Under Secretary of Defense for Policy
Department of Defense

Colin Kahl

Under Secretary of Defense for Policy

Provides strategic policy advice on national security affairs to the Secretary of Defense and Department of Defense as a whole.

Colin Kahl is the Under Secretary of Defense for Policy.

Mr. Kahl rejoins the Department of Defense from Stanford’s Center for International Security and Cooperation and the Penn Biden Center for Diplomacy and Global Engagement. Colin Kahl served as Deputy Assistant to the President and National Security Advisor to the Vice President from 2014 through 2017 and was the Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for the Middle East from 2009 through 2011.

On America’s role in the world: Kahl has said, “The United States remains the world’s most powerful democracy. It has a proud legacy of transformational leaps in human progress, including advances that have eradicated infectious diseases.” (source)

On COVID-19: Kahl has emphasized that “The COVID-19 pandemic is a once-in-a-century global challenge. It necessitates a truly global response. With U.S. leadership that rises to the occasion, the current moment could be an opportunity to show that international cooperation on a grand scale is still possible and desirable.” (source)

On Alliances: Kahl tweeted “Whether it’s COVID, climate, or competing with China, we need others–especially fellow democracies–working with us, not against us.” (source)

On democracy at home: In a tweet addressing concerns about democratic backsliding, Colin Kahl affirmed “our democratic institutions will prove mightier … and that will show the world something important.” (source)