Ben Rhodes (White House staffer)

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Benjamin J. Rhodes (born 1977) is the current deputy national security adviser for strategic communication for U.S. President Barack Obama. His formal title is "Assistant to the President and Deputy National Security Advisor for Strategic Communications and Speechwriting."[1] Rhodes has been a foreign policy speechwriter for Obama since 2007. He is a graduate of New York's Collegiate School,[2] Rice University, and New York University.

Early life[edit]

Rhodes grew up on the Upper East Side of Manhattan and attended the exclusive Collegiate School, graduating in 1996.[3][4] Rhodes then attended Rice University, graduating in 2000 with majors in English and political science. He then moved back to New York, attending New York University and graduating in 2002 with an MFA in creative writing.[5]

In the summer of 1997, Rhodes volunteered with the Rudy Giuliani mayoral campaign. In the summer of 2001, he worked on the New York City Council campaign of Diana Reyna.[6]

Foreign policy speechwriter[edit]

In 2002, James Gibney, editor of Foreign Policy, introduced Rhodes to Lee Hamilton, former member of the House of Representative and director of the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars, who was looking for a speechwriter.[4] Rhodes then spent five years as a Hamilton assistant, helping to draft the Iraq Study Group Report and the recommendations of the 9/11 Commission.[7]

In 2007, Rhodes began working as a speechwriter for the 2008 Obama presidential campaign.

Rhodes, who has been described as a realist by The Washington Post,[8] wrote Pres. Barack Obama's 2009 Cairo speech A New Beginning.[9] Rhodes was the adviser who counseled Pres. Barack Obama to withdraw support from Egyptian leader Hosni Mubarak, becoming a key adviser during the 2011 Arab Spring.[10] In March, 2013, Rhodes declined to comment on his role in Obama administration policy decisions, saying, "My main job, which has always been my job, is to be the person who represents the president’s view on these issues."[10]

In 2011, Rhodes was on Time magazine's "40 Under 40" list of powerful and prominent young professionals.[11]

Personal life[edit]

Rhodes is married to Ann Norris, chief foreign policy adviser to Senator Barbara Boxer.[citation needed] His brother, David, is president of CBS News.[citation needed]

External links[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "White House Profile: Ben Rhodes". Retrieved 29 September 2013. 
  2. ^ "Election 2008: Ben Rhodes '96, Speechwriter and Advisor to Barack Obama". Retrieved 11 January 2012. 
  3. ^ "Election 2008: Ben Rhodes '96, Speechwriter and Advisor to Barack Obama". Collegiate School. 2008-10-27. Retrieved 24 September 2013. 
  4. ^ a b Jason Horowitz (2010-01-12). "Obama speechwriter pens a different script for the world stage". Washington Post. Retrieved 24 September 2013. 
  5. ^ "Election 2008: Ben Rhodes '96, Speechwriter and Advisor to Barack Obama". Collegiate School. 2008-10-27. Retrieved 24 September 2013. 
  6. ^ Jason Horowitz (2010-01-12). "Obama speechwriter pens a different script for the world stage". Washington Post. Retrieved 24 September 2013. 
  7. ^ "White House Profile: Ben Rhodes". Retrieved 23 September 2013. 
  8. ^ "Ben Rhodes". The Washington Post (The Washington Post Company). Retrieved 9 April 2012. 
  9. ^ Laurence Jarvik Blog
  10. ^ a b Landler, Mark (March 16, 2013). "Worldly at 35, and Shaping Obama’s Voice". New York Times. 
  11. ^ "Ben Rhodes: 40 Under 40.". TIME. 14 October 2010. Retrieved 9 April 2012.