The Americans

James A. Baker III

Baker, 60, earned his spurs as President Ronald Reagan's chief of staff from 1981 to 1985, emerging as a smooth, polished political operative and a man able to get results. At State, he has surrounded himself with a small group of aides, and has instant access to the president.

Baker served as commerce undersecretary from 1975-76, and was campaign chairman for George Bush's unsuccessful 1980 bid for the GOP presidential nomination. He was treasury secretary in the second Reagan administration. Baker also ran Bush's general election campaign in 1988. Gen. Colin L. Powell

Powell, 53, the first black to serve as chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, served as President Reagan's national security adviser in the aftermath of the Iran-contra scandal. He briefly headed the Army's Forces Command at Fort McPherson, Ga., before assuming his current position.

Powell also has commanded the 101st Airborne Division, the U.S. Army's V Corps in Germany and was Defense Secretary Caspar W. Weinberger's senior military assistant. John H. Sununu

The 50-year-old chief of staff is a politician, not a foreign policy expert, and his involvement in the issues leading up to the summit has been minimal. A former governor of New Hampshire and key adviser in Bush's 1988 presidential campaign, Sununu is the president's main adviser and implementer on domestic issues and the domestic political impact of foreign policy issues. He also is the conservatives' man in the White House. Richard B. Cheney

The 49-year-old Cheney was selected to run the Pentagon after 10 years in the House of Representatives where he amassed one of the most conservative voting records on Capitol Hill. The Wyoming representative also served as House Republican Whip. As defense secretary, he has taken a stiff stand against congressional pressure for deep cuts in military spending, and has repeatedly warned that the United States must keep its defenses strong despite political changes in Eastern Europe and the USSR. Brent Scowcroft

The president's national security adviser, 65, has served the last three Republican presidents and was Bush's touchstone on foreign policy and national security issues in the 1988 presidential campaign. A graduate of the U.S. Military Academy, Scowcoft held the same post he now holds in the Ford administration. He is one of Bush's closest counselors, at his elbow constantly when he is not down the White House hall in his West Wing office. THE SOVIETS

Marshal Sergei Akhromeyev

Akhromeyev, 67, joined the Soviet Army in 1940 at the age of 17. He was a chief in the Defense Ministry from 1974 to 1979, first deputy chief of general staff of the armed forces from 1979 to 1984 and chief of staff from 1984 to 1988. Akhromeyev, the most accessible of the key Soviet leaders, is now Gorbachev's personal military adviser. In recent months, he has battled in the press against cutting the military budget "too deeply" and has dismissed Soviet and Western anxieties about a possible military coup as "plain nonsense." Anatoli Dobrynin

Dobrynin, 70, joined the diplomatic service in 1946. He was counselor and later minister-counselor at the Soviet Embassy in Washington from 1952 to 1955. From 1962 to 1986 he was the Soviet ambassador to the United States and was known for his ability to circulate easily in Washington society. Since his return to Moscow, Dobrynin's influence has been diminished, but he is considered a valuable source and has been an adviser to Gorbachev on American affairs. Eduard Shevardnadze

The 62-year-old Shevardnadze was born in the republic of Georgia. He served as Georgian party leader from 1972 to 1985 and was known there for battling widespread corruption. He also is the first Georgian since the death of Stalin to become a full member of the Politburo. In July 1985 he replaced Andrei Gromyko as minister of foreign affairs and has been one of the architects of the "new thinking" in Soviet foreign policy. With Alexander Yakovlev, Shevardnadze is considered Gorbachev's closest ally in the leadership. Yevgeny Primakov

Primakov, 60, worked for the State Commission on Broadcasting and Television from 1953 to 1962, as a columnist and deputy editor for Pravda from 1962 to 1970. Before Gorbachev's rise to power in 1985, Primakov helped write a comprehensive study of world politics that influenced Gorbachev's thinking on foreign policy. A member of the Central Committee since 1989, Primakov is a foreign policy specialist on Egypt and other Arab countries. He is also a member of the Presidential Council, made up of Gorbachev's closest advisers. Alexander Bessmertnykh

The 56-year-old Bessmertnykh was born in Siberia and graduated from the Moscow State Institute of International Relations. He has worked in the Soviet Foreign Ministry system since 1957, serving in the Soviet Embassy in Washington from 1970 to 1983. He speaks fluent English and has participated in nearly all U.S.-Soviet summits and foreign ministerial meetings since 1983. Bessmertnykh was named ambassador to the United States last month and is considered in Moscow to be a sharper analyst of American politics than his predecessor, Yuri Dubinin.