Rand Beers earned a B.A. from Dartmouth in 1964. He then served as a Marine Corps officer (1964-1968) and rifle company commander in Vietnam (1966-1968). He received his M.A. in Military History from the University of Michigan in 1970 and began a career in the Foreign and Civil Service.
He spent much of his career as a Department of State employee, including positions as Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Regional Affairs in the Bureau of Political-Military Affairs, focusing on the Middle East and Persian Gulf (1992-1993) and as Assistant Secretary of State for International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs (1998-2002).
Rand also served on the National Security Council Staff under the previous five Presidents including as Director for Counter-terrorism and Counter-narcotics under Presidents Reagan and George H.W. Bush (1988-1992), Director for Peacekeeping and later Special Assistant to the President and Senior Director for Intelligence Programs under President Bill Clinton (1993-1998), and Special Assistant to the President and Senior Director for Combating Terrorism under President George W. Bush (2002-2003).
Rand was John Kerry’s national security advisor during the 2004 Presidential campaign and served as President of the National Security Network, a Washington DC-based foreign policy advocacy group he founded in 2005, until 2009. He also taught from 2004-2008 as an Adjunct Lecturer at the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard on “How to Get Things Done in Government.” In 2008, the incoming Obama administration designated him Co-leader of their Department of Homeland Security Transition Team.
For four years, Rand served in the Department of Homeland Security as a counselor to Secretary Janet Napolitano and as the Department’s Undersecretary for the National Protection and Programs Directorate (NPPD) from 2009 to 2013. NPPD collaborates with all levels of government, the private sector, non-government organizations, and international bodies to prevent, respond to, and mitigate physical and cyber threats to U.S. national security from acts of terrorism, natural disasters, and other catastrophic events. In 2013, he served as Acting Deputy Secretary from May to September and then as Acting Secretary of Homeland Security until Jeh Johnson assumed that office at the end of that year.
More recently, Rand served on the NSC Staff under his fifth President as the Deputy Assistant to the President for Homeland Security and Deputy Homeland Security Adviser from January 2014 to March 2015, when he retired after 42 years of government service.
Rand currently serves as a member of the Board of Visitors for the John Sloan Dickey Center for International Understanding at Dartmouth College and as a Board Member with the Middle East Institute. He also teaches a senior seminar on national security policy formulation and implementation at Dartmouth.