CURRENT ASSIGNMENT: Mr. Robert Scher was appointed as the Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Plans in April 2012. Mr. Scher is responsible for advising the Under Secretary of Defense for Policy on matters pertaining to the development of U.S. national security and defense planning. He oversees the development of guidance for military campaign and contingency plans and the processes for review and assessment of plans. He is also responsible for the U.S. global defense posture and international agreements related to U.S. forces stationed overseas, as well as the Office of the Secretary of Defense (OSD) role in global force management.
With the confirmation of Ms. Christine Wormuth to be the Under Secretary of Defense for Policy in June 2014, Mr. Scher is also temporarily serving as Acting Deputy Under Secretary of Defense for Strategy, Plans and Forces.
PAST EXPERIENCE: Mr. Robert Scher previously served as the Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for South and Southeast Asia within the Office of the Assistant Secretary of Defense for Asian and Pacific Security Affairs between April 2009 and April 2012. In this capacity, DASD Scher served as the principal advisor to senior leadership within the Department of Defense for all policy matters pertaining to strategies and plans including interagency venues for international strategy development and implementation. Mr. Scher’s area of responsibility included bilateral security relations with India and all other South Asian countries, excepting Afghanistan and Pakistan; the nations of Southeast Asia, plus Australia, East Timor, New Zealand, and the Pacific Island States.
Prior to his appointment, Mr. Scher was an associate at the consulting firm of Booz Allen Hamilton where he led efforts to provide assistance to Asian nations improving their defense and national security decision making processes. He also led analytical efforts supporting the Office of the Secretary of Defense (OSD) on strategy development and Asia-related issues. Earlier, Mr. Scher worked for 15 years in the Departments of Defense and State, and held numerous posts covering Asian security and defense policy issues. Specifically, he served as Chief-of-Staff to the Deputy Under Secretary of Defense for Asian and Pacific Affairs in the Office of the Secretary of Defense, overseeing the operations of the OSD office responsible for bilateral and multilateral security relations in Asia. Additionally, Mr. Scher helped develop the strategic basis for U.S. Defense strategy, including participating in the oversight of the Bottom-Up Review and the 1997 Quadrennial Defense Review. He co-authored Presidential Decision Directive-56 on conducting complex contingency operations and was involved in planning for U.S. support to operations ranging from Iraqi election support to deploying U.S. forces to East Timor and the southern Philippines. While at State, he served on the Secretary’s Policy Planning Staff providing advice on Asia, counterterrorism and political military affairs issues. Mr. Scher entered government service through the Presidential Management Fellowship Program.
EDUCATION: Mr. Scher has a Bachelor of Arts from Swarthmore College, conferred with High Honors, and a Masters of International Affairs from Columbia University’s School of International and Public Affairs, where he was awarded a DuPont International Affairs Fellowship.