Derek Chollet is the Assistant Secretary of Defense for International Security Affairs (ISA). He is the principal advisor to the Under Secretary of Defense and Secretary of Defense on international security strategy and policy issues related to the nations and international organizations of Europe (including the North Atlantic Treaty Organization), the Middle East, Africa, and the Western Hemisphere. He also has oversight for security cooperation programs, including foreign military sales, in these regions.
Prior to being confirmed in May 2012, Mr. Chollet served at The White House as Special Assistant to the President and Senior Director for Strategic Planning on the National Security Council Staff.
From February 2009 to 2011, Mr. Chollet served in the State Department as the Principal Deputy Director of the Secretary of State's Policy Planning Staff. From November 2008 to January 2009, he was a member of the Obama-Biden Presidential Transition Team.
Previously, Mr. Chollet was a Senior Fellow at The Center for a New American Security (CNAS), a non-resident fellow at the Brookings Institution, and an adjunct associate professor at Georgetown University. During the Clinton Administration he served as Chief Speechwriter for U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Richard Holbrooke, and as Special Adviser to Deputy Secretary of State Strobe Talbott. From 2002 to 2004, Mr. Chollet was foreign policy adviser to U.S. Senator John Edwards (D-N.C.), both on his legislative staff and during the 2004 Kerry-Edwards presidential campaign.
Mr. Chollet has also been a Fellow at the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS), a Fellow at the American Academy in Berlin, and a visiting scholar and adjunct professor at The George Washington University. He assisted former Secretaries of State James A. Baker III and Warren Christopher with the research and writing of their memoirs, Ambassador Holbrooke with his book on the Dayton peace process in Bosnia, and Deputy Secretary Talbott with his book on U.S.-Russian relations during the 1990s.
Mr. Chollet is the author, co-author or co-editor of six books on American foreign policy, including The Road to the Dayton Accords: A Study of American Statecraft (Palgrave Macmillan, 2005) and America Between the Wars: From 11/9 to 9/11, coauthored with James Goldgeier (PublicAffairs, 2008), and his commentaries and reviews on U.S. foreign policy and politics have appeared in many other books and publications. Raised in Lincoln, Nebraska, Mr. Chollet was educated at Cornell and Columbia.