Ian Brzezinski is a resident senior fellow with the Scowcroft Center for Strategy and Security and is on the Atlantic Council’s Strategic Advisors Group.
He brings to the Council more than two decades of experience in US national security matters, having served in senior policy positions in the US Department of Defense and the US Congress. He currently leads the Brzezinski Group, which provides strategic insight and advice to government and commercial clients.
Brzezinski served as deputy assistant secretary of defense for Europe and NATO policy (2001-05). His office formulated, coordinated, and executed bilateral and regional engagement strategies and defense guidance with the Joint Staff, Unified Combatant Commands, and Defense Department elements. His lead responsibilities included NATO expansion; Alliance force planning and transformation; and NATO operations in the Balkans, the Mediterranean, Afghanistan, and Iraq. Key highlights of his tenure include the expansion of NATO membership in 2004; the consolidation and reconfiguration of the Alliance’s command structure; the standing up of the NATO Response Force; and the coordination of European military contributions to US and NATO-led operations in Iraq, Afghanistan, and the Balkans.
Brzezinski served for seven years on Capitol Hill, first as a legislative assistant for national security affairs to the Chairman of the Senate Finance Committee, Senator Bill Roth, (1995–2000) and then as a senior professional staff member on the US Senate Committee on Foreign Relations (2000–2001). In these capacities, he drafted and implemented legislative initiatives and strategies concerning US interests in Europe, Russia, the Caucasus, and Central Asia. As the staff coordinator of the Senate NATO Observer Group, he facilitated coordination and communication between the US Senate and the executive branch on NATO enlargement, NATO operations in the Balkans, and Alliance force modernization, among other issues.
Brzezinski served as a volunteer in Ukraine (1993-1994) advising the Ukrainian National Security Council, Foreign Ministry, Defense Ministry, and Parliament. He served as a member of the policy planning staff in the Defense Department (1991–93), a consultant to the Center for Naval Analysis (1991–1992) and a support analyst/information assistant at the National Security Council (1986–1987). He also worked for five years as a principal at Booz Allen Hamilton, Inc., providing policy and technical support to US combatant commands and foreign clients.
For his public service, Brzezinski has been awarded the Department of Defense Medal for Distinguished Public Service; the Order of the Lithuanian Grand Duke Gedimas; the Latvian Ministry of Defense Award; the Romanian Medal for National Service, Order of Commander; and the Order of Merit, Republic of Poland, Officer Class.