Professional information about senior Defense Department officials.

Thomas Goffus

Former Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Europe and NATO

Thomas W. Goffus (Tom) served as Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for European and NATO Policy from May 2017 to October 2018.

In this role, he was responsible for the day-to-day defense relationship between the United States, NATO, the EU and the nations of Europe.

Before his appointment to the position, Tom was a professional staff member for the Senate Armed Services Committee, where he served as the lead advisor to the Chairman of the Armed Services Committee on matters relating to national military strategy, counterterrorism, international defense cooperation, and foreign policy issues in the U.S. European Command and U.S. Central Command.

He worked on legislation such as the European Deterrence Initiative, security assistance to Ukraine, the Afghan Security Forces Fund, and Special Immigrant Visas, and was responsible for legislative issues regarding the conflicts in Syria, Iraq, and Yemen. He was also the lead staffer to the Chairman of the Emerging Threats and Capabilities Subcommittee.

Tom joined the staff of the Senate Armed Services Committee after a career in the United States Air Force and served as the Director for Strategic and Eastern European Affairs at the National Security Council and Senior Military Advisor to the Assistant Secretary of State for European and Eurasian Affairs at the State Department.

As the Director for Strategic and Eastern European Affairs, Tom helped in the preparation and execution of the 2012 NATO Summit in Chicago, including supporting efforts to enable the declaration of interim capability of the U.S. contribution to NATO Ballistic Missile Defense, the European Phased Adaptive Approach. He was the principal architect of the key U.S. intervention at the NATO Summit on defense capabilities development and helped design and implement a sustainable concept for Baltic Air Policing. At the State Department, he provided insight into combat operations in Libya involving NATO Allies and partners and was part of the efforts to review and right size options for U.S. force structure in Europe.

While in the Air Force, Tom commanded at the squadron and group levels and also served as the F-22 Operational Test Manager. As a Battle Watch Commander at U.S. Strategic Command, he was responsible for performing Nuclear Command and Control as well as supervising missile warning, global strike, space, missile defense and intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance operations.

Tom has been stationed in Okinawa, Japan as a fighter pilot, in Larissa, Greece at the NATO Combined Air Operations Center as the Chief of Defensive Fighter Operations, and graduated from the NATO Senior Officer’s Course at the NATO Defense College in Rome, Italy. He has flown in Operation Provide Comfort from Incirlik, Turkey, and in Operation Southern Watch from Dhahran, Saudi Arabia. As an operational F-15 pilot, he executed the Quick Reaction Alert mission at Osan Air Base in South Korea and at Keflavik Naval Air Station in Iceland.

Mr. Goffus earned a B.S. from the United States Air Force Academy, an M.S. from the University of Washington, an M.A. from the United States Naval War College, and is a graduate of the NATO Defense College.