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Kenneth B. Handelman

U.S. Department of State
Deputy Assistant Secretary for Defense Trade Controls
Washington, DC, USA


Kenneth B. Handelman, a member of the Senior Executive Service, was appointed to the position of Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Defense Trade Controls in the Bureau of Political-Military Affairs on October 8, 2013. In his current position, Mr. Handelman manages the Directorate of Defense Trade Controls (DDTC) and provides overall policy guidance regarding the transfer of defense technologies to other countries through commercial defense trade, and serves as one of the key links between the State and Defense Departments in this issue area.

From May 1995 – October 2013, Mr. Handelman served in a variety of senior positions in the Office of the Undersecretary of Defense for Policy, most recently as Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary for Global Strategic Affairs. In this capacity he supported policy development and execution for countering Weapons of Mass Destruction, U.S. nuclear and ballistic missile defense force structure, and DoD space and cyber activities. Mr. Handelman previously served on management teams for Policy’s partnership strategy, detainee affairs, security assistance, deliberate planning (the “war plans” process) and technology security activities. He also served for three years as Special Assistant for Programs and Legislation to Undersecretary for Policy, Walt Slocombe. He has directly supervised the workflow of offices numbering between 45 and 700, with oversight of programs with annual budgets from $500 million - $1.6 billion, and has been responsible for $25 million in annual operating budgets. From April 1987 – January 1995, Mr. Handelman was Legislative Assistant and Legislative Director for Senator Howard Metzenbaum of Ohio; he previously worked for the Washington Political Action Committee.

Mr. Handelman holds Bachelor of Arts and Master of International Affairs degrees from Columbia University, New York, New York. He also holds a Juris Doctor from the Washington College of Law at American University. Mr. Handelman was twice awarded the Secretary of Defense Medal for Meritorious Civilian Service, and the DoD Distinguished Civilian Service Award. 

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