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John J. Hamre (born July 3, 1950 in Watertown, South Dakota) is a specialist in international studies, a former Washington government official and President and CEO of the Center for Strategic and International Studies, a position he has held with that think tank since 2000.

John Hamre
Secretary of Defense, John Hamre
United States Deputy Secretary of Defense
In office
July 29, 1997 – March 31, 2000[1]
PresidentBill Clinton
Preceded byJohn White
Succeeded byRudy de Leon
Comptroller of the Department of Defense
In office
September 5, 1994 – July 29, 1997
PresidentBill Clinton
Preceded byJohn White
Succeeded byRudy de Leon
Personal details
Born (1950-07-03) July 3, 1950 (age 69)
Watertown, South Dakota, U.S.
Political partyRepublican
Spouse(s)Julia Pfanstiehl (1976–present)
Alma materAugustana College, South Dakota
Harvard University
Johns Hopkins University
WebsiteOfficial website

Early life and educationEdit

Hamre is the son of Melvin Sanders and Ruth Lucile (Larson) Hamre. He attended primary and secondary school in Clark, South Dakota. He earned a B.A. (with high distinction) in political science and economics from Augustana College in Sioux Falls, South Dakota (1972).[4] The following year he was a Rockefeller Fellow at Harvard Divinity School. He earned an M.A. (1976) and Ph.D. (1978) with distinction from the School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS), Johns Hopkins University.[4][7]

Federal government serviceEdit

John Hamre (right) with Ash Carter (center) and Sam Nunn

Hamre served in the Congressional Budget Office (1978–1984), where he became its deputy assistant director for national security and international affairs. In that position, he oversaw analysis and other support for committees in both the House of Representatives and the Senate. In the 1980s, he worked for ten years at the Senate Armed Services Committee.[3] During that time, he was primarily responsible for the oversight and evaluation of procurement, research and development programs, defense budget issues, and relations with the Senate Appropriations Committee.[7]

Hamre was DoD Comptroller (1993–1997) and Deputy Secretary of Defense (1997–1999), both under President Bill Clinton.[3][7]

The Senate appointed Hamre (2001) to the Commission on the Future of the United States Aerospace Industry.[8]

Hamre worked on the Obama transition team. He is chairman of the Defense Policy Board.[2][8] Hamre's continued involvement in the defense establishment has put him on the short list for the position of Secretary of Defense multiple times, including during the formation of the first term of the Obama administration and most recently after the president's re-election in 2012.[9]


John Hamre, President and CEO of the Center for Strategic and International Studies, in Washington, D.C. in February 2013

In 2008, the Norwegian King Harald V appointed Hamre Commander of the Royal Norwegian Order of Merit for his efforts "to promote collaboration between Norwegian and American politicians, authorities and researchers".[10]

Publications (partial list)Edit


  1. ^ [1]
  2. ^ a b Baker, Peter (November 18, 2008). "The New Team - John J. Hamre". New York Times. Retrieved 2009-11-10.
  3. ^ a b c John J. Hamre (2009). Marquis Who's Who.
  4. ^ "Reproduced in Biography Resource Center. Farmington Hills, Michigan: Gale". Fee, via Fairfax County Public Library. 2009. Document Number: K2013019745
  5. ^ Gertz, Bill (February 9, 1998). "John Hamre, choirboy". National Review. Archived from the original on June 4, 2009. Retrieved November 10, 2009.
  6. ^ a b c "John J. Hamre Center for Strategic and International Studies". Center for Strategic and International Studies. Retrieved 2009-11-10.
  7. ^ a b "President Obama Appointee Profile - John Hamre" (PDF). Military Families United. January 23, 2009. pp. 3–7. Retrieved 2009-11-10.[dead link]
  8. ^ "Who will be the next secretary of defense? | Foreign Policy". 2010-07-30. Retrieved 2017-03-20.
  9. ^ "John Hamre Appointed Commander of the Royal Norwegian Order of Merit". Ministry of Foreign Affairs (Norway). 18 January 2008. Archived from the original on August 8, 2008. Retrieved 2008-11-08.

External linksEdit