Under Secretary of State for Arms Control, Verification and Compliance: Who Is Andrea Thompson?

Tuesday, December 26, 2017
Andrea Thompson

President Donald Trump has nominated a retired military officer to fill a top job at the State Department. Andrea L. Thompson, who has worked for the Trump administration since January 2017, had a long career in military intelligence. If confirmed by the Senate, Thompson will lead the Bureau of Arms Control, Verification and Compliance. She will succeed Rose Gottemoeller, who served from 2014 to 2016 and was later appointed to NATO.


The daughter of Georgia and Phil Hanson, Andrea Lee Thornton was born March 1, 1966, in Harrisburg, South Dakota, where she delivered newspapers as a teen. Thompson graduated Harrisburg High School in 1984. She earned a BA in Journalism and Spanish at the University of South Dakota in 1988, and an MS in Counseling and Organizational Behavior at Long Island University. In 2009, she added an M.A. in National Security and Strategic Studies at the Defense Department’s National Defense University.


Thompson joined the Army in 1988, serving for 28 years and retiring on October 31, 2016, with the rank of colonel. During her two tours in Iraq, she served as the military intelligence taskforce commander in the 25th Infantry Division until March 2004 and as the senior intelligence officer of the 101st Airborne Division beginning in April 2005. She also served in Germany, Honduras, Nicaragua, Belize, and Bosnia.


She served as special assistant to Army Chief of Staff George W. Casey Jr. from June 2007 to August 2008. That same year, she co-authored (with Dominic J. Caraccilo) the book Achieving Victory in Iraq: Countering an Insurgency, which argued that the U.S. war in Iraq could be won through better training of Iraqi military and police forces and turning over the fighting to the Iraqis themselves.


From July 2009 to June 2010, Thompson was the chief of staff (intelligence) for the U.S.-led forces in Kabul, Afghanistan. There, she served under disgraced Lt. Gen. Michael T. Flynn, who recently pleaded guilty to lying to the FBI—a felony—for covering up conversations he had with Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak. Attesting to their closeness, Flynn played a major role in Thompson’s August 2016 retirement ceremony


After her stint in Afghanistan, Thompson enjoyed several consecutive stateside assignments. She served as brigade commander of the 902nd Military Intelligence Group in Fort Meade, Maryland, from July 2010 to July 2012 and as senior fellow for the Army Chief of Staff, Strategic Studies Group, from July 2012 to March 2013.


Thompson went to work for Congress in March 2013, as senior military advisor at the House Foreign Affairs Committee through April 2014, when she became executive officer for Under Secretary of the Army Brad Carson from April 2014 to July 2015. She then returned to Congress, serving as national security advisor for the House Committee on Homeland Security from April 2015 to August 2016, when she retired.


Upon retirement, Thompson became director at the McChrystal Group Leadership Institute in Alexandria, Virginia, which is owned by retired Gen. Stanley McChrystal, under whom she served in Afghanistan. She left in January 2017, when she was named national security advisor to Vice President Mike Pence, later taking a job as a special advisor in the Office of Policy Planning at the State Department.


Andrea L. Thompson is married to Wilbert H. Frazier.

-Matt Bewig


To Learn More:

LinkedIn Profile

Trump to Nominate S.D. Native for International Security Secretary Post (by Dana Ferguson, Sioux Falls Argus Leader)

South Dakota Native Tapped to be Vice President’s National Security Advisor (by Michael Geheren, Keloland) 


Peter Lambert 6 years ago
Your information that Andrea Thompson is married to Wilbert H Frazier is incorrect. In fact she is married to retired Australian Army Brigadier David Gillian, with whom she served in Afghanistan under Mike Flynn. Brigadier Gillian also worked for Mike Flynn in Afghanistan. Thompson commenced an illegal (under US military law) affair with Gillian (then married with an Australian wife) in Afghanistan. This affair was eventually exposed during Gillian’s (and his wife’s) subsequent posting to Washington while Flynn was head of the US DIA. At the time Flynn was attempting to get Gillian promoted to work for him at DIA. Gillian was removed from his position and returned to Australia whereafter he resigned from the Australian Army. Thompson’s tenure as brigade commander of 902 Intelligence Group also ended. Gillian returned to the US, leaving his wife in Australia, to continue the affair and work with Thompson for the McCrystal Group. He eventually divorced his Australian wife and married Andrea in June 2017. McCrystal, Flynn,Thompson, Gillian...it’s a small and well connected world...
Mike Belshaw 6 years ago
Andrea Thompson married retired Australian Brigadier General David Gillian in June 2017. Check her facebook page. She had an affair with him which started in 2010 in ISAF, Afghanistan. This relationship is so was condoned by Mary Legere and Mike Flynn. Maybe you can check out more details by contacting his ex wife. BG David Gillian was ‘sacked’ from his job at the Australian Embassy in Washington DC, in July 2012, as he had lied on his security clearances, and had compromised the US Australian strategic alliance.
Nathan Span 6 years ago
Nathan Span 4 months ago Dear Sir/Madam I hope that my e-mail would be directed to the right person or department. I am writing to express my regret at the State Department for supporting President Yoweri Museveni of Uganda who has been in power for over three decades. President Museveni is responsible for the conflicts taking place in the great Lakes Region. For some reason Museveni has been praised as a peaceful president but records and his actions show anything but peaceful. With the help of previous US administrations, Museveni has been given military aid and more tools of oppressions by the United states. Museveni also gets weapons from China and also military advisors from North Korea. He is involved in a civil war now taking place in South Sudan where millions of refugees flock to neighboring countries specifically Uganda. Uganda is a major supplier of military hardware to South Sudan and recently Museveni just bought arms worthy of millions of USD from a European nation and delivered those weapons to South Sudan's government. Museveni was against an arms embargo to the South Sudan's government and now we know why. His army in Somalia go for months without getting paid resulting in the sell of weapons to Alshabab a terrorist group that is wagging war in Somalia. During his campaign, President Donald Trump said that if elected president he will not entertain the likes of Museveni like most previous administrations. President Trump condemned Venezuela's government for passing laws through its legislature, laws that would entrench dictatorship in that country but Museveni is now posed to remove the last safety valve in the Uganda constitution for life presidency. I believe in the democratic principles of this great nation of ours and I hope that this administration would work with people who are determined to bring peace and tranquility in the Great Lakes Region. Sincerely Nathan Span nathanspan@yahoo.com Federalist Alliance for Democracy and Development in Uganda (FADDU).

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