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, 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

On the 20th anniversary of the September 11 attacks, the 2021 Ambassador William C. Battle Symposium explores its impact on the United States at home and in the world. Drawing on expertise from scholars, practitioners, and journalists, this conference examines the history of this era with an eye toward its implications for the future.
Eric Edelman Miller Center Presents
Biden's Afghanistan withdrawal exposes a deficiency that will only embolden adversaries
Eric Edelman and Robert Joseph The Dispatch
Ambassador Eric Edelman was Under Secretary of Defense for Policy in the George W. Bush administration and served as the U.S. ambassador to Turkey and Finland. A strident critic of former President Donald Trump, he is among the foremost voices of the “Never Trump” movement. In a wide-ranging conversation, Ambassador Edelman and Yascha Mounk discuss the trajectory of the Republican party and Donald Trump’s political future, Turkey’s illiberal slide under President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, and the fragility of democratic norms worldwide.
Eric Edelman Persuasion Podcast
Senior Fellow Eric Edelman is interviewed on "Conversations with Bill Kristol"
Eric Edelman Conversations with Bill Kristol
On today's podcast, Ambassador Eric Edelman, a former undersecretary of defense for policy, joins host Charlie Sykes to discuss the collapse of Afghanistan, the future of terrorism, and the damage to America's reputation.
Eric Edelman The Bulwark Podcast
A humanitarian crisis, refugees fleeing the Taliban, and severe damage to America’s reputation.
The Bulwark