Walter B. Slocombe is Secretary, a director, and member of the Executive Committee of the Atlantic Council and a Senior Counsel at the Washington, DC, law firm of Caplin & Drysdale, Chartered. He served as Under Secretary of Defense for Policy from 1994 to 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 (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 position, concurrently as Director of the DOD Task Force on the Strategic Arms Limitation Talks (SALT). He was a member of the staff of the National Security Council in 1969-70.
He has been a member of the State Department International Security Advisory Board, the Commission on Intelligence Capabilities Regarding Weapons of Mass Destruction, and the Defense Policy Board, and he has served on National Academies of Sciences committees on prompt global strike, legal and ethical considerations in information operations, and ballistic missile defense.
He received his education at Princeton University, as a Rhodes Scholar at Oxford University, and at Harvard Law School. After graduating from law school he clerked for United States Supreme Court Justice Abe Fortas.
He is a director of the South Africa Education and Environment Project (which provides enrichment services in the townships of CapeTown), , and a member of the advisory committees of the Geneva Center for Democratic Control of Armed Forces, Our Military Kids (which give grants for recreational and educational activities of the children of deployed Guard and Reserve service members), and of CNA (formerly the Center for Naval Analysis), and he is a Senior Advisor to the Center for Strategic and International Studies.