Rob Spalding is a national security policy strategist, and globally recognized for his knowledge of Chinese economic competition and influence, as well as for his ability to forecast global trends and develop innova-tive solutions. He has served in senior positions of strategy and diplomacy within the Defense and State Departments for more than 26 years, retiring as brigadier general. He was the chief architect for the Trump Administration’s widely praised National Security Strategy (NSS), and the Senior Director for Strategy to the President at the National Security Council.
Dr. Spalding has written extensively on national security matters. His book, STEALTH WAR: HOW CHINA TOOK OVER WHILE AMERICA’S ELITE SLEPT (Portfolio; 2019) is an executive summary of his almost decade-long work countering Chinese Communist Party influence. It has been translated into additional languages. His academic papers and editorial work are frequently published and cited, both nationally and internationally. His Air Power Journal article on America’s Two Air Forces is frequently used in the West Point curriculum. He has been interviewed about the economy and national security on FOX News, BBC, OAN and CNBC, as well as numerous radio and YouTube channels, both nationally and internationally.
Dr. Spalding is a skilled combat leader and a seasoned diplomat. Under Dr. Spalding’s leadership, the 509th Operations Group—the nation’s only B-2 Stealth Bomber unit—experienced unprecedented technological and operational advances. Dr. Spalding’s demonstrated acumen for solving complex technological issues to achieve operational success, was demonstrated when he led a low cost rapid-integration project for a secure global communications capability in the B-2, achieving tremendous results at almost no cost to the government. As commander, he led forces in the air and on the ground in Libya and Iraq. He is a former China strategist for the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and the Joint Staff at the Pentagon, as well as having served as the senior defense official and defense attaché in Beijing. During the UUV Incident of 2016, Dr. Spalding averted a diplomatic crisis by negotiating with the Chinese PLA for the return of the UUV, without the aid of a translator.
Dr. Spalding’s relationship with business leaders, fostered during his time as a Military Fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations, allowed him to recommend pragmatic solutions to complex foreign policy and national security issues, now driving positive economic outcomes for the nation. Dr. Spalding’s groundbreaking work on competition in Secure 5G has reset the global environment for the next phase of the information age.
Dr. Spalding is an Olmsted Scholar, a Life Member of the Council on Foreign Relations, a Senior Fellow at the Hudson Institute, Washington, D.C., as well as a Senior Associate Fellow at the Henry Jackson Society of London. He has lectured globally, including engagements at European Cybersec 2019, KAS-ASPI, the Naval War College, National Defense University, Air War College, Columbia University, S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies in Singapore, Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Laboratory and other Professional Military Educational institutions. Dr. Spalding holds a doctorate in economics and mathematics from the University of Missouri, Kansas City. He was a distinguished graduate of the Defense Language Institute in Monterey and speaks both Chinese Mandarin and Spanish.