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John Gans, Ph.D., is an adjunct lecturer at Johns Hopkins University’s Krieger School of Arts and Sciences Advanced Academic Programs and at the School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS). He is also a fellow at the German Marshall Fund of the United States.

In the wake of the September 11th attacks, Gans served as a press liaison at Ground Zero in lower Manhattan where he helped brief the press on behalf of the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). The experience drove his interest in public service and national security. Since then, Gans has worked at the U.S. Defense Department, the U.S. Treasury Department, in the office of Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives Nancy Pelosi and for U.S. Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton. In 2010, he joined the U.S. Navy Reserve and currently serves as a lieutenant assigned to the Pentagon.

Until 2017, Gans served at the Pentagon as chief speechwriter to Secretary of Defense Ash Carter. He was the principal adviser to the secretary on planning, positioning, and preparation of remarks, managed a team of writers, and drafted dozens of speeches delivered around the world on defense policy in the Asia-Pacific region, Europe, Russia, the Middle East, and around the world. In addition to leading the writing team at the Defense Department, Gans served in the Obama Administration as senior speechwriter for Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel (2014) and Secretary of the Treasury Jack Lew (2015).

In 2019, Gans published White House Warriors: How the National Security Council Transformed the American Way of War (W.W. Norton’s Liveright). He has also published widely with articles, reviews, and opinion pieces in The New York TimesThe AtlanticWiredPoliticoForeign AffairsThe International Herald TribuneThe Times of London Literary SupplementThe Boston GlobeForeign Policy, and more. He has appeared on CNN, BBC, MSNBC, NPR, and frequently been quoted in print media.

Dr. Gans has a long affiliation with Johns Hopkins and SAIS. He received his Ph.D. from SAIS in 2014 and he earned his MA at the school in 2009. He also has a Bachelor’s degree from Northwestern University which he earned in 2000.

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