A trustee of The Carnegie Endowment for International Peace and trustee emeritus of Tufts University, he serves on the boards of the Columbia University School of International and Public Affairs, the James A. Baker III Institute for Public Policy, the Thomas J. Watson Jr. Institute for International Studies at Brown University, and The Nixon Center. Gelb is an advisory member for the Center for Press, Politics and Public Policy at Harvard University's John F. Kennedy School of Government. He is also a member of the International Institute for Strategic Studies, The Trilateral Commission, and he is a fellow at the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.
Leslie Gelb is the recipient of several distinguished awards including the Pulitzer Prize for Explanatory Journalism, the State Department's Distinguished Honor Award, and the Pentagon's Distinguished Service Award. He served as an assistant secretary of state in the Carter Administration, as director of the Pentagon Papers Project, and as executive assistant to U. S. Senator Jacob Javits.
Gelb is the author of several books, including Anglo-American Relations, Toward a Theory of Alliances, The Unmaking of American Foreign Policy, Claiming the Heavens (Star Wars), and co-author of The Irony of Vietnam: The System Worked, Our Own Worst Enemy. He received a Ph.D. degree from Harvard University and lives in New York City with his wife, Judith Cohen. The father of three children, he received the Father of the Year Award in 1993.