Ian Lesser is vice president of GMF and a member of its executive team. He also serves as executive director of the Brussels office and leads the organization’s work on transatlantic relations involving the Mediterranean and Turkey. His expertise includes US foreign policy and European and Middle Eastern security affairs.
Prior to joining GMF, Lesser was a public policy scholar at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars, vice president and director of studies at the Pacific Council on International Policy, and, for more than a decade, a senior analyst and research manager specializing in strategic studies at the RAND Corporation. From 1994-1995, he was a member of the US Secretary of State’s policy planning staff, responsible for Turkey, Southern Europe, North Africa, and the multilateral track of the Middle East peace process.
A frequent commentator for international media, Lesser has written extensively on foreign and security policy issues. He was educated at the University of Pennsylvania, the London School of Economics, and the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy, and received his PhD from the University of Oxford. He is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations, the International Institute for Strategic Studies, and the Pacific Council on International Policy. He serves on the advisory boards of the International Spectator, Turkish Policy Quarterly, and the NATO Defense College Foundation, and has been a senior fellow of the Onassis Foundation in Athens and the Luso-American Foundation in Lisbon.