Alumni (National Fellow)

David Adesnik

National Fellow
Ph.D. University of Oxford (2005)
Professional Sectors:
Dream Mentor:
Mel Leffler
Fields of Interest:
Foreign Policy
International Relations


David Adesnik is the director of research at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies, where he is responsible for the oversight of FDD publications and the supervision of FDD’s team of research analysts. His research focuses on defense policy, strategy, and budget issues. Previously, Adesnik served as policy director at the Foreign Policy Initiative and was a visiting fellow at the Marilyn Ware Center for Security Studies at the American Enterprise Institute. For two years he served as deputy director for Joint Data Support at the U.S. Department of Defense. Adesnik also spent several years as research staff member at the Institute for Defense Analyses. In that capacity, he spent four months in Baghdad as an operations research and systems analyst for Multinational Corps - Iraq during Operation Iraqi Freedom. In 2008, he was part of the foreign policy and national security staff for John McCain’s presidential campaign. Adesnik holds a doctorate and master’s degree in international relations from Oxford University, where he studied as a Rhodes Scholar. His dissertation focused on the Reagan administration’s approach to democracy promotion. Adesnik received a bachelor’s degree in history from Yale University, from which he graduated summa cum laude. He has been the recipient of fellowships from the Council on Foreign Relations, the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, Harvard University, and the University of Virginia. His work has been published in Foreign Policy, The Weekly Standard, The National Review, The Washington Free Beacon, The Washington Quarterly, Forbes.com, and FoxNews.com.

Thesis Description:

The Rebirth of American Democracy Promotion: Carter and Reagan in Central America

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