Dr. John A. Gans, Jr. is a professorial lecturer at Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS) and an instructor at the Hopkins Krieger School of Arts and Sciences Advanced Academic Program, where he teaches courses on international politics, U.S. national security and the politics, and the process of U.S. foreign policy. He is also currently a visiting fellow at the German Marshall Fund in Washington.

Until recently, Gans was the chief speechwriter to Secretary of Defense Ash Carter. He served as the principal advisor to the secretary on planning, positioning, and preparation of remarks, managed a team of writers, and drafted dozens of speeches delivered around the world. In addition to leading the writing team at the Defense Department, Gans has served as senior speechwriter for Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel and Secretary of the Treasury Jack Lew.

Over the course of his career, Gans has also worked with Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives Nancy Pelosi, U.S. Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton, the 2008 Beijing Olympic bid delegation, American Airlines, and, in the wake of September 11, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) at Ground Zero. Gans is also a reserve Navy Public Affairs Officer (PAO) and part of the U.S. Fifth Fleet reserve component at Bahrain and Quincy, Massachusetts. 

Gans’ book White House Warriors: How the National Security Council has Transformed the American Way of War will be released in 2018. In his PhD dissertation, “The Midnight Watch: The NSC Staff, Drift, and Presidential Decision in Conflict,” Gans wrote a comprehensive study of the NSC Staff’s culture, influence, and impact on presidential decision-making.

In addition to his professional and academic writing, Gans has published widely in The International Herald Tribune, The Times of London Literary Supplement, Survival, The Boston Globe, Foreign Policy, The American Interest, and The Baltimore Sun. He writes frequently for The Atlantic and also contributed a chapter to the book 2008 US Presidential Election: A Story in Four Acts (2009, USA and Italy). Additionally, Gans has built a following with his writing on musician Bruce Springsteen and analysis of the singer’s unique influence, publishing a long-form article provoking the question, “Did Springsteen win the Cold War?”

In addition to his MA (2009) and PhD (2014) from SAIS, Gans received his undergraduate degree from Northwestern University. He lives in Washington with his wife, Anjuli Srivastava Gans, a pediatrician, and their son.