Tressa Steffen Guenov currently serves as the Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for International Security Affairs (ISA; PTDO), Office of the Under Secretary of Defense for Policy (OUSDP). In that role she supports the Assistant Secretary of Defense/ISA in a range of policy, leadership, management, and advisory capacities for the offices of African Affairs; European and NATO Policy; the Middle East; and Russia, Ukraine, and Eurasia.
Previously, Tressa was Senior Adviser to Deputy Secretary of Defense Dr. Kathleen Hicks, where she supported the Deputy on a variety of strategy development and stakeholder engagement efforts. Tressa also served as Assistant Secretary of Defense for Legislative Affairs (Acting) and PDASD for Legislative Affairs from 2015-2017. In her government career she also served in the State Department as a Presidential Management Fellow, as a special assistant to USDP and the Principal Deputy USDP, and as a country director for Central Asia issues.
Tressa served as professional staff on the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, where she was the designee to Senator Barbara Mikulski, and was the national security adviser to Senator Claire McCaskill in support of her capacity as a member of the Senate Armed Services Committee. Tressa has also worked strategy development at Lockheed Martin and served in various roles at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, including Deputy Director/Research Associate for the Commission on Science and Security.
Tressa holds masters degrees from Oxford University (St. Antony’s College) and Washington University in St. Louis and a BA from the University of Oregon, summa cum laude and Phi Beta Kappa. She is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations, is a Truman National Security Fellow, and was a member of the honorary advisory committee of the Leadership Council for Women in National Security.