Gventer, Celeste Ward | LBJ School of Public Affairs | The University of Texas at Austin
  • Ph.D., History, The University of Texas at Austin (pending)
  • Master in Public Policy, Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University
  • B.A., Political Science, Stanford University
Research Areas
  • Military and Defense Studies
  • National Security
  • Defense Strategy

Celeste Ward Gventer is completing a dissertation in The University of Texas at Austin's History Department on the national security organization of the Eisenhower administration. She recently served as associate director of the Clements Center for National Security (2018–19), returning to UT after five years as a policy and defense consultant in Europe and the Middle East, based in Italy and Germany. She is a former associate director of the Robert S. Strauss Center for International Security and Law (2010–13).

Gventer was a deputy assistant secretary of defense in George W. Bush's administration, and served two tours in Iraq as a senior civilian adviser with the Defense Department and the U.S. Army. Her experience also includes working as a senior analyst with the RAND Corporation, as the deputy assistant secretary of defense for stability operations capabilities in the Office of the Secretary of Defense (2007–09), in the counselor's office at the State Department, as a fellow at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, and as an analyst with the Congressional Budget Office.

A graduate of Stanford University and the Harvard Kennedy School, Gventer is the author of numerous publications, has contributed to multiple media outlets. She has received several government and volunteer awards, including the Global War on Terrorism Civilian Service Medal, the U.S. Army Superior Civilian Service Award, the Secretary of Defense Medal for Outstanding Public Service, the Order of St. Joan D’Arc medallion, and the Yellow Rose of Texas. She is married to a U.S. Army officer and is a once (and future) age-group triathlete.

Media Expertise
  • International Security
  • Defense
  • Military affairs
  • U.S. military intervention


NewsAugust 28, 2019
LBJ School of Public Affairs welcomes new faculty

The LBJ School of Public Affairs at The University of Texas at Austin welcomes several new faculty appointments for the 2019–20 academic year. New faculty specializations span policy areas and include energy policy, national security and economic development in cities.

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