Richard Edgar Pipes (born July 11, 1923) is a Polish-American academic who specializes in Russian history, particularly with respect to the Soviet Union, who espoused a strong anti-communist point of view throughout his career. In 1976 he headed Team B, a team of analysts organized by the Central Intelligence Agency who analyzed the strategic capacities and goals of the Soviet military and political leadership.
Pipes was born to a Jewish family in Cieszyn, Poland, who fled the country as refugees after it was invaded by Nazi Germany. Settling in the United States in 1940, he became a naturalized citizen in 1943 while serving in the United States Army Air Corps. From 1958 to 1996, Pipes worked at Harvard University.
Pipes taught at Harvard University from 1958 until his retirement in 1996. He was the director of Harvard's Russian Research Center from 1968 to 1973 and is now Baird Professor Emeritus of History at Harvard University. In 1962 he delivered a series of lectures on Russian intellectual history at Leningrad State University. He acted as senior consultant at the Stanford Research Institute from 1973 to 1978. During the 1970s, he was an advisor to Washington Senator Henry M. Jackson. In 1981 and 1982 he served as a member of the National Security Council, holding the post of Director of East European and Soviet Affairs under President Ronald Reagan. Pipes was a member of the Committee on the Present Danger from 1977 until 1992 and belongs to the Council of Foreign Relations. In the 1970s, Pipes was a leading critic of détente, which he described as "inspired by intellectual indolence and based on ignorance of one's antagonist and therefore inherently inept".
Pipes has written many books on Russian history, including Russia under the Old Regime (1974), The Russian Revolution (1990), and Russia Under the Bolshevik Regime (1994), and has been a frequent interviewee in the press on the matters of Soviet history and foreign affairs. His writings also appear in Commentary, The New York Times, and The Times Literary Supplement. At Harvard, he taught large courses on Imperial Russia as well as the Russian Revolution and guided over 80 graduate students to their PhD's.