U.S. Strategy in a Changing Middle East: A view from the Pentagon

U.S. Strategy in a Changing Middle East: A view from the Pentagon

Matt Spence, Deputy Asst. Secretary of Defense, on U.S. foreign policy and international security strategy in the Middle East.

Friday, September 05, 2014
12:00 PM
UCLA School of Law, Room 1347
Los Angeles, CA 90095



Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Middle East Policy, Matt Spence, will discuss the turmoil and unprecedented challenges in the Middle East. He will discuss how the role of the U.S. and the U.S. military in the region, and key trends in the region that should guide U.S. policy through this period of transition, and over the next decade. As the principal advisor to the Secretary of Defense, Dr. Spence is responsible for U.S. defense policy in the Middle East for fourteen countries, including Iran, Iraq, Syria, Israel, and Egypt.


Matt Spence was appointed Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Middle East Policy in February 2012. He is the principal advisor to the Secretary of Defense and Under Secretary of Defense for Policy on international security strategy and policy for the Middle East, and for oversight of security cooperation programs, including Foreign Military Sales, in the region.

Prior to joining the Defense Department, Spence served as Special Assistant to the President and Senior Director for International Economic Affairs at the National Security Council. From 2009-2011, he was Senior Advisor to the National Security Advisor at the White House. He also served on President-elect Obama’s National Security Council transition team.

From 2005-2008, Spence was co-founder and director of the Truman National Security Project, a national security leadership development institute based in Washington, DC. Spence was previously a Lecturer in International Relations at Oxford University and a Fellow at the Stanford Center on Democratization, Development, and the Rule of Law. Trained as a lawyer, Spence also practiced criminal and international law in California, and served as a law clerk for Judge Richard Posner of the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals for the United States. Spence is widely published in foreign affairs, including articles in the Los Angeles Times, International Herald Tribune, Yale Law Journal, and various books and publications.

A Marshall Scholar and Truman Scholar, Spence received his doctorate in International Relations from Oxford University; J.D. from Yale Law School; and B.A. and M.A. in International Policy Studies from Stanford University. He was born and raised in southern California.

This event is off the record. 

Co-sponsored by: International and Comparative Law Program at UCLA School of Law, UCLA Journal of International Law and Foreign Affairs, UCLA International Human Rights Law Association 

Sponsor(s): Burkle Center for International Relations, UCLA Law