Harvard Kennedy School Deepens Impact on Defense Policy in D.C.

December 14, 2011
By Sharon Wilke, Belfer Center

Harvard Kennedy School's Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs is keeping up its impressive track record of sending Center affiliates to take up senior positions in the federal government. This fall, two Center veterans were tapped for jobs that are among the most challenging in the Department of Defense.

Ashton B. Carter was sworn in on October 6 as deputy secretary of defense, the second highest-ranking official in the Pentagon. Unanimously confirmed by the U.S. Senate for the position, Carter had served since 2009 as under secretary of defense for acquisition, technology and logistics. Previously, he was co director of the Belfer Center’s Preventive Defense Project and he was director of the Center from 1990-1993. He is on leave from the Belfer Center Board of Directors.

In September, Eric Rosenbach, who served as executive director for research in the Belfer Center from 2007 to 2010 and taught cyber terrorism classes at Harvard Kennedy School, was appointed deputy assistant secretary of defense for cyber policy. Rosenbach, a veteran Army intelligence officer who served on the staff of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, was most recently in a senior position with Good Harbor Consulting, a leading consulting firm on cybersecurity and related issues founded by Richard Clarke— himself a former top White House official who lectures at the Kennedy School and is a Belfer Center faculty affiliate.

In his new role, Carter’s responsibilities include identifying and carrying out billions of dollars in defense cuts mandated by Congress in a budget deal agreed upon this summer to reduce the projected federal deficit. Rosenbach, working within the Office of the Assistant Secretary of Defense for Global Strategic Affairs, is tasked with overseeing efforts to develop and install cyber-related policies, strategies, and plans.

Commenting on Carter’s appointment, Belfer Center Director Graham Allison said, “As under secretary for acquisition, Ash has been in the middle of the toughest calls about the future of the greatest military in the world. With budgets shrinking, his challenges will be even more severe. But he’s the right man for the right job at the right time.”

Regarding Rosenbach, Allison said, “Eric is a tremendous leader who brings extensive cybersecurity policy and technical experience to his new job as DASD for Cyber Policy. At a time when our country’s cybersecurity challenges demand great leadership, Eric will be a major asset to DoD and the national security community.”

Ashton B. Carter (left) is sworn in as the 31st deputy secretary of defense by Jeh C. Johnson, Department of Defense general counsel, while Carter’s wife, Stephanie, holds the Bible.

Photo Credit: Department of Defense

"[Ashton Carter] is the right man for the right job at the right time,” said Belfer Center Director Graham Allison.

In September, Eric Rosenbach, who served as executive director for research in the Belfer Center from 2007 to 2010 was appointed deputy assistant secretary of defense for cyber policy.


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