About the Speaker

Ash Carter currently serves as the Director of the Belfer Center at Harvard University's Kennedy School and Innovation Fellow at MIT. For over thirty-five years Carter served in the Defense Department. As Secretary from 2015 to 2017, Carter pushed the Pentagon to “think outside its five-sided box.” He changed the trajectory of the military campaign to deliver ISIL a lasting defeat, designed and executed the strategic pivot to the Asia-Pacific, established the Department’s and NATO’s new playbook for confronting Russia’s aggression, and launched the department’s latest cyber strategy. Carter also spearheaded revolutionary improvements to the Department, developing new technological capabilities, leading the ‘Force of the Future’ initiative to transform the way the department recruits, trains, and retains quality people, opening all military positions to women, and building bridges to America’s technology community. Carter earned a BA from Yale University and a PhD in theoretical physics from the University of Oxford as a Rhodes Scholar.

About the HKS Gender and Security Seminar Series

The Gender and Security Seminar Series, coordinated by Dara Kay Cohen, Associate Professor of Public Policy, brings leading experts from academia and the policy world, working at the intersection of gender, human rights, and security, to Harvard Kennedy School. Speakers discuss their research in progress or share their perspectives on current policy debates. The seminar series covers issues of national security during the fall semester and international security during the spring semester. The series is co-sponsored by four centers at HKS: the Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, Ash Center for Democratic Governance and Innovation, Carr Center for Human Rights, and Women and Public Policy Program.

*This event is off the record/not for attribution