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Joshua Geltzer ’05 selected as special assistant to Biden

<h6>Harsimran Makkad / The Daily Princetonian</h6>
Harsimran Makkad / The Daily Princetonian

The White House has appointed Joshua Geltzer ’05 as special assistant to the president and special advisor to the homeland security advisor on countering domestic violent extremism. 

According to a CNBC article, Geltzer will work with Clare Linkins, President Joe Biden’s senior director for counterterrorism, to comprehensively analyze the threat of domestic terrorism during the first 100 days of the new administration.


In response to a Jan. 22 tweet by Politico White House correspondent Natasha Bertrand announcing Geltzer’s appointment, Geltzer wrote “It’s an immense privilege and a profound responsibility. I’ll do my best to live up to both.”

In the tweet, Geltzer thanked Jake Sullivan, the national security advisor for President Biden, and Liz Sherwood-Randall, the homeland security advisor, for the chance to serve the American people and “augment the U.S. government’s efforts to counter domestic violent extremism.”

In compliance with rules for government employees, Geltzer declined to comment on this article.

At the University, Geltzer graduated summa cum laude from the School of Public and International Affairs and was inducted into Phi Beta Kappa, a prestigious nationwide academic honor society.


Geltzer then earned a Master’s degree in International Relations and a Ph.D. in War Studies at King’s College London on a Marshall scholarship. In 2011, he graduated from Yale Law School after serving as editor-in-chief for the Yale Law Journal.

Since graduating, he has served in a variety of roles related to counterterrorism and security, including senior director for counterterrorism (2015 to 2017) and deputy legal adviser (2015) on the National Security Council under former President Barack Obama.

Immediately preceding his new role, Geltzer served as Executive Director of the Institute for Constitutional Advocacy and Protection at Georgetown University Law Center. Now, Geltzer will serve alongside Sherwood-Randall and Deputy Homeland Security Adviser Russ Travers.

In the wake of the insurrection three weeks ago by former President Donald Trump’s supporters at the U.S. Capitol, Biden announced his plan to address domestic extremism. Biden has asked the Office of the Director of National Intelligence to coordinate with the FBI and the Department of Homeland Security to analyze the extent of domestic extremism across the government, according to a CNBC report.

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The Biden administration also plans to expand the National Security Council and review current policies on radical attacks to determine and fill necessary gaps, an effort that will be led by Geltzer.

"We are grateful for all Princetonians who continue the University’s long tradition of service to our nation and humanity," wrote Ayana Gibbs, the University’s media relations specialist, in an email to The Daily Princetonian.

Assistant News Editor Kalena Blake contributed reporting.