John Rader

Visiting Fellow
Biography: 

John Rader is a visiting fellow at the Hoover Institution and the chief operating officer at Affinity Partners Global LLC, an investment firm founded by Jared Kushner focusing on large-scale growth investments both domestically and international.

Rader previously served at the highest levels of the legislative and executive branches of both state and federal government, most recently as chief of staff to US Senator Bill Hagerty.

Rader also served for four years in the White House in a number of different capacities, including on the National Security Council as a special assistant to the president and senior policy advisor to the assistant to the president for national security affairs, General H. R. McMaster; and as deputy assistant to the president and advisor for policy and strategy for the senior advisor to the president, Jared Kushner. Rader drove progress on foreign policy and international economic issues around the world, including the administration’s foreign policy on Iran, North Korea, China, Afghanistan, and Syria.

Rader also worked with interagency colleagues to advance a broad portfolio of domestic and international policy initiatives and trade discussions, including the US-Mexico-Canada Agreement. He led an interagency team in the creation of Peace to Prosperity, the economic vision in the administration’s Middle East peace plan; and was a core member of the team who led normalization talks between Israel and the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain, Sudan, Morocco, and Kosovo. In addition, he advised the White House and interagency leadership on the national security and humanitarian crisis along the US southwest border, as well as the US diplomatic strategy with Mexico, Guatemala, Honduras, and El Salvador. 

In the last year of the Trump administration, Rader was named deputy assistant to the president for strategic initiatives. Rader advised White House leadership on the 2020 reelection effort and the response to the global pandemic. 

Prior to joining the administration, Rader previously served as counsel on the US Senate Foreign Relations Committee, under chair Bob Corker (R-TN). In this role, his portfolio included advising the chair on US foreign policy related to Europe, the Middle East, North Africa, and the Western Hemisphere, and on counterterrorism issues. 

Before moving to Washington, Rader served in the administration of Bill Haslam, governor of Tennessee, as acting deputy counsel and assistant deputy counsel to the governor. 

He received his BA, summa cum laude, in the College Scholars program (foreign affairs and US foreign policy) from the University of Tennessee–Knoxville, in 2008, and his JD, magna cum laude, in 2010 from the University of Tennessee College of Law

Rader is a native of Cookeville, Tennessee, and resides in Nashville with his wife, Sally, and son, Jack.

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