National Security Adviser – no confirmation needed

Jake Sullivan

by Deedra Abboud in Political
December 30, 2020 0 comments
Jake Sullivan

Jake Sullivan was announced as President-elect Joe Biden’s choice to be National Security Advisor.

The position: Top adviser to the president on national security policy and related decisions.

Jacob Jeremiah Sullivan born in Burlington, Vermont in 1976 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, from which he graduated in 1994. He was a debate champion, president of the student council, and voted “most likely to succeed” in his class.

After graduating from high school, Sullivan attended Yale University, where he majored in international studies and political science. He graduated summa cum laude with distinction in 1998 with a Bachelor of Arts and was inducted into Phi Beta Kappa his senior year.

Upon graduating from Yale, Sullivan won a Rhodes Scholarship to attend Magdalen College, Oxford, where he studied international relations.

He had also been 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.

In 2000, he graduated with an MPhil.

Afterwards, he enrolled at Yale Law School and graduated with a Juris Doctor 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 JusticeStephen Breyer of the United States Supreme Court.

After his clerkships, Sullivan returned to his hometown of Minneapolis to practice law at the law firm Faegre & Benson for several months 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.In 2008, Sullivan helped prepare 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 then–Vice President 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.

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.

Sullivan left the administration in August 2014 to teach at Yale Law School. As of 2020, he is a nonresident senior fellow at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace.Sullivan is married to Margaret Goodlander, a former advisor to Senators Joe Lieberman and John McCain and law clerk to Chief Judge Merrick Garland and Justice Stephen Breyer.

Upon his appointment as National Security Advisor for President-elect Biden, Sullivan stated that the early priorities of Biden’s National Security Council (NSC) will be the COVID-19 pandemic, “restructuring the NSC to make public health a permanent national security priority,” and China.

He also emphasized that the Biden administration will aim to repair American relations with allies that were damaged during the Trump administration

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