Henry Haviland, foreign policy expert at Fletcher School

Henry Haviland also taught at Haverford College.
1968 file
Henry Haviland also taught at Haverford College.

Stationed in the Pacific theater during World War II, Henry Field Haviland Jr. was aboard the USS Chase in 1944 when a kamikaze pilot just missed hitting the ship, exploding in the water nearby.

He survived and two years later returned to Harvard College, from which he had graduated before enlisting, to pursue graduate studies in what would become his life’s passion: political science.

“Like thousands of others, I returned from the war determined to find something more fascinating to do than simply make money — although that still has its attractions — and, in the process, I wanted to remake the world,” he wrote in the 25th anniversary report of his Harvard class.


Dr. Haviland, who taught for 18 years at the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University, died of pneumonia Jan. 5 in Emerson Hospital in Concord. He was 93 and formerly lived in Cambridge.

Get Today's Headlines in your inbox:
The day's top stories delivered every morning.
Thank you for signing up! Sign up for more newsletters here

“I was born ahead of my time,” he wrote in the class report. “I should have waited for the Peace Corps.”

Instead, he added, he depended on the war “to liberate me from a fairly traditional Northeast American way of life and douse me in the outside world. Life was never the same again.”

After graduating from Harvard in 1950 with a doctorate in political science, he was offered teaching positions at Princeton University and Haverford College, a small, liberal arts school near Philadelphia founded by Quakers.

Having been raised a Quaker, Dr. Haviland chose Haverford, where he worked on a report on executive-legislative relations for the Hoover Commission with Daniel Cheever, who had been an assistant to Alger Hiss at the writing of the charter for the United Nations.


He and Cheever hit it off, and the two collaborated on Dr. Haviland’s second and third books, including “Organizing for Peace,” which assessed organizations in world affairs.

In 1955, when Dr. Haviland was 36, Haverford’s governing board offered him the presidency of the college. He turned down the offer because of the college’s pacifist stance.

“My father declined the job because even though he strongly felt that the war should not be normal go-to policy of the nation in furthering its foreign policy goals, he did feel that when someone like Adolf Hitler comes along that force is unavoidable,” his son Mark of Vlodrop, Holland, wrote in a eulogy.

“It is quite ironic that a man like Dad who dedicated his life to furthering the cause of world peace would refuse such a desirable position because he wasn’t 100 percent pacifist,” Mark Haviland said.

Dr. Haviland grew up in New Jersey and attended high school in East Orange, where he was editor of the school newspaper and graduated first in his class.


In 1947, he married Barbara Briggs, with whom he raised three children. Mrs. Haviland died in 2008.

Dr. Haviland left Haverford in 1956 to work at the Brookings Institution in Washington. In May 1960, he was named the director of foreign policy studies, and he paid particular attention to examining the underdeveloped countries of the Communist bloc.

With Cheever, Dr. Haviland published two books on foreign policy and political science. The two scholars and their families also vacationed together, with the Havilands visiting the Cheever summer home in Wareham for annual family clambakes and to play tennis and relax by the fire.

In 1958, the Havilands built a vacation home at New Hampshire’s Squam Lake, which became a retreat from the concerns of Washington. Dr. Haviland helped launch a tennis club there after a group of families paid to build a small clay court off the family’s driveway in a grove of birch trees.

In Washington, meanwhile, Dr. Haviland announced his opposition to the Vietnam War by 1964, long before most of his colleagues, his son said in the eulogy.

After 12 years at Brookings, Dr. Haviland moved back to Cambridge, when he began teaching at the Fletcher School.

“In the welter of problems called ‘international relations,’ I struggle with matters of international organization and civic development in the less developed nations, i.e., those even less developed than the United States,” he wrote in 30th anniversary report of his Harvard class.

In 1984, Dr. Haviland retired from the Fletcher School, and his outspoken nature landed him on a list of prominent US citizens flagged as unsuitable to be agency-sponsored speakers abroad, his son Mark recounted. The list, whose existence was reported by the media, was prepared by the US Information Agency during President Reagan’s first term.

On the list were many who often were at odds with the Reagan’s administration’s foreign policy, including consumer advocate Ralph Nader and former CIA director Stansfield Turner.

Dr. Haviland, his son said, was listed between Gary Hart, a former senator from Colorado, and Coretta Scott King, the widow of the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr.

Mark Haviland said his father was delighted when he read in the morning newspaper that he was on the list.

A service has been held for Dr. Haviland, who in addition to his son leaves a daughter, Deborah of Sebastopol, Calif.; another son, Stewart of Acton; and two grandchildren.

In retirement, Dr. Haviland and his wife spent their time between their Squam Lake and Cambridge residences, until moving to Newbury Court, an assisted-living facility in Concord.

In the 50th anniversary report of his Harvard class, he reminisced about what he had learned while studying political policy and human nature.

“Despite widespread ignorance, poverty, greed, hatred, and violence, mankind has made considerable progress: a more civilized level of behavior in more countries, the Gorbachev revolution, and increased communications and operation among more and less developed nations,” Dr. Haviland wrote.

“Yet, even in our own privileged country, we have every kind of problem afflicting our society but insufficient understanding, compassion, and action to cope adequately.”

Lauren Dezenski can be reached at