Celeste Ward Gventer

National Security Fellow  | Clements Center
Celeste Ward Gventer

Celeste Ward Gventer works as a consultant on defense organization, management, and institution building in Eastern Europe and the Middle East, and writes and consults on a variety of defense and security issues. She has worked over the last three years in the United Arab Emirates and with the Defense Institution Building (DIB) program in Ukraine. She played a leading role in a major redesign of the Ukrainian Ministry of Defense with the RAND Corporation. She has also worked in Moldova, Romania, Georgia, Montenegro, Kosovo, and Iraq on a range of defense organization and management issues.

Based in Amberg, Germany, she is also a non-resident National Security Fellow at the Clements Center for National Security, and an adjunct analyst with the RAND Corporation.

From 2007 to 2009, Celeste served as the Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Stability Operations Capabilities in the Office of the Secretary of Defense. She joined the Defense Department after her second tour in Iraq, where she was the political-military advisor to the Multinational Corps-Iraq commander from 2005-2006. She also worked in Iraq in 2003 – 2004 with the Coalition Provisional Authority, where she assisted in the creation and stand-up of the Iraqi Ministry of Defense and was an assistant to the Iraqi National Security Advisor.

Celeste has also worked as a Senior Defense Analyst with the RAND Corporation, as Special Assistant to the Counselor of the State Department, as a Strategist in the Office of the Secretary of Defense, as a Research Fellow at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, and as a Defense Analyst at the U.S. Congressional Budget Office.

Celeste received a Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science from Stanford University, a Master of Public Policy degree from the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University, and is currently a Ph.D. candidate in International History at UT. She is the recipient of the Global War on Terrorism Civilian Service Medal, the U.S. Army Superior Civilian Service Award, the Secretary of Defense Medal for Outstanding Public Service, and the Order of St. Joan D’Arc medallion. Celeste is married to a U.S. Army officer.

Celeste Gventer can be reached at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..