Ely Ratner, Assistant Secretary of Defense for Indo-Pacific Security Affairs

Ely Ratner

Assistant Secretary of Defense for Indo-Pacific Security Affairs

Ely Stefansky Ratner was born in 1977. He earned an undergraduate degree from Princeton University and received a Ph.D. in political science from the University of California, Berkeley. 

He served on the staff of the U.S. Senate Committee on Foreign Relations when Joe Biden was chairman. He was an associate political scientist at the RAND Corporation for two years, after which he joined the State Department as a China desk officer. He later served as deputy national security advisor to then-Vice President Joe Biden. After President Obama’s administration, Ratner became a China fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations, and later was the executive vice president and director of studies at the Center for a New American Security. 

Ratner was nominated by President Joe Biden to be Assistant Secretary of Defense for Indo-Pacific Security Affairs. He was confirmed by the Senate and sworn in by Secretary of Defense Austin in July 2021. 

Ratner is married to Jennifer. 

In the News…

Assistant Secretary of Defense for Indo-Pacific Security Affairs, Ely Ratner, represented the U.S. during the 14th Defense Trilateral Talks with Japan’s Director General for Defense Policy Kano Koji and South Korea’s Deputy Minister for National Defense Policy Cho Chang-rae.  

The Defense Department stated, “The officials exchanged assessments of the security environment on the Korean Peninsula, in the Indo-Pacific, and beyond, and they consulted on concrete ways to deepen ROK-U.S.-Japan trilateral security cooperation.“

“The three sides affirmed their enduring commitment to strengthening trilateral cooperation to deter the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea’s (DPRK) nuclear and missile threats and to promote peace and stability on the Korean Peninsula and in the Indo-Pacific region,“ the statement continued.

The assistant secretary reaffirmed the commitment of the United States to the defense of the Republic of Korea and Japan


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