Jake Sullivan

Jake Sullivan of Portsmouth, a veteran national security expert, has been named national security adviser to President-elect Joe Biden.

Jake Sullivan, a senior fellow and faculty member at the Carsey School of Public Policy at the University of New Hampshire, has been tapped by President-elect Joe Biden to be national security adviser.

Sullivan, 43, of Portsmouth, is one of Biden’s senior policy advisers. He worked in Barack Obama’s administration as deputy assistant to the president and national security adviser to then-Vice President Biden.

In addition to his position at the Carsey School in Durham, Sullivan is a Montgomery Fellow at Dartmouth College.

Michael Ettlinger, director of the Carsey School, said,

“I’m excited about the choice, not just because I know him, but I think it’s good for the country.”

Sullivan has taught the course Policy Across Borders at UNH in the spring since 2018, Ettlinger said.

Other key members of Biden’s foreign policy and national security team announced Monday include: Antony Blinken, secretary of state; Alejandro Mayorkas, secretary of homeland security; Avril Haines, director of national intelligence; Linda Thomas-Greenfield, U.S. ambassador to the United Nations; and John Kerry, special presidential envoy for climate.

George Bruno, an immigration attorney in Manchester who was ambassador to Belize under President Bill Clinton, said Sullivan is intelligent and articulate, knows how to negotiate and understands that the country’s foreign policy is an extension of its national policy.

“We’re going to see a United States that’s ready to lead again and stand up for values again,” Bruno said. “We will begin talking to our allies again in a civil tone, and there will be less hugging of autocrats and dictators around the world.”

Sullivan will be one of the youngest people to serve in this role in decades, according to Monday’s announcement by Biden’s transition team.

Sullivan has a bachelor’s degree in political science and international studies from Yale College, was a Rhodes Scholar at Oxford, where he got his master’s degree in international relations, and obtained a law degree from Yale.

Sullivan grew up as the second of five children in Minneapolis, Minn., and lives with his wife, Maggie Goodlander, in Portsmouth, according to Monday’s announcement.

In a statement, Biden said those nominated “are equally as experienced and crisis-tested as they are innovative and imaginative.”

“We have no time to lose when it comes to our national security and foreign policy. I need a team ready on day one to help me reclaim America’s seat at the head of the table, rally the world to meet the biggest challenges we face, and advance our security, prosperity and values,” Biden said.

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