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Dr. Ashton B. Carter (September 24, 1954 - October 24, 2022) was the Belfer Professor of Technology and Global Affairs at Harvard University’s Kennedy School. He was sworn in as Under Secretary of Defense for Acquisition, Technology & Logistics on April 27, 2009. Before assuming this position, Dr. Carter was chair of the International and Global Affairs faculty at Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government and Co-Director (with former Secretary of Defense William J. Perry) of the Preventive Defense Project, a research collaboration of Harvard and Stanford Universities. Dr. Carter was also Senior Partner at Global Technology Partners and a member of the Board of Trustees of the MITRE Corporation and the Advisory Boards of MIT’s Lincoln Laboratories and the Draper Laboratory. He was a consultant to Goldman, Sachs on international affairs and technology matters. He was a member of the Aspen Strategy Group, the Council on Foreign Relations, the American Physical Society, the International Institute of Strategic Studies, the Advisory Board of the Yale Journal of International Law, and the National Committee on U.S.-China Relations. Dr. Carter was also Co-Chair of the Review Panel on Future Directions for DTRA (Defense Threat Reduction Agency) Missions and Capabilities to Combat Weapons of Mass Destruction, Chair of the National Security Strategy and Policies Expert Working Group of the Congressional Commission on the Strategic Posture of the United States, a member of the National Missile Defense White Team, and a member of the National Academy of Sciences Committee on International Security and Arms Control.

Dr. Carter served as a member of the Defense Science Board from 1991-1993 and 1997-2001, the Defense Policy Board from 1997-2001, and Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice’s International Security Advisory Board from 2006-2008. In 1997, Dr. Carter co-chaired the Catastrophic Terrorism Study Group with former CIA Director John M. Deutch, which urged greater attention to terrorism. From 1998 to 2000, he was deputy to William J. Perry in the North Korea Policy Review and traveled with him to Pyongyang. In 2001-2002, he served on the National Academy of Sciences Committee on Science and Technology for Countering Terrorism and advised on the creation of the Department of Homeland Security.

Dr. Carter was Assistant Secretary of Defense for International Security Policy during President Clinton’s first term. His Pentagon responsibilities encompassed: countering weapons of mass destruction worldwide, oversight of the U.S. nuclear arsenal and missile defense programs, the 1994 Nuclear Posture Review, the Counter proliferation Initiative, control over sensitive U.S. exports, chairmanship of NATO’s High Level Group, the Nunn-Lugar program resulting in the removal of all nuclear weapons from the territories of Ukraine, Kazakhstan, and Belarus, establishment of defense and intelligence relationships with the countries of the former Soviet Union when the Cold War ended, and participation in the negotiations that led to the deployment of Russian troops as part of the Bosnia Peace Plan Implementation Force.

Dr. Carter was twice awarded the Department of Defense Distinguished Service Medal. For his contributions to intelligence, he was awarded the Defense Intelligence Medal. In 1987, Dr. Carter was named one of Ten Outstanding Young Americans by the United States Jaycees. He received the American Physical Society’s Forum Award for his contributions to physics and public policy. Dr. Carter was elected a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and the American Academy of Diplomacy.

From 1990-1993, Dr. Carter was Director of the Center for Science and International Affairs at Harvard University’s John F. Kennedy School of Government, and Chairman of the Editorial Board of International Security. Previously, he held positions at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, the Congressional Office of Technology Assessment, and Rockefeller University.

Dr. Carter received bachelor’s degrees in physics and in medieval history from Yale University, summa cum laude, Phi Beta Kappa. He received his doctorate in theoretical physics from Oxford University, where he was a Rhodes Scholar.

In addition to authoring numerous articles, scientific publications, government studies, and Congressional testimonies, Dr. Carter co-edited and co-authored eleven books, including Keeping the Edge: Managing Defense for the Future (2001),Preventive Defense: A New Security Strategy for America (1997), Cooperative Denuclearization: From Pledges to Deeds (1993),A New Concept of Cooperative Security (1992), Beyond Spinoff: Military and Commercial Technologies in a Changing World (1992),Soviet Nuclear Fission: Control of the Nuclear Arsenal in a Disintegrating Soviet Union (1991), Managing Nuclear Operations (1987 ), Ballistic Missile Defense (1984), and Directed Energy Missile Defense in Space (1984).

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