Peter Marocco

Former Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for African Affairs

Mr. Pete Marocco is the Former Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for African Affairs.  In this capacity, he led U.S. defense policy across Africa, and served as the senior defense official charged with countering the continent’s transnational threats to American citizens, the U.S. homeland, and U.S. allies and partners.  He is responsible for strengthening partner capacity, enhancing cooperation, and working with the United States Africa Command on national security priorities.

Prior to joining the Department of Defense, Mr. Marocco served as the Senior Advisor for Intelligence and Security at the Department of Commerce.  He represented the Secretary of Commerce in interagency policy meetings on national security priorities and advised the Department’s Chief Financial Officer on the management of intelligence and security resources. 

Prior to serving at Commerce, Mr. Marocco served as the Department of State’s Deputy Assistant Secretary and Senior Bureau Official for the Bureau of Conflict and Stabilization Operations.  In that capacity, he led the implementation of a government-wide review of foreign assistance directed toward U.S. strategic stabilization efforts.  He supervised the offices for Western Hemisphere, Europe, Eurasia and Near East Affairs, and oversaw the Office of Advanced Analytics, which focused on data-driven analyses of political violence, defections of fighters, peace processes, and countering violent extremism.  In addition, he drove the development of the “Instability Monitoring and Analysis Platform”—a global scanning index that gives early warning of conflict and atrocities.

In 1993, Mr. Marocco enlisted in the U.S. Marine Corps (at age 17).  He began his military service at Marine Barracks Washington, and ultimately became a platoon sergeant at 3rd Force Recon in Mobile, Alabama. 

In addition to his government and military service, Mr. Marocco has served in the private sector.  As an executive in charge of many defense-focused programs for U.S. companies, Mr. Marocco has over a decade’s-worth of experience in leading programs on international security, expeditionary logistics, and humanitarian efforts that rescued, resettled, or rehabilitated more than 4,000 ISIS survivors.  He has also served as a senior advisor for Dell Global Security, focusing on security and protective intelligence operations.  Additionally, Mr. Marocco has served as a member of the Overseas Security Advisory Council—a public-private partnership with the Department of State’s Bureau of Diplomatic Security. 

Mr. Marocco holds a post-graduate certificate in international security from Stanford University’s Freeman Spogli Center, and wrote his dissertation on the law of armed conflict and targeting with unmanned aerial systems, while earning a Master’s degree in international human rights law from the University of Oxford.