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

Sarajevo Centennial: Old Orders Collapse and Today’s Turbulence Is a Legacy Article
In this photo from June 28, 1914, Archduke Franz Ferdinand of Austria and his wife Sophie walk to their a car in Sarajevo minutes before their assassination. (AP/File)

Sarajevo Centennial: Old Orders Collapse and Today’s Turbulence Is a Legacy

The tinderbox of circumstances and realities that required only the tiniest of sparks to plunge the world into thirty years of global chaos a century ago are in many ways still with us today. The first Great War destroyed monarchies, redrew a continent, and reminded the world of the destruction mankind is capable of.

Rudy deLeon, Aarthi Gunasekaran

The Crisis of Crimea and Ukraine Report

The Crisis of Crimea and Ukraine

President Barack Obama and today’s policymakers can learn much from looking at the approaches of Presidents Ronald Reagan and Bill Clinton in times of foreign policy crises and challenge.

Rudy deLeon, Aarthi Gunasekaran

War of Words: A Post-Mortem Article
South Korean protesters gather with a mock North Korean rocket, center, and defaced portraits of North Korean leader Kim Jong-un during a rally against North Korea ahead of the 63rd anniversary of the outbreak of the Korean War in Seoul, South Korea, Monday, June 24, 2013. (AP/Ahn Young-joon)

War of Words: A Post-Mortem

The “war of words” between North Korea and the United States and its allies ended as suddenly as it began. But while U.S.-China cooperation has improved, the unwillingness of North Korea to make serious moves toward denuclearization means tension will inevitably flare up again in the future.

Rudy deLeon, Luke Herman

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