Richard A. Falkenrath

Shelby Cullom and Kathryn W. Davis Adjunct Senior Fellow for Counterterrorism and Homeland Security


Foreign policy and U.S. national security affairs; biological, chemical, and nuclear terrorism; critical infrastructure protection; government reorganizations and merging of agencies; intelligence and information sharing; crisis and risk management; cybersecurity.


Roundtable Series on Counterterrorism and Cybersecurity


Richard Falkenrath is Shelby Cullom and Kathryn W. Davis adjunct senior fellow for counterterrorism and homeland security at the Council on Foreign Relations. He is also chief security officer at Bridgewater Associates, an investment manager, where he is responsible for leading implementation of cyber, physical, and staff security strategy. From 2010 to 2014, Falkenrath served as principal of the Chertoff Group, LLC, a security consultancy, advising clients on managing operational and information security risk, and was also a contributing editor to Bloomberg TV, where he commented several times per week on national security, foreign policy, and technology issues.

From 2006 to 2010, Falkenrath served as the New York City Police Department's deputy commissioner for counterterrorism, where he strengthened the city's overall effort to prevent, prepare for, and respond to terrorist attacks. From 2001 to 2004, he held several leadership positions within the White House advising the president and his senior team, including director for proliferation strategy in the National Security Council. After the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, Falkenrath was named special assistant to the president and senior director for policy and plans in the Office of Homeland Security. In January 2003, he was promoted to deputy assistant to the president and deputy homeland security adviser. During his career, he has also worked at Harvard Kennedy School. Falkenrath is a summa cum laude graduate of Occidental College and holds a PhD from the department of war studies at King's College London, where he was a British Marshall scholar.

Featured Publications

All Publications


CFR Events

Meeting ⁄ Washington

Iran: The Nuclear Challenge

Speakers Elliott AbramsSenior Fellow for Middle Eastern Studies, Council on Foreign Relations, Robert DaninEni Enrico Mattei Senior Fellow for Middle East and Africa Studies, Council on Foreign Relations, Richard A. FalkenrathShelby Cullom and Kathryn W. Davis Adjunct Senior Fellow for Counterterrorism and Homeland Security, Council on Foreign Relations
Presider Robert D. BlackwillHenry A. Kissinger Senior Fellow for U.S. Foreign Policy, Council on Foreign Relations; Editor, Iran: The Nuclear Challenge
June 7, 2012 6:00–6:30 p.m. - Dinner Reception
6:30–7:30 p.m. - Meeting

This meeting is on the record.

Read ListenWatch


Video Interview

Digital Age: Could the NYPD Have Prevented the Boston Bombings?

With state-of-the art surveillance cameras, a far larger police force, and a great track record of stopping terrorist plots before they go operational, the New York Police Department would have been well positioned to thwart the Boston tragedy, argues former NYPD Deputy Commissioner for Counterterrorism Richard Falkenrath.


Video Interview

Bo Xilai, Japan Protests: What to Make of China Now

Richard Falkenrath appears on Bloomberg Television's "Market Makers" to speak about protests that erupted in China and Hong Kong as Japanese activists landed on an island in the East China Sea claimed by both countries.


Video Interview

Iran Could Have Bomb in One Year

Richard Falkenrathtalks appears on Bloomberg Televison's "Inside Track" to talk about an agreement by Iran and world powers to hold a new round of talks about the Persian Gulf nation's nuclear program next month after failing to bridge differences during two days of negotiations in Baghdad.


Video Interview

Israeli Strike Could Push U.S. to War with Iran

Richard Falkenrath appears on Bloomberg Television's "Inside Track" to talk about the likelihood of an Israeli military strike against Iranian nuclear sites and how that would precipitate direct U.S. military conflict with Iran.


Video Interview

Deutsche Bank Mail Bomb Triggers Alert to NYC Banks

Richard Falkenrath appears on Bloomberg Television's "Street Smart" to talk about about increased New York police patrols at Deutsche Bank AG locations in the city after the bank received an explosive device at its offices in Germany.