Robert M. Scher served as United States Assistant Secretary of Defense for Strategy, Plans, and Capabilities. Scher left his position as Assistant Secretary of Defense in January 2017. As the assistant secretary, Scher advised the secretary of defense and the under secretary of defense for policy in areas including national security and defense strategy; the forces and contingency plans necessary to implement defense strategy; nuclear deterrence and missile defense policy; and security cooperation plans and policies. Before serving as the assistant secretary, Scher was the Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Plans within the Office of the Deputy Under Secretary of Defense for Strategy, Plans, and Forces. Mr. Scher proffers regional expertise in South and East Asian policy as well, including serving as Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for South and Southeast Asia within the Office of the Assistant Secretary of Defense for Asian and Pacific Security Affairs. He has also held numerous other posts covering Asian security and defense policy issues in the Departments of Defense and State. Scher holds a B.A. from Swarthmore College and an M.A. from Columbia University’s School of International and Public Affairs.