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Peter I. Belk

Global Fellow

Professional affiliation

U.S. Special Operations Command

Wilson Center Projects

Digital Futures Project

Full Biography

Peter I. Belk is the Deputy Director, J5, Strategy, Policy, Plans and Concepts at United States Special Operations Command (USSOCOM).  In this capacity, he leads command development of strategic plans and risk assessments for the Secretary of Defense, Joint Chiefs of Staff, and Cabinet-level officers and the implementation and integration of strategic planning processes across the U.S. Special Operations Forces enterprise.  Mr. Belk also served as a Senior Policy Advisor at USSOCOM where he was as a coordinator and subject matter expert in support of command requirements for national-level policy integration for irregular warfare and countering weapons of mass destruction efforts, as well as broader national policy initiatives.

Previously, Mr. Belk was the Director for Weapons of Mass Destruction Terrorism Threats, Office of Weapons of Mass Destruction Terrorism and Threat Reduction, Nonproliferation Directorate, National Security Council where he planned, directed and coordinated the development of policies relating to state and non-state actor nuclear, chemical, biological and radiological threats, weapons of mass destruction terrorism, and relevant arms control and nonproliferation mechanisms such as the Non-Proliferation Treaty, the Biological Weapons Convention and the Chemical Weapons Convention.

Mr. Belk also served as the Principal Director (Acting) in the Office of the Secretary of Defense in the Chemical and Biological Defense Program.  Prior to this, Mr. Belk served in a number of senior DoD roles after entering government service in 1994 with the Department of State in the Bureau of Intelligence and Research, where he oversaw all-source intelligence support for the Secretary of State, the Deputy Secretary of State and the Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs. Mr. Belk also was as an analyst in the Office of Strategic, Proliferation and Military Affairs in the Bureau of Intelligence and Research, where he was responsible for political-military matters, conventional and unconventional, in the Middle East and South Asia. In this capacity, he focused on countering Iraqi weapons of mass destruction efforts, and was assigned as a biological weapons expert to the United Nations Special Commission (UNSCOM) in Iraq.

Mr. Belk performed a number of operational overseas roles in a military and civilian capacity, to include support for Operation Inherent Resolve, Operation Enduring Freedom and Operation Allied Force.  He is an adjunct professor in the McCourt School of Public Policy at Georgetown University and a life member in the Council on Foreign Relations.

Mr. Belk is a licensed attorney in the District of Columbia and the State of New York.  Mr. Belk holds a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science, with honors, from the University of Pennsylvania, a Master of Arts in National Security Studies from Georgetown University, and a Juris Doctorate from Columbia University School of Law.