Dov S. Zakheim

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Dov S. Zakheim
Under Secretary of Defense (Comptroller)
In office
May 3, 2001 – April 15, 2004
PresidentGeorge W. Bush
Preceded byWilliam J. Lynn
Succeeded byTina Jonas
Personal details
Born (1948-12-18) December 18, 1948 (age 71)
Brooklyn, New York, U.S.
Alma materColumbia University
St Antony's College, Oxford
OccupationWriter, businessman, and politician.

Dov S. Zakheim (born December 18, 1948) is an American businessman, writer, politician, and former official of the United States government. In the Reagan administration, he held various Department of Defense positions.

Early life[edit]

Dov S. Zakheim was born on December 18, 1948 in Brooklyn, New York. He earned his bachelor's degree in government from Columbia University in 1970, and his doctorate in economics and politics at St. Antony's College, Oxford University. He is Jewish. [1] [2] [3]


Zakheim was an adjunct professor at the National War College, Yeshiva University, Columbia University and Trinity College, where he was presidential scholar.

Zakheim served in various Department of Defense posts during the Reagan administration, including Deputy Undersecretary of Defense for Planning and Resources from 1985 to 1987. There was some controversy in both the US and Israel over Zakheim's involvement in ending the Israeli fighter program, the IAI Lavi. He argued that Israeli and U.S. interests would be best served by having Israel purchase F-16 fighters, rather than investing in an entirely new aircraft.

Zakheim was signed a letter to Clinton about Iraq.[4][5][6] During the 2000 U.S. Presidential election campaign, Zakheim served as a foreign policy advisor to George W. Bush as part of a group led by Condoleezza Rice that called itself The Vulcans.

From 1987–2001, Zakheim was CEO of SPC International, a subsidiary of System Planning Corporation, a high-technology analytical firm. During that period he served as a consultant to the Office of the Secretary of Defense, and sat on a number of major DoD panels, including its Task Force on Defense Reform (1997) and the DoD's first Board of Visitors of Overseas Regional Centers (1998–2001). In September 2000 Zakheim is also a member of the Council on Foreign Relations, the International Institute for Strategic Studies, and the United States Naval Institute, and a member of the editorial board of the journal The National Interest. He is a three-time recipient of the Department of Defense's highest civilian award, the Distinguished Public Service Medal, as well as other awards for government and community service.

Zakheim was an Adjunct Scholar of the Heritage Foundation, a Senior Associate at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, and published over 200 articles and monographs on defense issues.

Zakheim was then appointed as Under Secretary of Defense (Comptroller) from 2001 in George W. Bush administration, and served in this capacity until April 2004. During his term as Comptroller, he was tasked to help track down the Pentagon's 2.3 trillion dollars' worth of unaccounted transactions. DoD financial experts, Zakheim said, are making good progress reconciling the department's "lost" expenditures, trimming them from a prior estimated total of $2.3 trillion to $700 billion.[7] In 2008, he was appointed by President Bush as a member of the Commission on Wartime Contracting in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Zakheim retired as a Senior Vice President of Booz Allen Hamilton in 2010. He currently is a Senior Fellow at the CNA Corporation, a senior advisor at the Center for Strategic and International Studies. He is also Co-Vice Chair of Global Panel America (Global Panel Foundation) with Sir Malcolm Rifkind, the former UK Foreign Secretary and Minister of Defense.

His most recent book, A Vulcan’s Tale: How the Bush Administration Mismanaged the Reconstruction of Afghanistan, discusses the Bush administration's missed opportunities and struggles to manage two wars, particularly the seemingly endless conflict in Afghanistan.[8]

Zakheim also currently sits on the Atlantic Council's[9] Board of Directors.



  • Flight of the Lavi : inside a U.S.-Israeli crisis. Brasseys. 1996.
  • Congress and National Security in the Post-Cold War Era (The Nixon Center, 1998)
  • Toward a Fortress Europe? (Center for Strategic and International Studies, 2000)
  • A Vulcan's Tale (Brookings Institution Press, 2011)

Book reviews[edit]

Year Review article Work(s) reviewed
2018 "Lehman's maritime triumph". Naval War College Review. 71 (4): 141–146. Autumn 2018. Lehman, John (2018). Oceans ventured : winning the Cold War at sea. New York: W. W. Norton.


  1. ^ "What's Wrong With This Picture?". August 7, 2002.
  2. ^ Freedman, Samuel G. (February 6, 2015). "Strains Grow Between Israel and Many Jews in the U.S."
  3. ^ "US Jews will abandon Israel over religious exclusion, warns delegation".
  4. ^ Jarecki, Eugene (October 14, 2008). The American Way of War: Guided Missiles, Misguided Men, and a Republic in Peril. Simon and Schuster. p. 14. ISBN 9781416544562 – via Google Books.
  5. ^ Roberts, Guy (November 13, 2014). US Foreign Policy and China: Bush's First Term. Routledge. p. 37. ISBN 9781317649939 – via Google Books.
  6. ^ "PNAC, Rebuilding America's Defenses, 2000" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on August 8, 2007. Retrieved July 28, 2019.
  7. ^ Gerry J. Gilmore (February 20, 2002). "Zakheim Seeks To Corral, Reconcile 'Lost' Spending". US Department of Defense.
  8. ^ Dov Zakheim (2011). A Vulcan's Tale: How the Bush Administration Mismanaged the Reconstruction of Afghanistan. Brookings Institution Press.
  9. ^ "Board of Directors". Atlantic Council. Retrieved February 12, 2020.

External links[edit]