Ben Rhodes

NEW EXCLUSIVE
  • Political Contributor, NBC News & MSNBC
  • New York Times Bestselling Author, The World As It Is and After the Fall
  • Deputy National Security Advisor to President Barack Obama (2009-2017)
  • Chair, National Security Action


Ben Rhodes is the author of the New York Times bestsellers After the Fall: Being American in the World We've Made and The World As It Is; a contributor for NBC News, MSNBC and Crooked Media; the co-chair of National Security Action; and an advisor to former President Barack Obama. From 2009-2017, Rhodes  served as a 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 effort to normalize relations between the United States and Cuba, and supported the negotiations to conclude the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) with Iran. Prior to joining the Administration, he was a Senior Speechwriter and foreign policy advisor to the Obama campaign. From 2002-2007, he worked for former Congressman Lee Hamilton, supporting his work on the 9/11 Commission and Iraq Study Group.

 

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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
  • Colgate University
  • Washington Ideas Forum
  • The Aspen Institute
  • University of Chicago
  • Stanford University
  • Indiana University
  • eMerge Americas
In Conversation clip - Americas Changing Role in a Changed World | Colgate U. [3:54] - Get Sharable Link
Explore Talks By Ben Rhodes

America’s changing role in a changed world

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China, the U.S. and the future of Asia

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Messaging and narrative in a fractured media

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<p>Former national security advisor and commentator Ben Rhodes pens a compelling – and personal – geopolitical roundup, filled with storytelling and reflection</p>

Former national security advisor and commentator Ben Rhodes pens a compelling – and personal – geopolitical roundup, filled with storytelling and reflection

We recently had the opportunity to hear from BEN RHODES directly about the inspiration and significance of his new book After the Fall: Being American in the World We’ve Made: This is a very personal book for me - in some ways more personal than my memoir - in that I wrestle with a world that seems to be moving in the wrong direction, try to make sense of my own experience being in and then very much out of a position of some power, and travel the world immersing myself in the experiences of some extraordinary people - from the young, democratic opposition in Hungary; to prominent Russian thinkers and oppositionists; to Hong Kong protesters and young people living on the fault line between democracy and authoritarianism. A book that was about the world, though, became very much a book about America itself - the impact that we’ve had on the world, the impact that the world has had on us, and ultimately a conviction that the fact that America took such a dark turn compels us to be more dogged in pursuing what America is supposed to be.

I’ve been asked what I mean by the subtitle “Being American in the World We Made” - if the second part means that America in many ways shaped the world we live in for better and worse, the first part (to me) means that we can never stop doing the work of trying to be the better America. The multi-racial, multi-ethnic democracy where people from everywhere can share an identity. We owe that to ourselves, and the world.

<p>Ben Rhodes' After the Fall is a deeply personal, beautifully observed quest for answers to the questions: Why is democracy so threatened in America and around the world, and what can we do about it?</p>

Ben Rhodes' After the Fall is a deeply personal, beautifully observed quest for answers to the questions: Why is democracy so threatened in America and around the world, and what can we do about it?

When BEN RHODES left the White House after President Obama's terms ended, he traveled to dozens of countries, meeting with politicians, activists, and dissidents confronting the same nationalism and authoritarianism that Rodes thought was tearing America apart. Along the way, a Russian opposition leader he spoke with was poisoned, the Hong Kong protesters he came to know saw their movement snuffed out, and America itself reached the precipice of losing democracy before giving itself a second chance.

Part memoir and part reportage, After the Fall is a hugely ambitious and essential work of discovery. In his travels, Rhodes comes to realize how much America’s fingerprints are on a world we helped to shape, through our post–Cold War embrace of unbridled capitalism and our post-9/11 nationalism and militarism; our mania for technology and social media; and the racism that fueled the backlash to America’s first Black president. In his book and in his speeches, Rhodes looks squarely at where America has gone wrong makes clear how essential it is to fight for what America is supposed to be, for our own country and the entire world. Rhodes was featured on NPR discussing his book and what it means for the world today. 

<p>Virtual Programming: President Obama's Fo<span>rmer </span><span>U.S. Deputy of National Security Ben Rhodes has the gravitas and insight you need for your election event, and he masterfully paints the big picture of America's place in the global political landscape</span></p>

Virtual Programming: President Obama's Former U.S. Deputy of National Security Ben Rhodes has the gravitas and insight you need for your election event, and he masterfully paints the big picture of America's place in the global political landscape

In the wake of several important national security decisions and trade agreements and amid the global coordination required to manage the pandemic, BEN RHODES is speaking out everywhere on America's leadership among nations. From PBS Frontline to Foreign Affairs to his new podcast Missing America, the former U.S. Deputy of National Security for President Obama is being sought out now for his insights.  He has the political network to deliver meaningful in-the-know insights, for example, he interviews on his podcast some of the senior members of Joe Biden's foreign policy team, former National Security Advisor Susan Rice and former CIA Director John Brennan. In his upcoming book, After the Fall: Being American in the World We've Made, he looks to the rest of the world to get better insight into why democracy is threatened in the United States, and where to go from here. In his talks, Rhodes masterfully paints the big picture of the global political landscape- nationalism in Europe, authoritarianism in China, disinformation, sectarianism in India, war in the Middle East, the refugee crisis and xenophobia, and nationalism in America - and brings it home in a way that leaves audiences raving: "Ben talked with many, many people and generated lots of follow-up conversations and thinking by faculty and students — that’s just what we want." (Stanford Univesity) and "Everybody appreciated his acute and thoughtful answers to the many questions asked..." (Indiana University).

<p>Ben Rhodes on rethinking national security and foreign policy amid the coronavirus </p>

Ben Rhodes on rethinking national security and foreign policy amid the coronavirus 

Leading international advisor to President Obama, New York Times bestselling author, and contributor to top foreign affairs podcast Pod Save the World, BEN RHODES offers illuminating insight and substantive analysis on the response to the coronavirus pandemic, and national security and foreign policy strategies that need to evolve amid this unprecedented crisis. Having penned a widely-read op-ed for The Atlantic, "The 9/11 Era is Over: The coronavirus pandemic and a chapter of history that should have ended long ago," Rhodes dove into how America will need to rethink its government and society, shift spending priorities, and prepare for future threats, in ways that differ dramatically from the past two decades. Additionally, Rhodes' comments on the need to reframe global health as an issue of national security, rather than a "charity or development issue," made headlines in Politico, and he was sought-out for an interview on MSNBC. A leading speaker on foreign affairs, security, U.S. politics, and America's changing role in a changing world, Rhodes has been sought-out to speak everywhere from The Aspen Institute to the Washington Ideas Forum. He receives rave reviews, such as:  "The event was fantastic! We had a great turn out and the discussion was very interesting. Ben was a great guest." (Colgate University)

<p>Ben Rhodes' New York Times bestseller The World As It Is</p>

Ben Rhodes' New York Times bestseller The World As It Is

Leading international advisor and close confidante of President Obama BEN RHODESNew York Times bestselling book is a fascinating and eye-opening look at life inside the White House. Starting out at just 29 years-old as a senior speechwriter and foreign policy advisor on Obama's campaign to walking out of the White House on the President's last day in office, for nearly ten years Rhodes saw almost everything that happened at the center of the Obama administration. He oversaw the administration's national security communications, public diplomacy, and global engagement programming, starting every morning in the Oval Office with the President’s Daily Briefing. In The World as It Is, he reveals what it was like to be there, and in his talks takes audiences behind-the-scenes of the most pivotal political moments of the last decade, sharing intimate, candid and revelatory commentary on everything from the future direction of American politics to effective messaging in today's fractured media landscape. Rhodes has been sought-out for interviews by New York MagazineCBS This MorningCNNNPR and more to share details from his book, insights into policymaking during the Obama administration, and commentary on Washington today. The book also made headlines in  The Washington PostThe New York TimesThe GuardianThe AtlanticPeople, and more. As The New Yorker wrote in its exceptional book review: "More than any other White House memoirist, Rhodes is a creature of the man he served... This is the closest view of Obama we’re likely to get until he publishes his own memoir." Rhode's receives equally resounding praise at each of his engagements, such as: "Everything went smooth as silk. Ben talked with many, many people and generated lots of follow-up conversations and thinking by faculty and students — that’s just what we want" (Stanford University).

<p>Ben Rhodes is a contributor on top podcast Pod Save the World </p>

Ben Rhodes is a contributor on top podcast Pod Save the World 

Leading international advisor to President Obama and New York Times bestselling author BEN RHODES is a regular contributor on weekly top foreign affairs podcast Pod Save the World. A behind-the-scenes conversation with the people responsible for some of the most important foreign policy decisions of our time, Pod Save the World-- named to Salon's "15 indispensable policy podcasts"-- sheds light on the most pressing issues of the day in language everybody can understand. On recent episodes, Rhodes has discussed everything from ongoing turmoil in North Korea and Venezuela, to top security issues, to Brexit, with candor, substance, clarity, and humor. It's the same balance Rhodes brings to audiences worldwide at speaking engagements; his rave reviews speak for themselves. Following a recent keynote at the Canada2020 Conference, audience-members tweeted: "Insightful, inspirational and thought provoking talk by  via "; "'More than ever, the world's democracies need to stick together.' Great conversations with  tonight in Ottawa"; "Had a great time listening to @bhrodes talk... He even signed my book!" Rhodes' New York Times bestselling book The World as It Is-- a memoir chronicling Rhodes' decade in the Obama administration-- was released in French, German and Spanish and debuted on the bestseller list in Germany. 

<p>Ben Rhodes keeps the tweets of praise rolling in at #Canada2020</p>

Ben Rhodes keeps the tweets of praise rolling in at #Canada2020

Leading international advisor to President Obama and New York Times bestselling author BEN RHODES garnered rave reviews at the Canada2020 conference, delivering insights into foreign policy and the international order for hundreds of attendees. Delivering a live keynote entitled "The World As It Is," named for his recently-published bestseller, Rhodes kept the audience tweeting praise such as: "Insightful, inspirational and thought provoking talk by via "; "Amazing to hear at talk about the international order. Thanks for making this happen!"; "'More than ever, the world's democracies need to stick together.' Great conversations with tonight in Ottawa"; "Had a great time listening to @bhrodes talk... He even signed my book!" A live event, Rhodes Canada2020 conversation was converted into a podcast. He was recently also sought-out for the prestigious Swiss International Finance Forum, where he delivered a keynote on "The US Perspective: A Different View on the New World Order" for hundreds of financial leaders, politicians, and more. An esteemed forum that has previously hosted everyone from former Treasury Secretary Larry Summers to current Governor of the Bank of England Mark Carney, the Swiss International Finance Forum gave Rhode's insightful and compelling remarks on current U.S. political trends the following rave review: "His speech was great and I already heard a lot of positive comments." Rhode's new book The World As It Is was a instant bestseller on Amazon and The New York Times, and was listed to The New York Times "9 New Books We Recommend."  

<p>Rhodes is a smash hit at the Swiss International Finance Forum </p>

Rhodes is a smash hit at the Swiss International Finance Forum 

Leading international advisor and close confidante of President Obama BEN RHODES was sought-out for the prestigious Swiss International Finance Forum, where he delivered a keynote on "The US Perspective: A Different View on the New World Order" for hundreds of financial leaders, politicians, and more. An esteemed forum that has previously hosted everyone from former Treasury Secretary Larry Summers to current Governor of the Bank of England Mark Carney, the Swiss International Finance Forum gave Rhode's insightful and compelling remarks on current U.S. political trends the following rave review: "His speech was great and I already heard a lot of positive comments." Rhode's new book The World As It Is was a instant bestseller on Amazon and The New York Times, and was listed to The New York Times "9 New Books We Recommend."  With The World as It Is making headlines, Rhodes has been sought-out for interviews by New York MagazineCBS This MorningCNNNPR and more. He also just penned a powerful op-ed in The Atlantic on American leadership abroad in light of the disappearance of Jamal Khashoggi. 

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Biography

Ben Rhodes is the author of the New York Times bestsellers After the Fall: Being American in the World We've Made and The World As It Is; a contributor for NBC News, MSNBC and Crooked Media; the co-chair of National Security Action; and an advisor to former President Barack Obama. From 2009-2017, Rhodes  served as a 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 effort to normalize relations between the United States and Cuba, and supported the negotiations to conclude the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) with Iran. Prior to joining the Administration, he was a Senior Speechwriter and foreign policy advisor to the Obama campaign. From 2002-2007, he worked for former Congressman Lee Hamilton, 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.