Richard Norman Perle (born 16 September 1941 in New York City) is an American political advisor and lobbyist who worked for the Reagan administration as an assistant Secretary of Defense and worked on the Defense Policy Board Advisory Committee from 1987 to 2004. He was Chairman of the Board from 2001 to 2003 under the Bush Administration.
He is a member of several think-tanks, such as the Hudson Institute, the Washington Institute for Near East Policy (WINEP) Board of Advisors, the Center for Security Policy (CSP), and (as a resident fellow) the American Enterprise Institute for Public Policy Research, as well as the neoconservative Project for the New American Century (PNAC) and the Jewish Institute for National Security Affairs (JINSA). He is also a Patron of the Henry Jackson Society. Perle has written extensively on a number of issues; his cited research interests including defense, national security, and the Middle East. Aside from these engagements, Perle is the former co-chairman and director of Hollinger, Inc., a partner of Trireme Partners and a non-executive director of Autonomy.
Perle was born in New York to a Jewish family. His family moved to California, and Perle attended Hollywood High School in Los Angeles (his classmates included actor Mike Farrell and singer Ricky Nelson) and later, the University of Southern California, earning a B.A. in International Politics in 1964. As an undergraduate he studied in Copenhagen at Denmark's International Study Program. He also studied at the London School of Economics and obtained a M.A. in political science from Princeton University in 1967.