Ashton B. Carter serves as under secretary of defense for acquisition, technology and logistics. Before assuming this position, Carter was chair of the international and global affairs faculty at Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government and co-director of the Preventive Defense Project, a research collaboration of Harvard and Stanford universities. 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.
Carter was also 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. He was also 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.
In 1997, Carter co-chaired the Catastrophic Terrorism Study Group with former CIA Director John M. Deutch. From 1998 to 2000, he was deputy to William J. Perry in the North Korea Policy Review. Between 2001 and 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.
Carter was assistant secretary of defense for international security policy during President Bill Clinton’s first term. Some of his Pentagon duties included countering weapons of mass destruction worldwide; oversight of the U.S. nuclear arsenal and missile defense programs; the 1994 Nuclear Posture Review; and chairmanship of NATO’s High Level Group; and the Nunn-Lugar program resulting in the removal of all nuclear weapons from the territories of Ukraine, Kazakhstan, and Belarus.
Carter was twice awarded the Department of Defense Distinguished Service Medal. In 1987, Carter was named one of 10 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. Carter was elected a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and the American Academy of Diplomacy.
Carter received bachelor’s degrees in physics and in medieval history from Yale University. He received his doctorate in theoretical physics from Oxford University, where he was a Rhodes scholar.