The Secretary of Defense

Council Member: Chuck Hagel, Secretary of Defense

Council Designee: Rob Berschinski, Special Assistant to the Acting Deputy Secretary of Defense, U.S. Department of Defense

Rob Berschinski is a Special Assistant to the Acting Deputy Secretary of Defense, the Honorable Christine H. Fox.  In this capacity, Mr. Berschinski provides policy counsel to the Deputy Secretary on matters pertaining to the Department of Defense’s operations, management, and budget. 

From 2010-2013, Mr. Berschinski served under Ambassador Samantha Power as the Director for Security and Human Rights Policy on the White House National Security Council staff, where he coordinated U.S. government policy on international human rights and humanitarian matters with respect to conventional arms control, counterterrorism, security sector assistance, women’s empowerment in conflict settings, child soldiers, private security contractors, and trafficking in persons.  During this time, Mr. Berschinski led the development of Executive Order 13595 on Instituting the U.S. National Action Plan on Women, Peace, and Security, as well as Executive Order 13627 on Strengthening Protections against Trafficking in Persons in Federal Contracts. 

Mr. Berschinski joined the Department of Defense’s policy staff in 2008 as a Presidential Management Fellow.  He began his career as an intelligence officer in the U.S. Air Force, held operational assignments in Korea and Germany, and deployed to Rwanda and Iraq, the latter as a member of the Joint Special Operations Command. 

Mr. Berschinski holds a B.A. and M.A. from Yale University.  He and his wife live in Washington, D.C.

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