Richard Newton Gardner (born July 9, 1927 in New York) served as the United States Ambassador to Spain and the United States Ambassador to Italy. He is currently a professor emeritus of law at Columbia Law School.
Gardner attended Harvard, where he received an A.B. in economics in 1948. He attended Yale Law School, where he was the Note Editor for the Yale Law Journal. After graduating from Yale in 1951, Gardner was a Rhodes Scholar, and received his Doctorate in economics from Oxford University in 1954.
Gardner practiced law for three years in New York after finishing his doctorate at Oxford. He joined the Columbia faculty in 1957; he taught at Columbia until his retirement in 2012. Gardner was appointed by President Kennedy as the Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for International Organization Affairs in 1961, a position he held until 1965, when he was appointed by President Johnson as a senior adviser to the United States Ambassador to the United Nations. After a year with the U.N., he served as a member of the President's Commission on International Trade and Investment Policy from 1970 to 1971. He served in various advisory positions in the U.N..
In 1977, he was appointed by President Carter as U.S. Ambassador to Italy, a position he held until 1981. President Clinton appointed Gardner as U.S. Ambassador to Spain, from 1993 to 1997. In 2000, he was a U.S. Public Delegate to the 55th U.N. General Assembly. He was a member of the Trilateral Commission from 1974 to 2005.