Joel Rayburn began serving as Deputy Assistant Secretary for Levant Affairs and Special Envoy for Syria on July 23, 2018. He previously served in the Administration as Senior Director for Iran, Iraq, Syria, and Lebanon at the National Security Council from January 2017 to July 2018.
Rayburn is a retired U.S. Army officer who served in a variety of assignments in the Middle East, Europe, and the United States from 1992 to 2018. He also taught history at the U.S. Military Academy at West Point and is the author of several books and articles on the Iraq War. He was commissioned into the Army after graduating from West Point in 1992 and holds a master’s degree in History from Texas A&M University and in National Security Studies from the National War College. He is originally from Oklahoma City, Oklahoma.