• Brian McKeon
    National security expert.
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  • Washington, DC, USA
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  • Biography

Brian McKeon is a senior executive with 30 years of experience in all three branches of the U.S. government, including top-level national security positions in the White House, the Department of Defense and the U.S. Senate, as both a policymaker and attorney.  

Mr. McKeon's most recent position in government was as Acting Under Secretary of Defense for Policy, where he served as the 4th ranking official in the Office of the Secretary of Defense, was the principal adviser to the Secretary on all national security issues and represented the Department at senior-level meetings in the National Security Council system.  While Under Secretary -- and before that Principal Deputy Under Secretary -- McKeon managed an organization of over 700 people, as well as oversaw three field activities that reported to the Under Secretary, namely the Defense Security Cooperation Agency, the Defense Technology Security Administration and the Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency.

In the White House, McKeon served as Deputy Assistant to the President, Executive Secretary and Chief of Staff of the National Security Council (NSC).  In this capacity, he was chief operating officer to two National Security Advisers, managing all administrative, budget and personnel matters for a staff of over 350.  He was responsible for managing the process of senior level interagency meetings of the NSC, and the timeliness and quality control of national security memoranda for the President.  McKeon also served three years as Deputy National Security Adviser to Vice President Biden, advising him on a full range of national and homeland security matters.  In this capacity, he also served as the lead White House staff official in coordinating the Administration's successful effort to secure Senate approval of the New START Treaty with the Russian Federation.

In the Senate, McKeon served for 12 years as chief counsel to the Democratic members of the Committee on Foreign Relations.  He was the lead staffer for all nominations and treaties, and oversight of the State Department and the Broadcasting Board of Governors.  As an attorney, he developed expertise on a range of legal issues, including treaty law, war powers, laws governing the foreign affairs agencies, federal personnel and procurement laws, federal ethics rules and parliamentary procedure.  Prior to service on the Committee staff, McKeon served for seven years as a foreign policy and defense legislative assistant to Senator Joseph Biden.

In between his two Senate positions, Mr. McKeon served as a law clerk to U.S. District Judge Robert Doumar (E.D. VA) and in the foreign policy office of the Clinton/Gore '96 campaign.

McKeon writes regularly on national security issues for various publications, and has appeared on MSNBC and Fox News.

McKeon is a graduate of the University of Notre Dame and a cum laude graduate of the Georgetown University Law Center.

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