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Eric S. Edelman

Co-Chair, Task Force on Managing Disorder in the Middle East; Former U.S. Ambassador to Finland and Turkey

Headshot of Eric S. Edelman

Eric S. Edelman co-chairs BPC’s Task Force on Managing Disorder in the Middle East. He served as U.S. ambassador to Turkey and Finland during the Clinton and Bush administrations. Edelman retired from the U.S. Foreign Service in 2009.

Edelman is currently a Hertog Distinguished Practitioner in Residence at Johns Hopkins University, a distinguished fellow at the Center for Strategic and Budgetary Assessments, and a senior associate of the International Security Program at Harvard University. He also serves on the board of the United States Institute of Peace.

Edelman served in senior positions at the Defense and State Departments. As the under secretary of defense for policy from 2005 to 2009, he oversaw strategy development for bilateral defense relations, war plans, special operations forces, homeland defense, missile defense, nuclear weapons and arms control polities, counter-proliferation, counter-narcotics, counter-terrorism, arms sales, and defense trade controls. He also served as a principal deputy assistant to the vice president for national security affairs.

Edelman has been awarded the Department of Defense Medal for Distinguished Public Service, the Presidential Distinguished Service Award, and several State Department Superior Honor Awards. In January 2011 he was awarded the Legion d’Honneur by the French Government.

He received a B.A. in History and Government from Cornell University and a Ph.D. in U.S. Diplomatic History from Yale University.