Former Deputy National Security Advisor to the President; Former Senior Fellow (Adjunct), RAND Corporation
MPA, Class of 1962
Ambassador David Aaron has served in both the government and the private sector. A graduate of Occidental College and The Woodrow Wilson School at Princeton University, he then entered the Foreign Service, where he held a variety of posts, which included the U.S. Delegation to NATO and to the first Strategic Arms Limitation Talks with the Soviet Union. After leaving the Foreign Service, he continued in government in several positions, including the National Security Council staff under Dr. Henry Kissinger where he was responsible for arms control and strategic doctrine. Subsequently, he became a Task Force Director for the Senate Intelligence Committee, and then Deputy National Security Advisor to President Jimmy Carter. In the latter capacity, he chaired sub-Cabinet committees dealing with Arms Control and with Intelligence. He also served as a confidential presidential emissary to Europe, where he negotiated the deployment of Medium Range missiles, to the Middle East where he helped prepare for the Camp David negotiations, as well as to Africa, Latin America, and China.
Upon leaving government, Amb. Aaron became Vice President for Mergers and Acquisitions at Oppenheimer & Co. and Vice Chairman of the board of Oppenheimer International.
During the Clinton administration, he served as Ambassador to the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) in Paris, where he negotiated the international anti-bribery convention. At the same time, he was appointed Special White House Envoy for Cryptography, to develop international guidelines for encryption technology in trade and communications. Subsequently, Amb. Aaron was appointed Undersecretary of Commerce for International Trade where he negotiated the US/EU privacy accord.
After leaving government in 2000, he became Senior International Advisor to the law firm Dorsey LLP until his appointment as a Senior Fellow at RAND where he was Director of the Center for Middle East Public Policy. While at RAND, authored “In Their Own Words: Voices of Jihad”. His most recent book is “Deterring Iran: An Alternative Military Option”, soon to be published by the RAND Corporation.
David Aaron also is the author of three novels published in ten languages and two PBS specials including “Lessons of the 1991 Gulf War”.