Alumni Profile

Nicholas Rasmussen
Director, Office of the Director of National Intelligence, National Counterterrorism Center
MPA, Class of 1990

Nicholas “Nick” Rasmussen was appointed director of the National Counterterrorism Center (NCTC) at the Office of the Director of National Intelligence in December 2014. He previously served as the deputy director of NCTC from June 2012 to December 2014.

Before joining NCTC he had served since October 2007 with the National Security Council (NSC) staff as special assistant to the president and senior director for counterterrorism, where he was responsible for providing staff support to the president, national security advisor and homeland security advisor on counterterrorism policy and strategy.

Rasmussen served at NCTC from 2004 to 2007 in senior policy and planning positions responsible for producing net assessments of U.S. policy and strategy for the war on terror for the NSC and the president. From 2001 to 2004, he served on the NSC as director for regional affairs in the Office of Combating Terrorism where he focused on Middle East, Southeast Asia and related counterterrorism issues in the period after 9/11.
He joined the U.S. Department of State in 1991 as a presidential management intern in the Bureau of Political-Military Affairs, and for more than a decade served in a variety of key positions. Rasmussen was special
assistant to the State Department’s special Middle East coordinator, Ambassador Dennis Ross, from 1996 to 2001, providing support to the Arab-Israeli peace process. Rasmussen was a member of the U.S. peace team at the Wye River, Shepardstown and Camp David summits. From 1994 to 1996, he was a special assistant to Ambassador-at-Large Robert Gallucci, providing analysis of the negotiation and implementation of the U.S.-North Korea agreed framework. He worked as a foreign affairs analyst in the Bureau of Political-Military Affairs from 1991 to 1994, focusing on Persian Gulf security issues following Operation Desert Storm, including negotiation for U.S. forces’ access and basing in Bahrain, Kuwait, Qatar, the United Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia.
Rasmussen received a B.A. with high honors from the College of Social Studies at Wesleyan University and was awarded an MPA from the Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs at Princeton University. He is the recipient of numerous awards, including an international affairs fellowship by the Council on Foreign Relations, and has taught a course on U.S. counterterrorism policy at Georgetown University’s School of Foreign Service.