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As Secretary of Defense, Ash Carter led the Pentagon to launch game-changing initiatives and embrace innovative practices to ensure the Defense Department wins today’s fights and prepares for tomorrow’s challenges. His unique insight and experience leading the Pentagon at a time of global change allows him to speak to the complexity of global events, large-scale operations, technology and cybersecurity, and the future of business transformation.
Ash Carter is the Director of the Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs at Harvard Kennedy School. He is also an Innovation Fellow at MIT. For over 35 years, Carter has leveraged his experience in national security, technology, and innovation to defend the United States and make a better world. He has done so under presidents of both political parties as well as in the private sector.
As Secretary of Defense from 2015 to 2017, Carter pushed the Pentagon to “think outside its five-sided box.” He changed the trajectory of the military campaign to deliver ISIS a lasting defeat, designed and executed the strategic pivot to the Asia-Pacific, established a new playbook for the US and NATO to confront Russia’s aggression, and launched a national cyber strategy. Carter also spearheaded revolutionary improvements to the Department of Defense, developing new technological capabilities, leading the “Force of the Future” initiative to transform the way the department recruits, trains, and retains quality people, opening all military positions to women, and building bridges to America’s technology community.
Carter earned a BA from Yale University and a PhD in theoretical physics from the University of Oxford as a Rhodes Scholar.
A Tribute to Ash Carter
People and Technology
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Rebuilding a Bridge to the Future: Silicon Valley and the Intersection of Public and Private Sectors
Geopolitical Forecast: Asia, Russia and Global Hot Spots
Secretary Carter’s presentation was superb and insightful. Onsite he was friendly, engaged and generous with his time both before and after he spoke. His comments inspired my colleagues to think about global events and the U.S. government in a different and more informed way.Denis Bovin, Evercore
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Secretary of Defense (2006-2011); Best-Selling Author, DUTY: Memoirs of a Secretary at War and A Passion for Leadership