|28th United States National Security Advisor|
|Assumed office |
January 20, 2021
|Preceded by||Robert C. O'Brien|
|National Security Advisor to the Vice President of the United States|
February 26, 2013 – August 1, 2014
|Vice President||Joe Biden|
|Preceded by||Antony Blinken|
|Succeeded by||Colin Kahl|
|Director of Policy Planning|
February 4, 2011 – February 15, 2013
|Preceded by||Anne-Marie Slaughter|
|Succeeded by||David McKean|
Jacob Jeremiah Sullivan
November 28, 1976
Burlington, Vermont, U.S.
|Education||Yale University (BA, JD)|
Magdalen College, Oxford (MPhil)
Jacob Jeremiah Sullivan (born November 28, 1976) is an American political advisor who serves as the United States National Security Advisor. He was previously a senior policy advisor to Hillary Clinton's 2016 presidential election campaign and deputy chief of staff at the Department of State. Sullivan was also a senior advisor to the U.S. government for the Iran nuclear negotiations and a visiting professor at Yale Law School.
Sullivan worked in the Obama administration as deputy assistant to the president and the vice president's national security advisor, when Biden was U.S. Vice President. He also served as the Director of Policy Planning at the Department of State, and as deputy chief of staff to U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.
On November 23, 2020, Biden announced that Sullivan would be appointed as his national security advisor. He took office January 20, 2021.
Early life and education
Sullivan was born in Burlington, Vermont, and grew up in Minneapolis, Minnesota. His father worked for the Star Tribune and was a professor at the University of Minnesota School of Journalism and Mass Communication, and his mother was a high school guidance counselor. Sullivan attended Southwest High School in Minneapolis, where he graduated in 1994. He was a debate champion, president of the student council, and voted "most likely to succeed" in his class.
Sullivan attended Yale University, where he majored in international studies and political science and was awarded the Alpheus Henry Snow Prize. He was inducted into Phi Beta Kappa his senior year and graduated summa cum laude with distinction in 1998 with a Bachelor of Arts. Sullivan won a Rhodes Scholarship to attend Magdalen College, Oxford, where he studied international relations. He was awarded a Marshall Scholarship the same year but turned it down in favor of the Rhodes. While at Oxford, Sullivan served as a managing editor of the Oxford International Review and was on the second place team at the 2000 World Universities Debating Championship in Sydney, Australia. In 2000, he graduated with a Master of Philosophy. He graduated with a Juris Doctor from Yale Law School in 2003.
At Yale, he was an editor of the Yale Law Journal and the Yale Daily News. He was a member of the Yale Debate Association and earned a Truman Scholarship in his junior year. He also worked for Brookings Institution president Strobe Talbott at the Yale Center for the Study of Globalization.
After graduating from law school, Sullivan clerked for Judge Guido Calabresi of the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit and then for Justice Stephen Breyer of the United States Supreme Court. After his clerkships, Sullivan returned to his hometown of Minneapolis to practice law at Faegre & Benson and taught law as an adjunct professor at the University of St. Thomas School of Law. After Faegre & Benson, Sullivan worked as chief counsel to Senator Amy Klobuchar, who connected him to Clinton.
In 2008, Sullivan was an advisor to Hillary Clinton during the primary cycle and then to Barack Obama during the general election campaign. He prepared Clinton and Obama for debates. When Clinton became Secretary of State, Sullivan joined as her deputy chief of staff and Director of Policy Planning, and he travelled with her to 112 countries.
Sullivan worked in the Obama administration as Deputy Assistant to the President and National Security Advisor to U.S. Vice President Joe Biden. He became Biden's top security aide in February 2013 after Clinton stepped down as Secretary of State. In those posts, he played a role in shaping U.S. foreign policy towards Libya, Syria, and Myanmar.
On June 20, 2014, The New York Times reported that Sullivan was leaving the administration in August 2014 to teach at Yale Law School. As of 2020[update], he was a nonresident senior fellow at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace.
Iran nuclear negotiations
In November 2013, the Associated Press reported that officials in the Obama administration had been in secret contact with Iranian officials throughout 2013 about the feasibility of an agreement over the Iranian nuclear program. The report stated that American officials, including Deputy Secretary of State William Burns, Senior White House Iran Advisor Puneet Talwar, and Sullivan, had secretly met with their Iranian counterparts at least five times face to face in Oman. Those efforts paved the way for the Geneva interim agreement on the Iranian nuclear program, known officially as the Joint Plan of Action, signed by Iran and the P5+1 countries in Geneva, Switzerland, on November 24, 2013.
2016 Clinton presidential campaign
Sullivan was Hillary Clinton's chief foreign policy adviser during her 2016 bid for the presidency. He was reported to be the only senior staffer who kept on asking if it wasn't a good idea for her to spend more time in the Midwestern swing states as the election approached. Sullivan was prominent in many of the Podesta emails released by WikiLeaks during the 2016 US presidential election, including Sullivan questioning if Democratic primary candidate Martin O'Malley's 100% clean energy by 2050 plan was "realistic". After the election, he confessed to feeling "a keen sense of responsibility" for Clinton's defeat.
Between 2016 and 2020 campaigns
After his work with the Clinton campaign, Sullivan joined Macro Advisory Partners, a risk advisory company, in January 2017; Sullivan was paid at least $135,000 by Macro Advisory Partners. While at the London based advisory firm Macro Advisory Partners, Sullivan advised a number of companies including Uber. Following the Clinton campaign, he joined the Carsey School of Public Policy at the University of New Hampshire as a member of the faculty and senior fellow.
Between 2017 and May 2020, Sullivan served on an advisory council for Microsoft; in 2020, he was paid $45,000 for this work. Given Sullivan's role in crafting U.S. cyber security policy in the Biden administration, including overseeing the government's response to January's cyberattack on Microsoft, concerns have been raised about potential conflicts of interest.
On November 22, 2020, Sullivan was announced as President-elect Joe Biden's choice to be National Security Advisor. Upon his appointment, Sullivan stated that the early priorities of Biden's National Security Council (NSC) are the COVID-19 pandemic, "restructuring the NSC to make public health a permanent national security priority", and China relations. He also emphasized that the Biden administration aimed to repair American relations with allies that he regarded as being damaged during the Trump administration.
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he was one of Hillary Rodham Clinton’s closest advisers, at her side in all 112 countries she visited as secretary of state.
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He was also the only one of the dozen aides who dialed in for Clinton’s daily scheduling call who kept on asking if it wasn't a good idea for her to spend more time in the Midwestern swing states in the closing days of the campaign.
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