographical / Historical

Joseph Elliot Slater was born in Salt Lake City Utah on August 17, 1922. He attended University of California at Berkeley where he graduated Phi Beta Kappa with honors. During World War II, Slater served as a Lieutenant in the US Navy while attending Harvard Business School. Slater is considered a figure in the denazification of Germany and from 1944-1954 he held a number of positions related to Post-War Germany and Europe. From 1945-1948 Slater served as the U.S. Secretary of Economics Directorate and the Assistant U.S. Secretary of Economic and Financial Affairs for the Quadripartite Allied Control Council in Berlin, which ruled Germany after its defeat. In 1949 Slater left the Council to work for the State Department during the founding of the United Nations. He soon returned to Germany to serve as the Secretary-General of the Allied High Commission for Germany under John J. McCloy. While in Germany, Joseph Slater met Annelore Kremser, whom he married. In 1952, the couple moved to Paris, where Slater worked as the executive secretary in the office of the United States representatives to North American Trade Organization (NATO) and the Organization for European Economic Cooperation (OEEC), per the Marshall Plan.

Throughout the twentieth century Joseph E. Slater worked as an economist and directed international affairs efforts at a number of corporations. During his tenure as the Chief Economist at Creole Petroleum, a subsidiary of Standard Oil of N.J., Slater founded and became the Executive Director of Fundación Creole (the Creole Foundation). Through this foundation Slater aimed to make Creole Petroleum a good corporate citizen that allocated funds to education and cultural endeavors in Venezuela. During his time at both the Ford Foundation and Volvo North America, Slater remained interested in public relations and the role of the corporation in international affairs. Slater served as the Director of the Ford Foundation's International Affairs Program and Volvo's Public Issues Review Committee, respectively.

While at the Ford Foundation Slater spent time in Washington DC, working under Presidents Eisenhower and Kennedy. He was the Secretary for President Eisenhower's Commision on Foreign Assistance, also known as the Draper Committee, a non-partisan committee focused on the military assistance outlined in the 1949 Mutual Defense Assistance Act. From 1960-1961 Joseph E. Slater was the Assistant Managing Director of the Development Loan Fund while serving as a member of the President's Development Assistance Panel. Also during John F. Kennedy's presidency, Slater was the Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Education and Cultural Affairs. Slater remained as a consultant to the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs from 1951-1968. During this time he wrote a blueprint for what would become the Peace Corps.

Slater served as the President and the CEO of the Salk Institute from 1967-1972 and held the same positions at the Aspen Institute for Humanistic Studies from 1969-1986. Slater, along with Robert O. Anderson, helped make the Aspen Institute a crucial location for East-West relations and global communication. Slater ultimately oversaw the creation of an Aspen Institute Berlin and additional branches in France, Italy, Japan and South Korea. Slater is described throughout Sidney Hyman's book The Aspen Idea as a pivotal figure in the transformation of the organization into a global presence. After leaving the Aspen Institute, Slater served as the Chairman of the John J. McCloy International Center. In the final decade of his life Slater served as a trustee and member of the board of directors for a number of organizations related to education, science, the arts, and foreign relations. The organizations ranged from the Eisenhower Exchange Fellowship and the President's Circle of the National Academy of Sciences, to the Cleveland School of Music's "Pianofest."

Slater spent the final decades of his life in New York City, where he and his wife lived in 870 United Nations Plaza, a building famous for its internationally famous residents including Walter Cronkite and Truman Capote. Joseph and Annelore, who was subsequently referred to as Anne Slater, had two daughters, Sandra and Bonnie. Slater died in 2002.