Thomas Donilon

Former National Security Advisor to President Barack Obama

As President Obama has said, “Tom Donilon has helped shaped every significant national security decision of my Presidency,” including: the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, the Arab Spring, the hunt for Osama Bin Laden, and the President’s rebalancing of America to Asia (culminating in Donilon’s negotiation of the 2013 U.S.-China Summit). He was also the President’s personal emissary to a number of world leaders—from the President of China to the Prime Minister of Israel to the President of Russia.

His first position at the White House was in 1977 working with President Carter. During the Clinton Administration, he served as Assistant Secretary of State and Chief of Staff at the U.S. Department of State and was responsible for the development and implementation of the Department’s major policy initiatives, including: NATO expansion, the Dayton Peace Accords, and the Middle East Peace process. Currently, Donilon is a distinguished fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations and a non-resident Senior Fellow at Harvard Kennedy School’s Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs. He is the recipient of numerous honors, including the Secretary of State’s Distinguished Service Award.

Prior to his government service, Donilon was a partner at the international law firm of O’Melveny & Myers and served as a member of the firm’s global governing committee. He received his undergraduate degree from Catholic University and his law degree from the University of Virginia. Donilon is based in Washington, D.C.

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