William F. Wechsler is the Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Special Operations and Combating Terrorism. Mr. Wechsler is the primary lead for the Department's policies, plans, authorities and resources related to special operations and irregular warfare, with special emphasis on counterterrorism, counterinsurgency, unconventional warfare, information operations and sensitive special operations. He represents the Secretary of Defense on various interagency working groups with other departments responsible for national security policy. He reports to the Assistant Secretary of Defense for Special Operations/Low Intensity Conflict and assists him in his statutory responsibilities regarding the US Special Operations Command.
Before taking this position, Mr. Wechsler served for over three years as Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Counternarcotics and Global Threats. In that role, he focused on integrating law enforcement operations into our military campaign plans in Afghanistan, institutionalizing the Department of Defense's counter threat finance structures and doctrine, and substantially increasing budget support for capacity building in Mexico.
In prior government service, Mr. Wechsler has served as Special Advisor to the Secretary of the Treasury, on the staff of the National Security Council both as Director for Transnational Threats and as Director for Global Issues and Multilateral Affairs, and as Special Assistant to the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.
Before rejoining the Department of Defense, Mr. Wechsler was Managing Director of Greenwich Associates, a management consultancy to the financial services industry. There he led the firm's global asset management practice.
Mr. Wechsler received a bachelor's degree in government and economics from Cornell University and a master's degree from the School of International and Public Affairs at Columbia University.