Nicholas Rasmussen

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Nicholas Rasmussen
Nicholas Rasmussen.jpg
Director of the National Counterterrorism Center
In office
December 18, 2014 – December 24, 2017
President Barack Obama
Donald Trump
Preceded by Matthew G. Olsen
Succeeded by Russell Travers (Acting)
Personal details
Alma mater Wesleyan University (B.A.)
Princeton University (M.P.A.)

Nicholas J. Rasmussen was the Director of the National Counterterrorism Center (NCTC), a United States government organization. He was sworn in on December 18, 2014 and was replaced by Russell Travers on December 24, 2017 [1]


Rasmussen received a B.A. degree with high honors from the College of Social Studies at Wesleyan University and was awarded a Masters in Public and International Affairs from the Woodrow Wilson School at Princeton University. He joined the Department of State in 1991 as a Presidential Management Intern in the Bureau of Political-Military Affairs and for more than a decade served in a variety of key positions. He worked as a foreign affairs analyst in the Bureau of Political-Military Affairs from 1991-1994 focusing on Persian Gulf security issues following Operation Desert Storm, including negotiation for U.S. forces' access and basing in Bahrain, Kuwait, Qatar, the United Arab Emirates, and Saudi Arabia. From 1994-1996 he was a Special Assistant to Ambassador-at-Large Robert Gallucci, providing analysis of the negotiation and implementation of the U.S.-North Korea Agreed Framework. Rasmussen was Special Assistant to the State Department's Special Middle East Coordinator, Ambassador Dennis Ross, from 1996-2001, providing support to the Arab-Israeli peace process.[1]

From 2001 to 2004 he served on the NSC staff as Director for Regional Affairs in the Office of Combating Terrorism where he focused on Middle East, Southeast Asia and related counterterrorism issues in the period after September 11, 2001. From 2004-2007, Rasmussen served at NCTC from in senior policy and planning positions responsible for producing net assessments of U.S. counterterrorism policy and strategy for the National Security Council (NSC) and the President.[1]

He served from October 2007 with the National Security Council staff as Special Assistant to the President and Senior Director for Counterterrorism, where he was responsible for providing staff support to the President, the National Security Advisor and Homeland Security Advisor on counterterrorism policy and strategy.[1]

Rasmussen served as Deputy Director of the National Counterterrorism Center (NCTC) starting in June 2012, and was sworn in as its Director on December 18, 2014, upon his confirmation by the United States Senate.[1] According to a New York Times article on November 15, 2017, Rasmussen is to step down as Director in December 2017 and "has not decided what to do next."[2]

He is the recipient of numerous awards, including the National Intelligence Distinguished Service Medal in 2017, the Distinguished Presidential Rank Award in 2016, an International Affairs Fellowship by the Council on Foreign Relations, and has taught a course on U.S. counterterrorism policy at Georgetown University's School of Foreign Service.[1]


  1. ^ a b c d e f "Director of NCTC Nicholas J. Rasmussen". Office of the Director of National Intelligence. Retrieved 3 May 2017. This article incorporates text from this source, which is in the public domain.
  2. ^ "Director of American Counterterrorism Center to Step Down". Retrieved 2018-08-05.