Steven Riccardi

Steve Riccardi is Principal Director for Cyber Policy in the Office of the Secretary of Defense. In this role, he supports the Secretary of Defense, Under Secretary of Defense for Policy and Assistant Secretary of Defense for Space Policy in all aspects of the formulation and coordination of U.S. defense policy for the cyber domain.

Mr. Riccardi previously served as the Chief of Staff and Senior Advisor to the Assistant Secretary of Defense for Space Policy. There, Mr. Riccardi directly supported the Assistant Secretary on all policy issues pertaining to his portfolio, as well as established a new Defense organization dedicated to space policy, managing resources and administrative responsibilities across the organization.

Prior to joining Space Policy, Mr. Riccardi was detailed to the Joint Artificial Intelligence Center (JAIC), where he served as the Director for Strategy and Policy. There he was a key member of the executive team, advising the JAIC Director on policy and strategy issues related to artificial intelligence, and leading four divisions in their efforts to drive change throughout the Department.

Mr. Riccardi served as the Acting Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Afghanistan, Pakistan and Central Asia (DASD APC) from June 2019 to February 2020. In this capacity, he oversaw all U.S. defense policy throughout the region, advancing U.S. national security interests through security cooperation, contingency planning, program oversight and strategy development. Mr. Riccardi was the Principal Director in APC from October, 2016 to March, 2020, also serving as Acting DASD in 2017. His tenure stretched from the development and execution of the President’s 2017 South Asia Strategy, through the reconciliation process, to the signing of the U.S.-Taliban framework agreement.

Mr. Riccardi joined OSD Policy in 2008. He also served as the U.S. Exchange Officer to the UK Ministry of Defence in London, as Country Director for Syria in the Middle East office, on special assignment for the Under Secretary of Defense for Policy’s Human Capital Strategy Team, and as Senior Advisor for Campaign and Contingency Planning. Mr. Riccardi began his government career as a Presidential Management Fellow with the Office of the Chief of Naval Operations. Prior to his time at the Pentagon, Mr. Riccardi worked at a think tank in Washington, DC, and at an economic consulting firm near Boston.

Mr. Riccardi holds a Master of Arts degree in International Relations from the Johns Hopkins University’s School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS) in Washington, DC, and a Bachelor of Arts degree in World Politics and French from Hamilton College in Clinton, New York

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Originally aired: April 10, 2024