Ash Carter

25th Secretary of Defense; MIT Innovation Fellow; Director, Belfer Center at the Harvard Kennedy School

For over 35 years, under presidents of both political parties and 11 Secretaries of Defense, Ash Carter served the Department of Defense.

As Secretary of Defense from 2015 to 2017, Carter pushed the Pentagon to “think outside its five-sided box.” He formulated the military campaign to deliver ISIL a lasting defeat, designed and executed the strategic pivot to the Asia-Pacific, established the Department’s and NATO’s new playbook for confronting Russia’s aggression, and launched the department’s latest cyber strategy. At the same time, Carter also spearheaded revolutionary improvements to the Department, developing new technological capabilities, building bridges to America’s technology community, and leading the ‘Force of the Future’ initiative to transform the way the department recruits, trains, and retains quality people, including opening all military positions to women without exception.

Carter earned a BA from Yale University and a PhD in theoretical physics from the University of Oxford as a Rhodes Scholar.

To send inquiries to Secretary Ash Carter please contact Andrew Di Iorio at

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