Chief International Advisor for former President Barack Obama
Ben Rhodes is currently Chief International Advisor for former President Barack Obama. He is also an independent speaker, writer and consultant.
From 2009 to 2017, Rhodes served as Deputy National Security Advisor to President Obama. In that capacity, he participated in nearly all of President Obama’s key decisions, and oversaw the President’s national security communications, speechwriting, public diplomacy and global engagement programming. He led the secret negotiations with the Cuban government which resulted in the historic effort to normalize relations between the United States and Cuba, and supported the negotiations to conclude the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) with Iran. Rhodes also led the Administration’s engagement with Myanmar, Laos and Vietnam as a part of its broader focus on Southeast Asia. As a lead speechwriter for President Obama, he also helped write all of President Obama’s major foreign policy and national security speeches for a decade.
Prior to joining the Administration, from 2007-2008 he was a Senior Speechwriter and foreign policy advisor to the Obama campaign. Before joining then-Senator Obama’s campaign, he worked for former Congressman Lee Hamilton from 2002-2007, supporting his work on the 9/11 Commission and Iraq Study Group. He was the co-author, with Tom Keen and Lee Hamilton, of Without Precedent: The Inside Story of the 9/11 Commission.
Rhodes was appointed by President Obama to serve as a member of the United States Holocaust Memorial Council. A native New Yorker, Mr. Rhodes has a B.A. from Rice University and an M.F.A from New York University.