Alger Hiss entered government service in 1933, serving in the Departments of Agriculture, Justice and State. In 1944, he was appointed as Special Assistant to the Director of the Office of Special Political Affairs in the United States State Department. That same year he served as the Executive Secretary of the Dumbarton Oaks Conference. Under President Franklin D. Roosevelt's administration, he attended the World War II Yalta Conference of 1945 as an adviser to Roosevelt and later became the Secretary-General to the United Nations Charter Conference in San Francisco. Subsequently, he became the full Director of the Office of Special Political Affairs. In 1946, Mr. Hiss left government service to become the president of the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, a post he served until 1949.
In this series of interviews, Mr. Hiss discusses his involvement with the creation and establishment of the United Nations. The first interview, conducted on 13 February 1990, centres on the actual creation of the United Nations Charter, from the discussions held at Dumbarton Oaks, the Yalta Conference and the Conference in San Francisco. The second interview, conducted on 11 October 1990, continues the previous discussion, touching on the major disagreements between Member States at the San Francisco Conference, including the topic of the Security Council veto, the use of military force and collective security.