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Ely Ratner

Ely Stefansky Ratner[1] (born 1977) is an American foreign policy and defense advisor who is currently serving as Assistant Secretary of Defense for Indo-Pacific Security Affairs in the Biden administration.[2]

American government official
Ely Ratner
Assistant Secretary of Defense for Indo-Pacific Security Affairs
Assumed office
July 25, 2021
President Joe Biden
Preceded by Randall Schriver
Deputy National Security Advisor to the Vice President
In office
2015–2017
Leader Colin Kahl
Vice President Joe Biden
Personal details
Spouse(s)
Jennifer Yang

(m. 2009)

Education Princeton University (BA)
University of California, Berkeley (PhD)

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Ratner earned a Bachelor of Arts degree from the School of Public and International Affairs[3] at Princeton University and a PhD in political science from the University of California, Berkeley.[4][5] His 2009 doctoral thesis was entitled Reaping What You Sow: Democratic Transitions and Foreign Policy Realignment.[6]

In 2002 and 2003, Ratner was a staffer to the United States Senate Committee on Foreign Relations, under then-Chairman Joe Biden. He was an associate political scientist at the RAND Corporation from 2009 to 2011. Ratner then joined the United States Department of State as China desk officer. From 2015 to 2017, Ratner served as deputy national security advisor to Biden during his Vice Presidency. After the end of the Obama administration, Ratner became a China studies fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations and executive vice president and director of studies at the Center for a New American Security. After Joe Biden assumed office as president in January 2021, Ratner joined the United States Department of Defense as a special assistant to Secretary Lloyd Austin.[7][8]

Ratner was sworn in as Assistant Secretary of Defense for Indo-Pacific Security Affairs by SecretaryAustin on July 25, 2021, after being confirmed by unanimous consent.[2][9]

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