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Dr. Ian O. Lesser is Vice President of the German Marshall Fund of the United States. He also serves as executive director of the Transatlantic Center, GMF’s Brussels Office, and leads GMF's work on the Mediterranean, Turkey, and the wider Atlantic. Prior to joining GMF, Lesser was vice president and director of studies at the Pacific Council on International Policy (the western partner of the Council on Foreign Relations).
He came to the Pacific Council from RAND, where he spent over a decade as a senior analyst and research manager specializing in strategic studies. From 1994-95, he was a member of the secretary’s Policy Planning Staff at the U.S. Department of State, responsible for Turkey, Southern Europe, North Africa, and the multilateral track of the Middle East peace process.
A frequent commentator for international media, he has written extensively on international policy issues. His books and reports include Morocco’s New Geopolitics: A Wider Atlantic Perspective (2012); Beyond Suspicion: Rethinking US-Turkish Relations (2007); Security and Strategy in the Eastern Mediterranean (2006); Turkish Foreign Policy in an Age of Uncertainty (2003); Greece’s New Geopolitics (2001); and Countering the New Terrorism (1999).
He is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations, the International Institute for Strategic Studies, and the Pacific Council on International Policy. He serves on the advisory boards of the NATO Defense College Foundation, the International Spectator, Turkish Policy Quarterly, and Insight Turkey, has been a senior fellow of the Onassis Foundation and the Luso-American Foundation, and a public policy scholar at the Woodrow Wilson Center in Washington. He also serves as a senior adviser to the Commander, United States European Command.
Dr. Lesser was educated at the University of Pennsylvania, the London School of Economics, and the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy, and received his D.Phil from Oxford University.