As senior fellow for national security affairs, Peter Brookes helps develop and communicate The Heritage Foundation's stance on foreign and defense policy through his research and writing, media and public appearances, and congressional testimony.
Brookes is in his fifth term as a congressionally appointed member of the U.S.-China Economic and Security Review Commission, named by both House Speaker Paul Ryan and former Speaker John Boehner.
Before joining Heritage in 2002, Brookes served in the administration of President George W. Bush as deputy assistant secretary of defense for Asian and Pacific affairs. In this post, he was responsible for U.S. defense policy for 38 countries and five bilateral defense alliances in Asia.
A decorated Navy veteran, he served on active duty in Latin America, Asia, and the Middle East in aviation and intelligence billets. He has more than 1,300 flight hours aboard the Navy's EP-3 reconnaissance aircraft.
On Capitol Hill, Brookes has testified 10 times before six different Senate and House committees, both as a public official and a private citizen.
Brookes holds a doctorate in international relations from Georgetown University and a master’s degree in government from Johns Hopkins University. He received his bachelor’s degree from the U.S. Naval Academy; he was appointed to Annapolis by the late Jack Kemp, then representing New York in the House.
He also is an honor graduate of the Defense Language Institute, where he studied Russian, and the Naval War College. He has taught at the National Defense University and was an associate professor at the Joint Military Intelligence College at the Defense Intelligence Agency.
Before joining the Bush administration, Brookes was a professional staff member with the House International Relations Committee, working on Asia. He also served with the CIA and the State Department at the U.S. Mission to the United Nations. In the private sector, he worked in the defense and intelligence industries.
Now a retired naval intelligence officer with the rank of commander, Brookes served as a reservist with the National Security Agency, Defense Intelligence Agency, Office of Naval Intelligence, the Joint Chiefs of Staff, and the Office of the Vice President, working at various times as an intelligence analyst, strategic debriefer, Russian language interpreter, defense attaché, and policy adviser. Through his work at Heritage, Brookes has established a major presence in print and digital media, publishing hundreds of articles and commentaries in dozens of newspapers, journals, magazines, and websites. Many of the world’s most popular news outlets have quoted him. He is the author of the book “A Devil's Triangle: Terrorism, Weapons of Mass Destruction and Rogue States” (Rowman & Littlefield, 2005).
He also is a force in broadcast and cable media, having logged more than 2,500 appearances as a commentator on television and radio—among them ABC, NBC, CBS, Fox News Channel, Fox Business Channel, CNN, MSNBC, CNBC, National Public Radio, BBC, Canadian Broadcasting Corp., Voice of America, Al Hurra, and Radio Free Asia. He has guest-hosted on talk radio programs in major markets. A popular public speaker, Brookes has delivered more than 200 addresses, including presentations in more than 25 states and 20 nations. He has spoken as part of the State Department’s public diplomacy programs in Japan, Germany, Australia, Poland, Austria, Ukraine, Fiji, and Papua New Guinea.
Brookes, who studied German and Polish in addition to Russian, has visited nearly 60 countries on five continents, including North Korea and the former Soviet Union. He served as an international election observer in Indonesia and Cambodia.
He has served in political positions at the local, state, and national levels. He helped draft the foreign policy platform for the 2000 Republican National Convention in Philadelphia, advised the 2000 and 2004 Bush-Cheney campaigns on foreign policy, and briefed presidential candidates in 2008 and 2012.
Among his awards and honors are the Navy League of New York's Frank Knox Media Award; Joint Service Commendation Medal; Navy Commendation Medal (three); Navy Achievement Medal; Defense Language Institute's Kellogg Award; Joint Chiefs of Staff service badge; and Naval Aviation Observer wings.
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