Ambassador David Aaron
Director, RAND Center for Middle East Public Policy
Ambassador David Aaron is Director of the Center for Middle East Public Policy at the RAND Corporation. He also coordinates counter-terrorism and homeland security research at RAND. He has served in both the government and the private sector. A graduate of Occidental College and Princeton University, he then entered the Foreign Service, where he held a variety of posts, which included the U.S. Delegation to NATO and to the Strategic Arms Limitation Talks with the Soviet Union. After leaving the Foreign Service, he continued in government in several positions, including the National Security Council staff where he was responsible for arms control and strategic doctrine. Subsequently, he became a Task Force Director for the Senate Intelligence Committee, and then Deputy National Security Advisor to President Jimmy Carter. In the latter capacity, he chaired sub-Cabinet committees dealing with Arms Control and with Intelligence. He also served as a confidential presidential emissary to Europe, where he negotiated the deployment of Medium Range missiles, to the Middle East where he helped prepare for the Camp David negotiations, as well as to Africa, Latin America, and China.
Upon leaving government, Amb. Aaron became Vice President for Mergers and Acquisitions at Oppenheimer & Co. and Vice Chairman of the board of Oppenheimer International.
During the Clinton administration, he served as Ambassador to the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) in Paris, where he negotiated the international anti-bribery convention. At the same time, he was appointed Special White House Envoy for Cryptography, to develop international guidelines for encryption technology in trade and communications. Subsequently, Amb. Aaron was appointed Undersecretary of Commerce for International Trade where he negotiated the US/EU privacy accord.
After leaving government in 2000, he became Senior International Advisor to the law firm Dorsey LLP until his appointment as a Senior Fellow at RAND. He is the author of three novels published in ten languages and two PBS documentaries including Lessons of the 1991 Gulf War.
Middle East, national security, terrorism, foreign policy, international economic policy
Middle East; Jihadism; counterterrorism
Ambassador to the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) in Paris during Clinton administration; Under Secretary of Commerce for International Trade during Clinton administration; Deputy National Security Advisor to President Jimmy Carter; Vice President for Mergers and Acquisitions, Oppenheimer & Co.; Vice Chairman of the Board, Oppenheimer International
M.P.A., Woodrow Wilson School for Public and International Affairs, Princeton University; B.A., L.L.D. (honorary), Occidental College