Bob Harward will reportedly be Donald Trump’s next national security advisor.
This news comes on Wednesday from Reuters, which cites two U.S. officials when it says that Trump has offered Harward the position. He’d be replacing Michael Flynn, who resigned earlier this week amid reports that he spoke with the Russian ambassador about lifting sanctions on Moscow despite repeatedly claiming not to have done so.
When NBC News’ Peter Alexander reported on Monday night that Bob Harward was the top choice to replace Michael Flynn, Tommy Vietor, a former spokesperson for the U.S. National Security Council and for President Obama, said on Twitter that Harward is “a very impressive (and nice) guy.”
Here’s what you need to know about Bob Harward, the possible next national security advisor to the president of the United States.
1. He Was Born Into a Navy Family & Grew Up in Iran
Bob Harward is the son of a Navy officer and grew up in Iran, although he was born in Newport, Rhode Island.
Harward graduated in 1974 from Tehran American School, a school affiliated with the U.S. Embassy in Tehran. He then graduated from the Naval Academy Preparatory School back in Newport, Rhode Island, and was given a fleet appointment to the U.S. Naval Academy.
Harward then attended the College of Naval Command and Staff, the Naval Staff College and the Armed Forces Staff College. He has a master’s degree in International Relations and Strategic Security Affairs, according to his U.S. Navy bio.
2. He Served on the National Security Council in the Bush Administration
If appointed to Michael Flynn’s former position, this would not be Bob Harward’s first time serving on the National Security Council.
In 2003, after commanding the Naval Special Warfare Group 1 in Afghanistan and Task Force 561 in Iraq, Harward became the director of strategic and defense issues on the National Security Council in the George W. Bush administration.
He also became chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff representative to the National Counterterrorism Center.
3. He Served in the U.S. Central Command Under James Mattis
While serving as U.S. Central Command deputy commander, Bob Harward worked under James Mattis, who is currently the U.S. secretary of defense. Mattis at the time was the commander of U.S. Central Command.
According to The Washington Post, Harward remains a friend and close ally of James Mattis to this day.
In 2015, both Mattis and Harward became caught up in the scandal involving Jill Kelley, the Florida socialite whose complaints of harassing emails lead to the revelation that David Petraeus had had an extra-marital affair with a biographer, with whom he shared classified information.
Kelley often entertained officers at the MacDill Air Force Base in Tampa, and in several email exchanges, she praised James Mattis and Bob Harward.
According to The Washington Post, in one email in particular, Kelley told Harward, “What a Leader you were to these heads of State. You ROCK!!!” Mattis also says in the emails that Harward is “brilliant.”
4. He Wrote an Op-Ed For The Huffington Post About The Importance of Providing Education to Young Girls
In a 2013 op-ed for The Huffington Post, Harward talks about the importance of ensuring young women around the world have access to quality education.
“While serving in Afghanistan, I had the privilege of helping communities open schools in provinces across the country,” he writes. “Our goal was to ensure that education for girls wasn’t something that just happened in some provinces, but in fact across all of the districts in the country. The elders’ decision to invest in their girls’ education signaled to their communities that girls can be their future leaders.”
He goes on to say that 66 million girls worldwide do not go to school and that this is a major problem.
“This global gender education gap is nothing short of an atrocity that warrants the same kind of rigorous, multifaceted and multilateral approach we apply to other international security issues like political instability, economic insecurity and terrorism,” he says.
5. He Retired in November 2013 & Now Works For Lockheed Martin
According to The Huffington Post, Harward retired in November 2013 after nearly four decades of service.
Starting in 2014, Harward began working as chief executive for Lockheed Martin United Arab Emirates, according to Bloomberg. He is in charge of all aspects of the company’s business interests in the country.
According to Time Magazine reporter Zeke Miller, outside of Bob Harward, the other contenders to replace Michael Flynn are Keith Kellogg and David Petraeus.