Dr. Matthew Spence is the William J. Perry Fellow at Stanford University, and a partner at the venture capital firm Andreessen Horowitz.
Prior to entering the private sector, Dr. Spence spent six years in senior national security positions in the U.S. government. From 2012 to 2015, Dr. Spence served as Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Middle East Policy, where he was the principal advisor to three Secretaries of Defense for U.S. defense policy in the Middle State. He was responsible for fourteen countries in the Middle East, including Syria, Iran, Iraq, Israel, Egypt, and the Gulf states. During his time at the Pentagon, Dr. Spence traveled to the region over 30 times, testified before Congress, and played a central role in U.S. military planning, arms sales negotiations, and cybersecurity in the Middle East.
Dr. Spence also served in a senior role on Secretary of Defense Ash Carter’s confirmation and transition teams. He received the Secretary of Defense Award for Outstanding Public Service.
From 2009 to 20012, Dr. Spence worked at the White House on the National Security Council as Special Assistant to the President and Senior Director for International Economic Affairs and as Senior Advisor to two National Security Advisors. In that capacity, he traveled with and briefed President Obama in foreign trips, joined hundreds of national security meetings with the President’s cabinet, and prepared the National Security Advisor for several hundred of the President’s Daily Intelligence Briefings He worked on issues ranging from cyber security, trade, Asia policy, and the operation against Osama bin Laden. He also served on the Obama-Biden Presidential Transition Team.
Dr. Spence was also a Managing Director at Guggenheim Partners, focusing on cybersecurity mergers and acquisitions. Dr. Spence is the co-founder of the Truman National Security Project, was a Lecturer in International Relations at Oxford University, and has been widely published in national security and foreign policy, including in the Yale Law Journal, Washington Post, and Los Angeles Times. Trained as a lawyer, Dr. Spence also practiced criminal and international law in California, and served as a law clerk for Judge Richard Posner of the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals. A Marshall Scholar and Truman Scholar, Dr. Spence received his doctorate in International Relations from Oxford University; J.D. from Yale Law School; and B.A. and M.A. in International Policy Studies from Stanford University. Dr. Spence is also a Senior Fellow at the Yale Law School Center for Global Legal Challenges and the NYU Center on Law and Security. He was born and raised in southern California.