Walter B. Slocombe is a Senior Counsel at the Washington, DC, law firm of Caplin & Drysdale, Chartered. He served in the US Department of Defense as Under Secretary of Defense for Policy (1994-2001), and, from May to November 2003, as Senior Advisor for National Security and Defense in the Coalition Provisional Authority for Iraq. Prior to becoming Under Secretary of Defense for Policy, he had served in the Defense Department as Principal Deputy Under Secretary for Policy (1993-94), Deputy Under Secretary for Policy Planning (1979-81), and Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary for International Security Affairs (1977-79), and, in the last two positions, concurrently as Director of the DoD Task Force on the Strategic Arms Limitation Talks (SALT). He was on the Program Analysis Staff of the National Security Council in 1969-70.
He has been a member of the Defense Policy Board, the State Department International Security Advisory Board, the International Advisory Committee of the Geneva Center for Democratic Control of Armed Forces, the Advisory Board of Our Military Kids, an organization that supports educational and recreational opportunities for the children of deployed National Guard and Reserve personnel, the presidential Commission on Intelligence Capabilities Regarding Weapons of Mass Destruction, and National Academies of Sciences committees that conducted studies of prompt global strike, legal and ethical considerations in information operations, and ballistic missile defense. He is Corporate Secretary, a director, and member of the executive committee of the Atlantic Council and serves on the board of the South Africa Education Project, which supports enrichment activities for students in the townships of Cape Town.
He received his education at Princeton University, as a Rhodes Scholar at Balliol College Oxford, and at Harvard Law School. After graduating from law school he clerked for United States Supreme Court Justice Abe Fortas. He has been awarded the Department of Defense’s Distinguished Public Service Medal (1981, 1995, 1997, 2001, 2004).