Anatomy of a Decision

Decisions in the West Wing

Jake Sullivan

Jake Sullivan, a former advisor to President Barack Obama, discusses the delicacy of the policy-making process. Sullivan explains his involvement in the Iran nuclear deal and the often hard-to-discern, real-world consequences of implementing new policies across the globe.

Interviewed by Eric Jaffe, GLG’s Head of Research for NAFS


“Somebody can always come along and say you could have gotten a better deal and you have [to be] prepared to look people in the eye and say, ‘I believe this is a good deal and it’s as good as we are going to do right now.’”


About Jake Sullivan

Jake Sullivan served on the White House staff as Deputy Assistant to President Barack Obama and National Security Advisor to Vice President Joe Biden. Prior to this, he served as Director of Policy Planning and Deputy Chief of Staff to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. Sullivan was the Senior Policy Advisor to Secretary Clinton's 2016 presidential campaign, served as Deputy Policy Director to Hillary Clinton's 2008 presidential primary campaign, and was a member of the debate preparation team for Barack Obama's general election campaign. He clerked for Judge Stephen Breyer of the Supreme Court of the United States and Judge Guido Calabresi of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit. Sullivan holds undergraduate and law degrees from Yale and a master's degree from Oxford.


Read more:

Deal Reached on Iran Nuclear Program; Limits on Fuel Would Lessen With Time, The New York Times
Hillary Clinton's secret Iran man, Politico
Secret Iran Talks with Jake Sullivan, Pod Save America