Henry D. Owen served at the United States Department of State as the director of policy planning from 1966 to 1969. He began serving on the State Department's policy planning staff beginning in 1952. Additionally, he served on the United States National Security Council as the ambassador-at-large for economic security affairs from 1977 to 1981.
Outside of his government service, Owen was director of the Brookings Institution and a member of the American Academy of Diplomacy, Council on Foreign Relations, and Trilateral Commission.
From 1942 to 1946 he served in the United States Navy.
He held a bachelor's degree from Harvard University.