Harold Brown served as Secretary of Defense from 1977-1981. He was the first scientist to become Secretary of Defense. Prior, he served as the Director of Defense Research and Engineering as well as the Secretary of the Air Force. He also was the president of the California Institute of Technology. As Secretary of Defense, he set the groundwork for the Camp David Accords. He worked hard at strengthening NATO as it viewed it as a key national security objective. He also built relationships with U.S. allies outside of NATO, specifically Japan and Korea. Brown visited China in 1979, laying the groundwork for limited collaboration on security issues. He was a strong advocate for the SALT II treaty which would have limited the United States and the Soviet Union to a specific number of nuclear weapons. He was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 1981.
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