Matthew Spence

Matthew Spence

Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for the Middle East
United States Department of Defense

Matt is the principal advisor to the Secretary of Defense for U.S. policy in the Middle East. Before taking up his current post as Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for the Middle East at the U.S. Department of Defense, Matt served as Special Assistant to the President and Senior Director for International Economics on the National Security Council at the White House. He was responsible for coordinating the U.S. government’s economic strategy for countries in transition, including Afghanistan and Pakistan, and other trade and investment issues. Prior to this, Matt was Senior Advisor to the National Security Advisor for both Tom Donilon and General Jim Jones. In that capacity, he traveled with the President to over a dozen countries and briefed and planned visits of the National Security Advisor to China, Afghanistan, Pakistan, India, Saudi Arabia, and the UAE. He prepared the National Security Advisor for daily intelligence briefings with the President and drafted memoranda for the President ranging from the Afghanistan troop deployment decisions and operation against Osama Bin Laden to policy toward the Middle East. Previously, he was a member of the Obama-Biden Transition Project’s National Security Council transition team. He is the co-founder of the Truman National Security Project, a national security leadership development institute based in Washington, DC.

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