Philip Gordon

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For other people with similar names, see Phil Gordon (disambiguation).
Phil Gordon

Philip H. "Phil" Gordon (born 1962) is an American diplomat, foreign policy expert, and former Assistant Secretary of State for European and Eurasian Affairs. On March 2, 2013, the White House announced that Gordon would join the National Security Staff as Special Assistant to the President and White House Coordinator for the Middle East, North Africa, and the Gulf Region effective as of March 11, 2013.[1][2]

On March 6, 2015, the White House announced that Gordon will be stepping down, and will be succeeded by Robert Malley, currently NSC Senior Director for Iran, Iraq, Syria and the Gulf States. Malley will assume his new position on April 6, 2015. [3]


Gordon received a Bachelor of Arts in French and philosophy from Ohio University. He studied European studies and international economics at the Paul H. Nitze School of Advanced International Studies at Johns Hopkins University, earning an M.A. in 1987 and a Ph.D in 1991.


Gordon has held teaching and lecturing positions at the International Institute for Strategic Studies in London, INSEAD in Fontainebleau and Singapore; and the German Society for Foreign Affairs in Bonn.[4] Dr. Gordon has previously served as a Senior Fellow at the Brookings Institution in Washington, DC; Director for European Affairs at the National Security Council under President Bill Clinton;[5] and Senior Fellow, International Institute for Strategic Studies, London.

Obama Administration[edit]

Gordon was a senior foreign policy advisor to Barack Obama during the 2008 Presidential campaign. Dr. Philip Gordon was nominated as Assistant Secretary of State for European and Eurasian Affairs[5] by Obama on March 6, 2009 and took the oath of office on May 15, 2009. A key moment in his confirmation hearings was Senator Robert Menendez (D-NJ)'s questioning of his position on the Armenian Genocide. In previous publications, Gordon had written that acknowledgement of the Armenian Genocide would cause undue disruption in U.S.-Turkish relations.[6] As Assistant Secretary he is responsible for 50 countries in Europe and Eurasia as well as NATO, the European Union and the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE).


Photo of Prime Minister of Latvia, Valdis Dombrovskis (left) and U.S. Assistant Secretary of State for European and Eurasian Affairs Dr. Philip H. Gordon (right)

Gordon has published articles in The New York Times, Washington Post, International Herald Tribune, Financial Times, Wall Street Journal, and Le Monde.[4]

He has also authored several books, including:

  • Winning the Right War: The Path to Security for America and the World, 2008
  • Winning Turkey: How America, Europe, And Turkey Can Revive A Fading Partnership (with Omer Taspinar and Soli Ozel, 2008
  • History Strikes Back: How States, Nations, And Conflicts Are Shaping The Twenty-first Century (with Hubert Vedrine and Madeleine Albright, 2008
  • Crescent Crisis: US-European Strategy for the Middle East, (with Ivo Daalder and Nicole Gnesotto), 2006
  • The French Challenge: Adapting to Globalization (with Sophie Meunier), 2001
  • France in the Age of Globalization (with Hubert Vedrine), 2001
  • France, Germany and the Western Alliance, 1995

He has also translated Nicolas Sarkozy's 2007 book Testimony: France, Europe, and the World in the Twenty-First Century.


Government offices
Preceded by
Daniel Fried
Assistant Secretary of State for European and Eurasian Affairs
May 15, 2009 – March 10, 2013
Succeeded by
Victoria Nuland