William Luti is Vice President of Hudson Institute. He directs Hudson’s strategic planning efforts to shape and advance the mission and growth of the Institute. Before joining Hudson, he held executive positions in several private sector information systems companies providing a wide range of information technology solutions and services to customers.
Dr. Luti served at the White House as the Special Assistant to President Bush for Defense Policy and Strategy on the National Security Council staff from 2005 to 2008. He directed the President’s personal defense staff and was responsible for interagency management for security cooperation, international defense agreements, cyber defense, national space policy, defense plans in support of military operations in Iraq and Afghanistan, advanced conventional and nuclear strike capability, and defense transformation and force planning.
As Deputy Under Secretary of Defense for Near Eastern and South Asian Affairs from 2001 to 2005 he managed the Defense Department’s relations with 27 Near East and South Asian countries. He also helped devise the U.S. government’s strategy for the war on terrorism and the surge in Iraq, plan the worldwide changes in the U.S. defense posture, develop new U.S. strategic partnerships with India and Pakistan, and advised senior policy makers on Palestinian-Israeli peace diplomacy.
He served as a career naval officer in a wide variety of policy and operational assignments. He served on the Chief of Naval Operations Executive Panel; on the Chief of Naval Operations Strategic Studies Group; in the Office of the Speaker of the House as a legislative fellow; and as a Special Advisor for National Security Affairs in the Office of Vice President Cheney. Early in his career he served as a company officer and personal aide to the Superintendent at the U.S. Naval Academy.
His operational assignments included participation in a broad array of naval and air exercises with nations in the Western Pacific, Indian Ocean, Persian Gulf and the Mediterranean Sea. He has commanded an aviation squadron, an amphibious assault ship, and an amphibious ready group. His numerous aircraft carrier deployments were made in response to crises in Yemen in 1979, Iran in 1980, Lebanon in 1982, the Persian Gulf in 1988, and Yugoslavia in 1993. He is a combat veteran of the 1991 Desert Storm air campaign and deployed with his amphibious assault ship to the Persian Gulf in response to the 1998 UN inspections crisis with Iraq.
During his Navy career he accumulated over 3,000 hours of flight time and earned the Legion of Merit (three awards), the Meritorious Service Medal, the Strike Flight Air Medal, the Navy Commendation Medal with combat “V” (two awards), the Kuwait Liberation Medal and various unit commendations and campaign awards. In 2005 he received the Distinguished Public Service Medal, the Defense Department’s highest civilian award. He is a Life Member of the Veterans of Foreign Wars.
A native of Concord, New Hampshire, Dr. Luti holds a Ph.D. from Tufts University’s Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy, an M.A. from the U.S. Naval War College, and a B.A. from The Citadel. He was awarded the Ambassador Edmund P. Gullion Prize for academic excellence by the faculty of the Fletcher School.