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Heritage Expert

Steven Bucci

  • Director, Douglas and Sarah Allison Center for Foreign and National Security Policy
The Davis Institute for National Security and Foreign Policy at The Heritage Foundation

Steven P. Bucci, who served America for three decades as an Army Special Forces officer and top Pentagon official, is director of the Allison Center for Foreign Policy Studies at The Heritage Foundation.

Bucci’s research and writing at Heritage have focused on cyber security, special operations and defense support to civil authorities. He joined the think tank as senior research fellow for defense and homeland security in April 2012, and was promoted to director of Allison Center in December 2012. He is in charge of the group of issues that fall under the Protect America initiative.

Bucci previously was a lead consultant to IBM on cyber security policy. He published numerous articles on related issues and regularly contributed to “Security Debrief,” a leading national security blog. He is a sought-after speaker at conferences on cyber security.

As commander of 3rd Battalion, 5th Special Forces, Bucci led deployments to eastern Africa, South Asia and the Persian Gulf -- including Operation Desert Thunder in 1998 in response to Saddam Hussein’s threats to violate the no-fly zone over Iraq.

Bucci was a seasoned leader in the 82nd Airborne as well as 5th & 7th Special Forces when, in July 2001, he assumed the duties of military assistant to Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld.

Little over nine weeks later, Bucci witnessed the 9/11 terrorist attack on the Pentagon. He worked directly for Rumsfeld daily for five and a half years. He continued to serve the defense secretary in a succession of posts until retiring from the Army in 2005 with the rank of colonel and stayed on at the Pentagon as a civilian appointee with the title of deputy assistant secretary of defense.

Bucci’s military and government service makes him a recognized expert in the interagency process and defense of U.S. interests, particularly with regard to critical infrastructure and what he calls the productive interplay of government and the private sector.

Bucci, who grew up in Dobbs Ferry, N.Y., graduated in 1977 from the U. S. Military Academy at West Point with a bachelor of science degree in national security. He received his master’s and doctorate degrees in international relations in 1986 and 1987 from the University of South Carolina. He also is a graduate of the U.S. Army War College, the Hellenic Army War College in Greece and the Senior Seminar of the Department of State.

Bucci completed graduate studies, language training and regional orientation in the Balkans. He taught European studies, foreign policy and international relations at the JFK Special Warfare Center. He conducted many development and anti-drug missions across Latin America, served as defense attaché in Sarajevo and became the first resident defense attaché in Tirana, Albania.

As the War on Terror unfolded, Secretary Rumsfeld dispatched Bucci to lead a team of 25 military experts to Baghdad to assist the Coalition Provisional Authority. After his retirement from the Army in 2005, he continued to serve as staff director of the Immediate Office of the Secretary of Defense.

Bucci’s next assignment was as deputy assistant secretary of defense for homeland defense and defense support to civil authorities, responsible for overseeing policy issues involving the Defense Domains (air, land, maritime and cyber), National Guard domestic operational issues, domestic counterterrorism, readiness exercises and response to natural and manmade disasters. He was the primary civilian overseer of U.S. Northern Command.

As part of IBM’s Public Sector Team, Bucci was a top strategist in the global computer giant’s cyber security campaign, his advice sought by several major federal departments. He was a member of the Cyber Coordinating Committee and an original deputy director of the IBM Institute for Advanced Security.

Bucci is an adjunct professor of leadership at George Mason University and an associate professor of terrorism studies and cyber security policy at Long Island University.

He is a member of the advisory board for the Network Science Research Center, a consortium led by IBM and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). He previously served on the advisory board of MIT’s Geospatial Data Center and as an adviser to the Prince of Wales/Prince Edward fellowship program at MIT and Harvard.

Bucci and his wife, Suzanne, currently reside in Alexandria, Va. They have two grown sons -- one a psychologist, the other an Army captain.

All Publications by Steven P. Bucci, Ph.D.