Ben Rhodes

NEW EXCLUSIVE
  • Chief International Advisor for Former President Barack Obama
  • Deputy National Security Advisor to President Barack Obama (2009-2017)
  • Senior Speechwiter and Foreign Policty Advisor to the Obama Campaign (2007-2008)

Currently serving as the Chief International Advisor for Former President Barack Obama, Ben Rhodes is a leading voice on politics and foreign affairs with over 15 years experience working in Washington. From 2009 to 2017, Rhodes served as Deputy National Security Advisor to President Obama, participating in nearly all of the President's key decisions, and overseeing all national security communications, speechwriting, public diplomacy and global engagement programming. Renowned for his leadership during the secret negotiations with Cuba, resulting in the historic normalization of relations, and his role as a prominent advisor on the Join Comprehensive Plan of Action with Iran, Rhodes was also crucial to the administration's engagement with Myanmar, Laos and Vietnam. A key writer for all of President Obama's major foreign policy and national security speeches for a decade, Rhodes remains one of the longest-serving members of the administration, sought-out for his wide range of first-hand experience and shrewd expertise on today's top foreign affairs and security issues. 

Prior to joining Obama for America, Rhodes worked as special assistant to Lee Hamilton at the Wilson Center, where he helped draft the Iraq Study Group Report and the recommendations of the 9/11 Commission. He is the co-author, with Lee Hamilton and Tom Kean, of Without Precedent: The Inside Story of the 9/11 Commission.  

 

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Rave Reviews About Ben Rhodes
Ben was wonderful and generous with the students. Everybody appreciated his acute and thoughtful answers to the many questions asked... The students who attended the Q & A were enthusiastic and the public clearly enjoyed his open presentation.

A Sample of the Groups That Have Hosted Ben Rhodes
  • Washington Ideas Forum
  • The Aspen Institute
  • University of Chicago
  • Stanford University
  • Indiana University
  • eMerge Americas
A career in politics, speechwriting, and foreign policy | U. Chicago IOP [interview+qa 1:10:26] - Get Sharable Link
A career in politics, speechwriting, and foreign policy | U. Chicago IOP [interview+qa 1:10:26]
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Ben Rhodes - The Obama Doctrine: America's Role in a Complicated World (Full Session)
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FPC BRIEFING, A LOOK BACK ON THE OBAMA ADMINISTRATION'S FOREIGN POLICY
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The Legacy of the JCPOA | Atlantic Council [1:08:20]
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Explore Ben Rhodes's Talks

America's Role in a Changing World

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Engagement Not Isolation: An Inside Account of US-Cuba Relations

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Navigating the Revolutions in Media

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<p><strong>Ben Rhodes’ memoir provides a behind-the-scenes look at the Obama administration </strong></p>

Ben Rhodes’ memoir provides a behind-the-scenes look at the Obama administration

From starting off as a 29 year-old working on Barack Obama’s campaign, to walking out the door of the White House on the president’s last day, BEN RHODES is one of the longest-serving members of the Obama administration. His new memoir, The World as It Is: A Memoir of the Obama White House, takes readers behind-the-scenes of his remarkable career, providing a revelatory, and unique, account of Obama’s presidency. Working his way up from a speechwriter, to a deputy national security advisor, and finally a multipurpose aide and close collaborator, Rhodes was a key player of the administration, privy to nearly every decision and action. As the book description details: “He started every morning in the Oval Office with the President’s Daily Brief, traveled the world with Obama, and was at the center of some of the most consequential and controversial moments of the presidency—and kept much of it to himself. Now he tells the full story of his partnership—and, ultimately, friendship—with a man who also happened to be a historic president of the United States.” Out on June 12th, Rhodes’ memoir is a rare look into the most pivotal moments of Obama’s career—from waiting out the Bin Laden raid to secret negotiations with the Cuban government—and ultimately is a poignant, intimate portrayal of Obama’s idealism, worldview, and presidency.

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Biography

Ben Rhodes is currently a senior advisor to former President Barack Obama and independent speaker and writer. From 2009 to 2017, he served as Deputy National Security Advisor to President Obama. In that capacity, he participated in nearly all of President Obama’s key decisions, and oversaw the President’s national security communications, speechwriting, public diplomacy and global engagement programming. He also led the secret negotiations with the Cuban government which resulted in the historic effort to normalize relations between the United States and Cuba, and played a key role in advancing the Administration’s engagement with Burma, Laos and Vietnam. From 2007-2008, he was a Senior Speechwriter and foreign policy advisor to the Obama campaign. Before joining then-Senator Obama’s campaign, he worked for former Congressman Lee Hamilton from 2002-2007, supporting his work on the 9/11 Commission and Iraq Study Group. A native New Yorker, Mr. Rhodes has a B.A. from Rice University and an M.F.A from New York University.