The Honorable Robert M. Scher is the Head of International Affairs for BP America. In this position Bob tracks and analyses US foreign and national security policy as it affects BP’s businesses around the world. He provides risk analysis and evaluation for BP’s global business operations and works with US Government agencies, the US Congress, and other key stakeholders to understand policy decisions and implications for BP.
Before joining BP, Mr. Scher served as the Assistant Secretary of Defense for Strategy, Plans, and Capabilities from 2014 to January of 2017. He was responsible for advising the Secretary of Defense and the Under Secretary of Defense for Policy on national security and defense strategy; the forces and contingency plans necessary to implement the defense strategy; nuclear deterrence and missile defense policy; and security cooperation plans and policies.
Over the course of more than two decades of federal service, Mr. Scher held numerous positions of increasing responsibility. He served as the Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Plans within the Office of the Deputy Under Secretary of Defense for Strategy, Plans, and Forces from 2012-2014. In this role, he oversaw the development of guidance for military campaign and contingency plans, the processes for reviewing and assessing these plans, and the development and implementation of U.S. global defense posture. Prior to serving as DASD Plans, Mr. Scher was the Deputy Assistant Secretary for South and Southeast Asia within the Office of the Assistant Secretary of Defense for Asian and Pacific Security Affairs. In this capacity, Mr. Scher served as the principal advisor to senior leadership within the Department of Defense for all South and Southeast Asia policy matters pertaining to strategies and plans including international strategy development and implementation. He was responsible for managing the bilateral security relationships with the nations of this region and spearheaded DoD participation in regional multilateral fora.
Prior to his first appointment in 2009, Mr. Scher was an associate at the consulting firm of Booz Allen Hamilton where he led efforts to assist elements of the US Department of Defense on strategy development and assisted Asian nations in improving their defense and national security decision making processes. Earlier, Mr. Scher worked for 15 years in the Departments of Defense and State, and held numerous posts covering Asian security and defense policy issues. Among his accomplishments in these roles, Mr. Scher helped develop the strategic basis for U.S. defense strategy, participating in the oversight of the 1993 Bottom-Up Review and the 1997 Quadrennial Defense Review. He co-authored Presidential Decision Directive-56 on conducting complex contingency operations and was involved in planning for U.S. support to operations ranging from Iraqi election support to deploying U.S. forces to East Timor and the southern Philippines. While at the Department of State, he served on the Secretary’s Policy Planning Staff providing advice on Asia, counterterrorism and political military affairs. Mr. Scher entered government service through the Presidential Management Fellowship Program.
Mr. Scher has a Bachelor of Arts from Swarthmore College, conferred with High Honors, and a Masters of International Affairs from Columbia University’s School of International and Public Affairs, where he was awarded a DuPont International Affairs Fellowship.