Elissa Slotkin is currently the Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for International Security Affairs, where she and the Assistant Secretary oversee policy development and implementation on the Middle East, Africa, Europe/NATO, Russia, and the Western Hemisphere. Since July 2013, she has performed the duties of Principal Deputy Under Secretary of Defense.
She joined the Office of the Secretary of Defense for Policy in 2011 as the Senior Adviser for Middle East Transition, and prior to that served in the State Department where she worked closely with Secretary Clinton, then-Deputy Secretary Jack Lew, and later Deputy Secretary Tom Nides on Iraq policy during the transition from military to civilian lead.
Elissa has also served on the National Security Council Staff as Director for Iraq, where her portfolio included a leading role in the drafting of the U.S-Iraq Status of Forces Agreement. Her career in government began in the intelligence community, where she served in Iraq for nearly 24 months total and as Special Assistant to the first Director of National Intelligence, John Negroponte. In addition to her government experience, Elissa has worked at non-profit organizations in the Middle East and East Africa. She received her undergraduate degree from Cornell and her Masters degree from Columbia's School of International and Public Affairs.