A University of New Hampshire (UNH) faculty member, Jake Sullivan, was appointed as national security advisor for President-elect Joe Biden. 

Jake Sullivan of Portsmouth is a senior fellow and faculty member of the Carsey School of Public Policy. Originally from Minnesota, he holds undergraduate and law degrees from Yale and a master’s degree from Oxford University—a degree he earned as a Rhodes Scholar. 

Sullivan is also a Senior Fellow for the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace and a member of the directorial board of the Truman National Security Project. 

He previously served under the Obama Administration as national security advisor for then-Vice President Joe Biden and Director of Policy Planning at the Department of State. He served as deputy chief of staff to then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.  

Sullivan also served as deputy policy director on Clinton’s 2008 presidential primary campaign, and as a senior policy advisor and chief counsel to Sen. Amy Klobuchar.  

In a press release from UNH, Michael Ettlinger, Director of the Carsey School said Sullivan “has been a terrific asset to the Carsey School—an exceptional teacher who has brought his hands-on experience at the highest levels of our national government into the classroom.” 

In a tweet last Monday, Sullivan said that Biden had taught him “what it takes to safeguard our national security at the highest levels of government.”  

Sullivan, 43, will be the youngest national security advisor appointed in nearly 60 years. McGeorge Bundy, the national security advisor for John F. Kennedy, was 42 when he joined Kennedy’s administration in 1961.  

In a 2019 Seacoast Online column, Sullivan endorsed Biden for President, criticizing President Trump for relinquishing “America’s role as leader of the free world.”  

Sullivan played a key role in the 2015 Iran nuclear negotiations under the Obama-Biden administration, a treaty which has been heavily criticized by Trump as “deeply flawed.”  

Biden has vowed to rejoin the agreement when he takes office, placing Sullivan in a unique position to renegotiate the deal, in the wake of a possible GOP-controlled Senate and the recent assassination of Moshen Fakhrizadeh, a top nuclear scientist within Iran. At this time it is unclear who assassinated him. 

Sullivan further criticized President Trump for his diplomacy with Kim Jong Un, and for repeatedly asking foreign powers to “interfere in our elections.”  

Of Biden, Sullivan wrote, “He is the right person for this difficult task at this difficult time because he is experienced, wise, and ready from day one.” 

Photo Courtesy of the University of New Hampshire