Ben Rhodes

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

Deputy National Security 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. A current Political Contributor for NBC News and MSNBC, much of Rhodes extensive experience is chronicled in his New York Times bestseller, The World as It Is, a captivating and compelling behind-the-scenes look at Rhodes decade with the Obama administration. 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
Rhodes Less Traveled: A Conversation with Ben Rhodes | Chicago Council on Global Affairs [1:08:30] - Get Sharable Link
Rhodes Less Traveled: A Conversation with Ben Rhodes | Chicago Council on Global Affairs [1:08:30]
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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 changing role in a changed world

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

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Trump, the Democrats and the direction of American politics

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Messaging and narrative in a fractured media

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<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. 

<p>Ben Rhodes new book is a New York Times bestseller </p>

Ben Rhodes new book is a New York Times bestseller 

Leading international advisor and close confidante of President Obama BEN RHODES new book The World As It Is is an instant bestseller, listed in The New York Times "9 New Books We Recommend." 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, Rhodes 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. With The World as It Is an instant bestseller on Amazon and The New York Times, 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 has 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 in the news</p>

Ben Rhodes in the news

An NBC News and MSNBC Political Contributor and widely sought-out for his wide range of first-hand experience and shrewd expertise on today's top foreign affairs and security issues, Ben Rhodes shares his insights through various media appearances.  Stay on top of his latest views here. 

6.6.2018  Former Obama aide: 'crazy' for Trump to tease Canada about burning down WH  |  CNN

6.4.2018  Ben Rhodes on Trump Alienating Allies, Corruption | All in With Chris Hayes MSNBC

6.3.2018  Ben Rhodes: President Obama felt rapid global change led to Trump | Meet The Press | NBC News

<p>Ben Rhodes is named a political contributor for NBC News and MSNBC</p>

Ben Rhodes is named a political contributor for NBC News and MSNBC

Leading international advisor and close confidante of President Barack Obama and author of the new book  The World As It Is BEN RHODES has been named a NBC News and MSNBC Political Contributor. Rhode's first appearances in his new role were on Meet the Press and All In with Chris Hayes, in which Rhodes shed light on the pivotal moments of the Obama presidency revealed in his book and his analysis on the current political climate. Rhodes much-anticipated book The World As It Is is already making headlines in The Washington Post, The New York Times, The Atlantic, CNBC, People, and more, thanks for its revealing behind-the-scenes look at Obama's presidency and Rhodes remarkable career from working on Obama's campaign at 29 years-old to walking out of the door of the White House on the President's last day. As The New Yorker wrote in its exceptional 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." A key player of the administration who was privy to nearly every decision and action, Rhodes explores crucial moments from waiting out the Bin Laden raid to secret (and never before detailed) negotiations with the Cuban government with fascinating and candid detail. Hailed by former U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Samantha Powers as "a page-turning, unfiltered, altogether human look at Barack Obama’s presidency... Insightful, funny, and moving, this is a beautifully observed, essential record of what it was like to be there," The World As It Is speaks volumes about politics and foreign affairs today. Rhodes brings the same insightful, engaging and substantive commentary to each of his engagements, diving into everything from messaging and narrative in a fractured media to the direction of American politics. His recent rave reviews include: "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." (Indiana University)

<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. Starting every morning in the Oval Office with the President’s Daily Brief, Rhodes traveled the world with Obama, and was at the center of some of the most consequential and controversial moments of the presidency. 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 (and never before detailed) negotiations with the Cuban government. Ultimately The World as It Is is a poignant, intimate portrayal of Obama’s idealism, worldview, and presidency. Early praise for The World as It Is speaks for itself: Ben Rhodes is one of the most brilliant minds and powerful storytellers I’ve ever known. In The World as It Is, he doesn’t just bring you inside the room for the key moments of Obama’s presidency, he captivates you with the journey of an idealistic young staffer who becomes the president’s close friend and advisor—a journey that both cynics and believers will find riveting and hopeful” (Host of Pod Save America, Jon Favreau); The World as It Is is a page-turning, unfiltered, altogether human look at Barack Obama’s presidency. Ben Rhodes—one of Obama’s closest and most important advisors—opens up the defining issues of the presidency... Insightful, funny, and moving, this is a beautifully observed, essential record of what it was like to be there” (Former U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations, Samantha Power). 

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Biography

Ben Rhodes is currently a senior advisor to former President Barack Obama, Political Contributor for NBC News and MSNBC, 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.