A Global Outlook with Former Secretary of Defense Mark Esper
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Please join the CSIS International Security Program for an in-person conversation on Wednesday, January 25, at 4 p.m. ET with The Honorable Dr. Mark T Esper, former U.S. secretary of defense. Dr. Esper and Dr. Seth G. Jones, senior vice president and director of the International Security Program, will discuss Dr. Esper’s latest book—A Sacred Oath: Memoirs of a Secretary of Defense During Extraordinary Times—as well as the current situations in Ukraine and China, and the state of the U.S. defense industrial base.
The Honorable Mark T. Esper served as the 27th Secretary of Defense from July 2019 to November 2020. He previously served as Acting Secretary of Defense and as the Secretary of the Army.
Upon graduating from the United States Military Academy, Dr. Esper served in the 101st Airborne Division and participated in the 1990-91 Gulf War with the “Screaming Eagles.” He later commanded a Rifle Company in the 3-325 Airborne Battalion Combat Team in Vicenza, Italy. He retired from the U.S. Army in 2007 after spending 10 years on active duty and 11 years in the National Guard and Army Reserve.
After leaving active duty, Dr. Esper served as Chief of Staff at The Heritage Foundation think tank, followed by service as legislative director and senior policy advisor to former Senator Chuck Hagel. He was a senior professional staff member on the Senate Foreign Relations and Senate Government Affairs committees, policy director for the House Armed Services Committee, and national security advisor for former Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist. During the President George W. Bush administration, he served as the Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Negotiations Policy at the Pentagon.
Dr. Esper is a recipient of the Department of Defense Medal for Distinguished Public Service. Among his many military awards and decorations are the Legion of Merit, Bronze Star Medal, the Kuwait Liberation Medal, Kuwait Liberation Medal-Saudi Arabia, and the Combat Infantryman Badge. Dr. Esper holds a Master of Public Administration degree from the John F. Kennedy School of Government, and a doctorate in Public Policy from George Washington University.
This event is made possible through general support to CSIS.
- Christine Brazeau
- Associate Director, International Security Program