Luke Coffey

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Luke Coffey (born 1979) is an American political adviser and US Army veteran. Coffey formerly worked as a Special Adviser to Liam Fox, the ex-Secretary of State for Defence in the United Kingdom.[1] He was the first non-UK citizen ever appointed by Prime Minister David Cameron to provide advice to senior British ministers. [2] He is currently the Director of the Douglas and Sarah Allison Center for Foreign Policy at The Heritage Foundation, an American conservative think tank.[3]


Coffey attended Wentworth Military Academy where he was commissioned in the U.S. Army as a distinguished military graduate of the Reserve Officer Training Corps programme. He earned a bachelor of arts degree in Political Science from the University of Missouri–St. Louis, studied African politics at the University of the Western Cape in South Africa as a visiting undergraduate, and earned a master of science degree in European Union Politics from the London School of Economics.[4]

Military career[edit]

Prior to British politics, Coffey served as a Captain in the US Army as part of the Southern European Task Force (AIRBORNE) based in Vicenza, Italy and deployed to Afghanistan as part of Operation Enduring Freedom in 2005.


Coffey began his work with the Conservative Party in 2006 in the office of Mark Harper MP. He also worked for Liam Fox when Fox was Shadow Secretary of State for Defence prior to the May 2010 general election.

In June 2010 it was reported in the Sunday Times that Coffey, as an American citizen, did not have the proper security clearance to undertake his role as Special Adviser to the British Defence Secretary.[5] However, the Ministry of Defence has stated that Coffey has been subject to the necessary security vetting for him to undertake his role.[6]

In 2012 he joined The Heritage Foundation's Margaret Thatcher Center for Freedom. In 2016 he was promoted to the position of Director of the Douglas and Sarah Allison Center for Foreign Policy. [3]


  1. ^ Department of Information Services, "Parliamentary Information List", accessed 09.01.11
  2. ^ The Heritage Foundation, “[1]”, accessed 23.06.18
  3. ^ a b The Heritage Foundation, "Luke Coffey", accessed 26.12.14
  4. ^ CENSA Website, "Membership directory Archived 2010-11-25 at the Wayback Machine", accessed 09.01.11
  5. ^ Isabel Oakeshott , "Minister lets US ‘mole’ roam MoD", The Sunday Times, 06.06.10, accessed 12.09.10
  6. ^ Official Record, "[2]", accessed 09.01.11