Joel Starr is the Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Regional Security in the Bureau of Political-Military Affairs. In this capacity he oversees the Bureau’s Office of Regional Security and Arms Transfers, which manages over $40 billion annually in government to government defense equipment transfers through Foreign Military Sales, Third Party Transfers, and Excess Defense Articles. He is also responsible for the Bureau’s Office of Security Assistance, which manages approximately $6.5 billion in U.S. security sector assistance annually; coordinates State Department oversight, planning, and input for over $9 billion in Defense Department security sector assistance programs; and provides State Department input for Department of Defense planning and military activities.
Prior to his current position, Mr. Starr served as Deputy Director of Legislative Affairs at the U.S. Institute of Peace. Previously, he served as Counsel for Foreign and Military Affairs to Senator James M. Inhofe (R-Oklahoma). Immediately before this position, Mr. Starr served as Deputy Assistant Secretary for Legislative Affairs, where he was responsible for relations between the U.S. House of Representatives and the Department of State. He has also served as Acting Deputy Assistant Administrator for Legislative & Public Affairs at the U.S. Agency for International Development, Counsel and foreign affairs Legislative Assistant to Congressman Tom Campbell (R-California) and as an Attorney/Advisor to the late HUD Secretary Jack Kemp.
Mr. Starr retired as a Lieutenant Colonel in the U.S. Army Reserve Judge Advocate General’s Corps in 2018 after 20 years of service. His last billet was as the Commander of the 157th IMA Detachment in Washington, D.C. He was also the Chief of the International and Operational Law Section within the 10th Legal Operations Detachment in Gaithersburg, Maryland. He previously served as the Command Judge Advocate for the 338th Medical Brigade in Horsham, Pennsylvania.
Mr. Starr is a graduate of Westminster College, the University of Oklahoma and Harvard University.