Board Member

Ash Carter

Ash Carter

Director, Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, Harvard Kennedy School

Ash Carter, secretary of defense from 2015-2017, is director of the Belfer Center at the Harvard Kennedy School and an innovation fellow at MIT.

In addition to teaching at leading universities and working in the private sector, Secretary Carter served the Department of Defense, under presidents of both political parties and eleven secretaries of defense, for over thirty-five years. Secretary Carter was assistant secretary of defense for international security policy from 1993 to 1996, under secretary of defense for acquisition, technology and logistics from 2009 to 2011, and deputy secretary from 2011 to 2013.

Secretary Carter earned a BA from Yale University and a PhD in theoretical physics from the University of Oxford as a Rhodes scholar. He is based in Cambridge, MA.

Top Stories on CFR

World Trade Organization (WTO)

WTO members confounded expectations last week by concluding a deal on fisheries subsidies, the first major multilateral agreement in nearly a decade. But the trade body is not out of the woods yet.

Saudi Arabia

The United States and Saudi Arabia both stand to benefit by renewing their central strategic partnership, argue Steven A. Cook and Martin S. Indyk.


David Sacks, research fellow at CFR, sits down with James M. Lindsay to discuss the Biden administration’s strategy toward Taiwan amid growing threats from China.