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Cambridge, MA – Tom Donilon, National Security Advisor to President Obama from 2010 until last month, is joining Harvard Kennedy School’s Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs as a non-resident Senior Fellow.
Belfer Center Director Graham Allison said Donilon would bring to the Kennedy School a wealth of experience in national security strategy and foreign policy issues. Allison said, “Tom has been at the center of every major national security decision in the Obama administration from the surge and then drawdown in Afghanistan to the rebalance toward Asia and elimination of Osama bin Laden. For Harvard faculty, fellows, and students, he will be a great colleague and instructor. He will also be an asset across the agenda of the Belfer Center from Iran and North Korea to international initiatives to address challenges of energy and the environment.”
Donilon, whose responsibilities as National Security Advisor included overseeing the National Security Council staff and chairing the Cabinet-level National Security Principals Committee, provided the President's daily national security briefing and was responsible for the coordination and integration of the administration's foreign policy, intelligence, and military efforts.
In his June announcement of Donilon’s departure, President Obama said, “Tom is that rare combination of the strategic and the tactical. He has a strategic sense of where we need to go, and he has a tactical sense of how to get there.” Donilon, he said, helped shape all of his national security policies – “from forging a new national security strategy rooted in our economic strength here at home to ending the war in Iraq.” Also, Obama noted, “Tom oversaw the operation that led us to bin Laden.” He added, “I'm especially appreciative to Tom for helping us renew American leadership in the Asia Pacific, where so much of our future security and prosperity will be shaped.”
Prior to his appointment as National Security Advisor, Donilon served as Assistant to the President and Principal Deputy National Security Advisor. In that role, he was responsible for managing the U.S. government's national security policy development and crisis management process. He has worked closely with and advised three U.S. presidents beginning in 1977 with President Carter. During the Clinton administration, he served as Assistant Secretary of State and Chief of Staff at the U.S. Department of State. In that capacity, he was responsible for the development and implementation of the Department’s major policy initiatives, including the NATO expansion, the Dayton Peace Accords, and the Middle East Peace process. Before his government service, Donilon was a partner at the international law firm O'Melveny & Myers.
Donilon has received the Secretary of State's Distinguished Service Award, the National Intelligence Distinguished Public Service Medal, the Department of Defense Medal for Distinguished Public Service, the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Joint Distinguished Civilian Service Award, and the CIA's Director's Award.
Donilon received his undergraduate degree from Catholic University and his law degree from the University of Virginia.