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, an Anne C. Strickler 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

Eric Edelman, a top Pentagon official during the Bush administration, who co-chaired the commission along with retired admiral Gary Roughead, said the report wrestled with the consequences of years of ignored warnings about the erosion of American military might.
Eric Edelman The Washington Post
What you have to understand here is that this takes place in the context of a very serious rivalry for leadership in the region and the Arab states. And now inside the world of Sunni Islam, there is a rivalry between Turkey and the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia to see who will be the leading force in Sunni Islam. You have to see a both President Erdoğan’s speech today and all the statements that Turkish media have made based on leaks from Turkish intelligence and police sources in that light.
On Tuesday, Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdogan called for the extradition of the Saudi perpetrators of Jamal Khashoggi's murder, and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said senior Saudi officials’ visas would be revoked. Nick Schifrin speaks to Eric Edelman, former U.S. ambassador to Turkey, and Henri Barkey from Lehigh University, about Erdogan's agenda and the outlook for U.S.-Saudi relations.
Eric Edelman PBS NewsHour
Senior Fellow Eric Edelman is interviewed by Bill Kristol
Eric Edelman Conversations with Bill Kristol
But economic measures alone are unlikely to secure the administration’s demands that Iran roll back its nuclear program, support for terrorism and pursuit of Middle East predominance. Nor can they convince the regime its very survival could be at stake if its aggression persists. Added forms of pressure, including credible options for use of force, are needed.
Eric Edelman The Hill
President Trump has expended significant political capital working to win the freedom of pastor Andrew Brunson, an American detained in Turkey for nearly two years now on baseless espionage and terrorism charges. Trump is right to do so, but he and his administration also have a moral obligation to come to the aid of three State Department workers facing a similar plight.
Eric Edelman The Washington Post