Eric Edelman

Practitioner Senior Fellow

Fast Facts

  • Career minister in the U.S. Foreign Service
  • Undersecretary of defense for policy in the George W. Bush Administration
  • Ambassador to Finland and Turkey
  • Recipient of Department of Defense Medal for Distinguished Public Service
  • Expertise on defense policy, nuclear policy and proliferation, diplomacy

Areas Of Expertise

  • Foreign Affairs
  • American Defense and Security
  • War and Terrorism

Eric Edelman, Anne C. Strickler Practitioner Senior Fellow, retired as a career minister from the U.S. Foreign Service in 2009, after having served in senior positions at the Departments of State and Defense as well as the White House. As the undersecretary of defense for policy (2005-2009), he oversaw strategy development as the Defense Department’s senior policy official with global responsibility for bilateral defense relations, war plans, special operations forces, homeland defense, missile defense, nuclear weapons and arms control policies, counter-proliferation, counter-narcotics, counter-terrorism, arms sales, and defense trade controls. Edelman served as U.S. ambassador to the Republics of Finland and Turkey in the Clinton and George W. Bush Administrations and was principal deputy assistant to Vice President Dick Cheney for national security affairs. Edelman has been awarded the Department of Defense Medal for Distinguished Public Service, the Presidential Distinguished Service Award, and several Department of State Superior Honor Awards. In January of 2011 he was awarded the Legion d’Honneur by the French government. In 2016, he served as the James R. Schlesinger Distinguished Professor at the Miller Center.

Eric Edelman News Feed

Qne thing is clear: The Iran deal will be at the center of the political and policy debates over the months, and probably years, to come.
The Dispatch
In a conversation with Tom van der Voort, Miller Center Senior Fellow Eric Edelman, a former U.S. Ambassador to both Turkey and Finland, says President Biden has set the right tone in foreign policy, but faces a number of challenges to real progress
Retired Gen. Lloyd Austin’s nomination to become the nation’s 28th secretary of defense is an important historical milestone marking the first appointment of an African American to the position. Given his accomplishments, and considering that we’re in a moment when white nationalist and racist forces are attacking our democracy, it is easy to see the appeal of a swift confirmation. That said, his Senate confirmation requires a second, related action from Congress: to waive a long-standing law that prohibits former military officers from serving as secretary unless seven years have passed since their retirement. Both chambers approved a waiver on Thursday, paving the way for his confirmation. This approach leaves the law and our republic’s longstanding principle of civilian control over the military severely wounded.
Eric Edelman The Dispatch
Senior Fellow Eric Edelman is interviewed about the attack on the Capitol.
Eric Edelman The Bulwark Podcast
On today’s Bulwark podcast, Ambassador Eric Edelman joins Charlie Sykes to talk about how the open letter from all living Secretaries of Defense about involving the military in election disputes came to be.
Eric Edelman The Bulwark Podcast
The article brings together a group of Republicans and Democrats who disagree on many national security issues. Its genesis is a conversation between Eric Edelman, a former U.S. ambassador and defense official, and former vice president and defense secretary Richard B. Cheney about how the military might be used in coming days, Edelman said in an interview.
Eric Edelman The Washington Post