Rudy
deLeon

Senior Fellow

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Rudy deLeon

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Rudy deLeon is a senior fellow with the National Security and International Policy team at American Progress. He has worked at the organization since 2007 and focuses on U.S. national security issues and U.S.-China relations.

DeLeon’s 25-year government career concluded in 2001 after his tenure as deputy secretary of defense, during which time he served as the chief operating officer at the Pentagon, a member of the Deputies Committee of the National Security Council, and a member of the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs National Partnership Council on labor-management issues. In earlier Pentagon assignments, deLeon served as undersecretary of defense for personnel and readiness from 1997 to 2000 and as undersecretary of the air force from 1994 to 1997.

From November 1985 through 1993, deLeon served as a member of the professional staff and staff director for the U.S. House Armed Services Committee. In 1986, deLeon participated in the debate and passage of the 1986 Goldwater-Nichols Act, which made fundamental changes in military organization and operations. DeLeon began his career in the federal government in 1975, holding various staff positions in the U.S. Senate and U.S. House of Representatives.

For five years, beginning in 2001, he served as a senior vice president for the Boeing Company, focusing on global trade issues and Washington, D.C., operations.

In addition to his duties at American Progress during the past five years, deLeon chaired the 2009 U.S. Department of Defense review of the civilian National Security Personnel System, was a member of the 2010 Quadrennial Defense Review Congressional Commission, and currently serves on the Defense Policy Board.

DeLeon earned a bachelor’s degree from Loyola Marymount University in 1974. In 1984, he completed the executive program in national and international security at Harvard University’s John F. Kennedy School of Government.

DeLeon received the Defense Distinguished Civilian Service Award in 1994, 1995, and 2001 and the National Intelligence Distinguished Service Medal in 2001. He was recognized by the National League of POW/MIA Families in 1999 and by the National Military Family Association in 2000.

Latest by Rudy deLeon

Redefining Homeland Security: A New Framework for DHS To Meet Today’s Challenges Report

Redefining Homeland Security: A New Framework for DHS To Meet Today’s Challenges

To meet the challenges of today, the Biden administration and Congress should reform the Department of Homeland Security around a mission that highlights safety and services alongside its traditional protecting roles.

Mara Rudman, Rudy deLeon, Joel Martinez, 5 More Elisa Massimino, Silva Mathema, Katrina Mulligan, Alexandra Schmitt, Philip E. Wolgin

Asia Doesn’t Need Another Crisis Report
A man sitting on a balcony looks out over Taipei at night.

Asia Doesn’t Need Another Crisis

Following Taiwan’s 2016 elections, Beijing has chosen the path of provocation in cross-Strait relations, undermining East Asia’s already fragile peace.

Rudy deLeon, Trevor Sutton, Blaine Johnson

Harry Truman and the Politics of a National Security Strategy Report
President Harry S. Truman broadcasts a message opening the conference that would form the United Nations in San Francisco on April 25, 1945. (AP/File)

Harry Truman and the Politics of a National Security Strategy

The experiences of the Truman administration—when a president tried to balance policy and politics during a time of great international challenges—can inform today’s foreign policy debate.

Rudy deLeon, Aarthi Gunasekaran

Exploring Avenues for China-U.S. Cooperation on the Middle East Report
A boat carrying tourists and locals sails in the Nile River at sunset in Aswan, Egypt, April 2015. (AP/Mosa'ab Elshamy)

Exploring Avenues for China-U.S. Cooperation on the Middle East

This September, a major bilateral summit that brings the leaders of both China and the United States together will offer another opening to deepen bilateral ties for the mutual benefit of both countries, as well as the rest of the world.

Rudy deLeon, YANG Jiemian

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