David Aaron

Senior Fellow
Off Site Office


M.P.A., Woodrow Wilson School for Public and International Affairs, Princeton University; B.A., L.L.D. (honorary), Occidental College


Ambassador David L. Aaron is a senior fellow at the RAND Corporation. He formerly served on the RAND-Qatar Policy Institute Board of Overseers and as director of the RAND Center for Middle East Public Policy. He is a former deputy national security advisor, ambassador to the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, under secretary of commerce for international trade, and special White House envoy for cryptography. His other government positions included Foreign Service assignments to NATO, the UN, and the Strategic Arms Limitation Talks. He served on the staff of the Senate Intelligence Committee and was the National Security Council staff member responsible for nuclear strategy and arms control. Ambassador Aaron also worked in the private sector as an investment banker and advisor to a Washington law firm. He has written three novels published in ten languages, and wrote the PBS special The Lessons of the Gulf War. His most recent monograph is In Their Own Words: Voices of Jihad (RAND Corporation, 2008). Aaron received his L.L.D. from Occidental College and his M.P.A. from the Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs at Princeton University.

Recent Projects

  • Jihadism
  • Counterterrorism
  • Nuclear deterrence in the Middle East

Selected Publications

David Aaron, In Their Own Words: Voices of Jihad--Compilation and Commentary, RAND (MG-602-RC), 2008

David Aaron, ed., Three Years After: Next Steps in the War on Terror, RAND Corporation (CF-212-RC), 2005


  • The World after bin Laden

    What's needed is an international conference of all the regional players that have a greater stake in the outcome of the Afghan/Pakistan conflict than does the U.S., writes David Aaron.

    May 3, 2011 The Washington Post

  • Is the Arab World Changing for the Better?

    If some measure of democracy does result, the elected governments likely will reflect the popular antipathy that the "Arab street" has for both the United States and Israel, writes David Aaron.

    May 3, 2011 CQ Global Researcher

  • Spending Aid to Palestinians Wisely

    Spending Aid to Palestinians Wisely in the International Herald Tribune

    Aug 16, 2007 International Herald Tribune

  • Bombing Boon...

    Published commentary by RAND staff: Bombing Boon... in the Washington Times.

    Jul 30, 2006 Washington Times

  • How Iraq's Neighbours Can Steer It Away From Destruction

    Published commentary by RAND staff: How Iraq's Neighbours Can Steer It Away From Destruction, in the Financial Times.

    Jun 7, 2006 Financial Times

  • How to Deal with Hamas

    Published commentary by RAND staff: How to Deal with Hamas, in United Press International.

    Mar 15, 2006 United Press International

  • Promoting Justice

    Published commentary by RAND staff.

    Mar 22, 2005 United Press International