Former United States Secretary of Defense Ashton B. Carter, pictured at the Institute of Politics in 2015 with Graham Allison, director of the Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs. Y. Kit Wu
By Joshua J. Florence, CRIMSON STAFF WRITER16 hours ago
Former Secretary of Defense Ashton B. Carter will join the faculty at the Harvard Kennedy School at the end of the academic year as the director of the Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs and a professor of technology and global affairs.
Carter, who was previously a professor at the Kennedy School, will return to Cambridge after a series of gifts from frequent donors Robert and Renée Belfer. One of their gifts will be used to endow Carter’s new position at the helm of the Belfer Center.
During his tenure as Secretary of Defense, which lasted from 2015 to the end of the Obama administration, Carter led American efforts against ISIS, dealt with the ramifications of Russian aggression in Ukraine, and opened combat positions to women.
In his role at the Belfer Center and as a professor, Carter will teach courses and work with student researchers.
“I like to teach and I like students. I’m not one of these faculty members who doesn’t want to be with students. That’s the whole point,” Carter said in an interview with The Crimson.
Carter said returning to the Kennedy School will provide him with opportunities to continue to working with young people on topics of national defense.
“Two months ago I ended what was a 35-year career in national defense as Secretary of Defense and among the many day-to-day challenges and wars I was always mindful, as Secretary of Defense, of the future,” Carter said. “That comes from two ingredients: great technology and spectacular young people in a volunteer force. I wanted in my next career to combine those things to a degree, namely technological innovation and the next generation.”