Elizabeth M. Phu
Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Special Operations and Low-Intensity Conflict
Ms. Phu currently serves as the Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Special Operations and Low-Intensity Conflict in the Office of the Secretary of Defense (OSD) for Policy. She is also an adjunct professor at Georgetown University’s Edmund A. Walsh School of Foreign Service.
Ms. Phu is a member of the career Senior Executive Service, and she has been in OSD since 2000 when she started as a Presidential Management Fellow.
Ms. Phu served most recently as Principal Director for Cyber Policy. She previously served as Assistant Professor of National Security Policy and Strategy and
Office of the Secretary of Defense Chair at the Dwight D. Eisenhower School for National Security and Resource Strategy at the National Defense University (NDU). Before her tenure at NDU, Ms. Phu was Principal Director for the Secretariat for Special Operations, responsible for providing oversight of the organization, training, and equipping of special operations forces. During her OSD career, she has held a number of other positions, including Director for Space Engagement Policy, Director for Global Threats, Country Director for Southeast Asia, and Assistant for NATO Policy. Ms. Phu has also served on the National Security Council (NSC) Staff twice, most recently as Director for Southeast Asia, Oceania, and East Asian Security Affairs in 2013-2015. She was previously Director for Southeast Asia on the NSC Staff in 2007-2009.
Ms. Phu is a graduate of the Eisenhower School, where she earned a Master of Science in National Resource Strategy and was awarded the Commandant’s Award for Excellence in Research in Writing. Ms. Phu also has a Master of Pacific International Affairs with a focus on Southeast Asia from the Graduate School of Global Policy and Strategy at the University of California, San Diego. She earned her Bachelor of Arts in Political Science with high honors from the University of California, Berkeley. Ms. Phu was a Council of Foreign Relations Term Member and is currently a member of Pacific Council on International Policy.