- 1948 - 1953
- As president of Columbia University, Eisenhower reformed the university budget and increased its enrollment and endowment. He organized the Institute of War and Peace Studies and the American Assembly, “to protect democracy from its enemies.”
- 1951 – 1952
- As the first Supreme Allied Commander, Europe, Eisenhower coordinated responsibilities among European member nations and lobbied successfully for American support of NATO through Congress.
President of the United States
- 1953 – 1961
- Eisenhower’s election in 1952 gave his party both houses of Congress for the first time since 1930. As president he focused on keeping the peace abroad and building prosperity at home. In Europe he supported German rearmament and eased tensions with the Soviet Union over Western access to Berlin. In Asia he brokered a long-lasting truce in Korea and stayed out of Vietnam. In the Middle East he supported Egyptian nationalization of the Suez Canal, against European plans to retake it.
In the United States Eisenhower presided over a decade of stability and prosperity. His administration kept inflation low and the federal budget largely in balance to promote steady economic growth, with high levels of home ownership and low unemployment levels. Eisenhower made long-term strategic investments in national infrastructure through the creation of the Interstate Highway System and formation of the National Air and Space Administration. In 1957 Eisenhower ordered federal troops to Little Rock, Arkansas, to enforce federal-court-ordered desegregation.
In his farewell address of 1961 Eisenhower warned of the “unwarranted influence, whether sought or unsought” of a powerful military-industrial complex produced by a vast and permanent armaments industry. Eisenhower feared that abuse of power in the name of security could endanger American democracy.