Lt. Col. (Ret.)
Lt. Col. (Ret.) Alexander Vindman
Former Director for European Affairs
National Security Council
Lieutenant Colonel Alexander S. Vindman (Retired) was most recently the director for Eastern Europe, the Caucasus, and Russia on the White House’s National Security Council. Prior to retiring from the U.S. Army, he served as a Foreign Area Officer with assignments in Moscow, Russia and for the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff as a Political-Military Affairs Officer. While on the Joint Staff, he co-authored the National Military Strategy Russia Annex and was the principal author for the Global Campaign for Russia.
Vindman came to national attention in October 2019 when he testified before the United States Congress regarding the Trump–Ukraine scandal. His testimony provided crucial evidence of abuse of power, essential to the case against the president in the subsequent impeachment of Donald Trump.
Vindman began his military career in 1998, when he was commissioned as a second lieutenant in the U.S. Army. In 2003, he was deployed to Iraq, where he assumed a commanding position. He later received a Purple Heart medal for wounds he incurred in Iraq.
Starting in 2008, Vindman began specializing in the Russian, Eastern European, and Central Asian regions, including serving as an Army Foreign Area officer and completing a master’s degree at Harvard. From 2012 to 2015, he served as the Assistant Army Attaché in Moscow, and then as the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff’s politico-military advisor for Russia. Vindman was assigned to the National Security Council in 2018 to develop and coordinate U.S. policy for Russia, Eastern Europe, and the Caucasus, a role he served in until early 2020. Before his retirement, Vindman was selected for Army War College and promotion to Colonel.
In July 2020, Vindman retired after 21 years in the military. He cited vengeful behavior and bullying by President Trump and administration officials after he complied with a subpoena to testify in front of Congress during Trump's impeachment hearings. At the time of his retirement, Vindman's promotion to the rank of colonel had been abnormally stalled by the administration.
He is currently a doctoral student at the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies and a Visiting Fellow at Perry World House. His book Here, Right Matters (HarperCollins) will be published in June 2021.