John Hamre was elected president and CEO of the Center for Strategic and International Studies in January 2000. Before joining CSIS, he served as the 26th U.S. deputy secretary of defense.
Under Hamre's leadership, CSIS's Global Health Policy Center formed in 2009 its Commission on Smart Global Health Policy, operating from the premise that investments in health, while benefiting people first, advance a wide-range of foreign policy, security, economic and development interests. CSIS assembled the new commission in response to the 2007 Smart Power Commission, whose final report put a special focus on global health, making the case for public health investments as the leading edge of U.S. development programs and for improving the U.S. image abroad.
Hamre served as under secretary of defense (comptroller) from 1993 to 1997. Before serving in the Department of Defense, he worked for 10 years as a professional staff member of the Senate Armed Services Committee. From 1978 to 1984, Hamre served in the Congressional Budget Office, where he became its deputy assistant director for national security and international affairs.
Hamre received his doctorate from the School of Advanced International Studies at The Johns Hopkins University, where his studies focused on international politics and economics and U.S. foreign policy. He earned his bachelor's degree from Augustana College, emphasizing political science and economics, and also studied as a Rockefeller fellow at Harvard Divinity School.