Elbridge Colby

Robert M. Gates Senior Fellow

Research Areas

Elbridge Colby is the Robert M. Gates Senior Fellow at the Center for a New American Security (CNAS), where he focuses on issues relating to defense strategy, deterrence, nuclear weapons, conventional forces, U.S. alliances, space, intelligence, and related issues.

In 2012, he served as the deputy head for national security personnel on the Mitt Romney pre-transition effort and also worked on several of the campaign’s security policy teams. From 2010 to 2013 he was a principal analyst and division lead for global strategic affairs at CNA. Before that, he served for over five years in the U.S. Government, including as policy advisor to the Secretary of Defense’s Representative for the new Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty, as an expert advisor to the Congressional Strategic Posture Commission, as a staff member on the President’s Commission on the Intelligence Capabilities of the U.S. Regarding WMD, with the Coalition Provisional Authority in Iraq, and with the State Department. Colby also serves or has served as a consultant to a variety of U.S. Government entities on a range of defense and intelligence matters. In 2014 he served as a staff member for the National Defense Panel.

Colby is a frequent commentator and author on defense and foreign policy issues. He has co-edited a volume on Strategic Stability: Contending Interpretations (2013), co-chaired a CSIS working group study on U.S.-China nuclear weapons issues entitled Nuclear Weapons and U.S.-China Relations: A Way Forward (2013), and has published book chapters in a number of edited collections. He also writes regularly on defense and foreign policy issues in a variety of venues such as The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, The National Interest, Foreign Policy, and Survival. He has testified before Congress and the U.S.-China Economic and Security Review Commission. He also speaks frequently to government, expert, university, and broader public audiences in the United States, Europe, and Asia and is a regular participant in Track II discussions.

He is a recipient of the Exceptional Public Service Award from the Office of the Secretary of Defense and of the Superior and Meritorious Honor Awards from the Department of State. He is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations and the International Institute of Strategic Studies. Colby is a graduate of Harvard College and Yale Law School.

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