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Kenneth B. Handelman

Performing the Duties of Assistant Secretary of Defense for International Security Affairs


Ken Handelman is performing the duties of Assistant Secretary of Defense for International Security Affairs. He is the principal advisor to the Under Secretary of Defense and Secretary of Defense on security strategy and policy issues related to the nations and international organizations of Europe (including the North Atlantic Treaty Organization), Russia, the Middle East, Africa, and the Western Hemisphere. He also has oversight for security cooperation programs, including foreign military sales in these regions.

Previously, from January 2015 – January 2017, Mr. Handelman served as a senior advisor performing the duties of Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for International Security Affairs.

From September 2013 to July 2015, Mr. Handelman served as Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Defense Trade Controls, where he oversaw the International Traffic in Arms Regulations and helped implement the President’s Export Control Reform Initiative. In a twenty-year Pentagon career, Mr. Handelman has held policy positions at several ranks relating to non-proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, nuclear and missile defense, military cyber and space policy, technology security, peacekeeping, and military planning. Mr. Handelman was also a Special Assistant to Undersecretary of Defense for Policy Walt Slocombe.

Prior to his Pentagon service, Mr. Handelman was a Legislative Assistant and then Legislative Director for Senator Howard Metzenbaum of Ohio, where he handled a variety of issues including appropriations. Mr. Handelman is a graduate of Columbia College and the School of International and Public Affairs at Columbia University, and of American University’s Washington College of Law. He has received several DoD and State Department decorations, remains married to his first wife with whom he is raising four children, and enjoys cutting his own lawn.