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Rebecca Zimmerman

Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Afghanistan, Pakistan, and Central Asia

Rebecca Zimmerman was sworn in as Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Afghanistan, Pakistan, and Central Asia on February 16, 2021.  In this capacity, Ms. Zimmerman oversees all U.S. defense policy throughout the region, advancing U.S. national security interests through defense strategy development, security cooperation, contingency planning, and program oversight.

Prior to her appointment, Ms. Zimmerman spent two decades as a researcher and policy advisor, including at the RAND Corporation, as Editor-in-Chief of War on the Rocks, and in the private sector. Over the course of numerous deployments to Afghanistan, she was seconded to Operation Resolute Support as an advisor to the commander, assisted with the standup of a key special operations program, and supported the development of the Afghan National Defense and Security Forces. She has served on several study task forces reporting to the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, and as RAND’s liaison to Army Operations. She is an author of numerous studies, including on U.S. military inter-service competition, organizational aspects of competition with China and Russia, Russian will to fight, and Afghanistan policy.

Ms. Zimmerman holds a B.A. in international relations with honors from Stanford University and an M.A. in strategic studies from the Johns Hopkins University, School of Advanced International Studies. She serves as mentor for the organization Girl Security.