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Eric Ridge

Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Strategy


Eric Ridge is the Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Strategy, overseeing the office that is responsible for developing the Department’s national defense strategy and for ensuring that the Department’s program and budget decisions support implementation of the strategy.

Mr. Ridge has worked at the nexus of strategy and risk on national security, defense, and homeland security policy issues for over fifteen years—envisioning new approaches and leading teams to implement them.

Before joining the Department of Defense in his current role in January 2021, Mr. Ridge served in a range of positions both in government and at think tanks.  He most recently was the Director for Strategy and Execution at the Atlantic Council’s Adrienne Arsht – Rockefeller Foundation Resilience Center, having joined as the Center’s first Deputy Director in 2017 and also having served as the Center’s Acting Director.

Prior to working at the Council, Mr. Ridge served as the Senior Advisor to the Under Secretary of Defense for Policy, where worked on a range of near-, mid-, and long-term regional and functional issues and was a member of the non-career senior executive service. He previously worked on strategy and capabilities issues in several positions at the Department, to include playing a primary role in developing the 2014 Quadrennial Defense Review (QDR) and as a key contributor to the 2012 Defense Strategic Guidance and the 2010 QDR.

Mr. Ridge has also spent about five years in two stints working at the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS), where he most recently was a Fellow in the International Security Program from 2012-2013. Before entering government in 2008, he held research positions in the Center’s International Security and Homeland Security Programs.

Mr. Ridge holds an MA in security policy studies from the George Washington University and a BA in international relations from the Johns Hopkins University. He is a recipient of the Secretary of Defense Medal for Outstanding Public Service.