Brian Gunderson became State Department chief of staff under Secretary Condoleezza Rice on January 28, 2005.
Mr. Gunderson came to the State Department from the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative, where he served as chief of staff to Robert B. Zoellick. In that capacity, he helped manage USTR as the agency completed free trade negotiations with ten countries and launched negotiations with twelve others.
Before joining the Bush Administration, Mr. Gunderson held many senior positions on Capitol Hill, culminating in chief of staff in the Office of the House Majority Leader (Rep. Richard Armey). He advised the congressional leadership on foreign policy, defense and international economics issues and played a key staff role in the passage of the 2001 and 2002 tax acts, trade promotion authority, China trade legislation, national security, appropriations and other major legislation.
Early in his congressional career, Mr. Gunderson had a central role in devising the military base realignment and closure process, which has closed over 100 unneeded military bases and continues to save $4 billion annually.
A native of Minnesota, Brian Gunderson was educated at the University of Dallas and Marquette University. He served in the U.S. Marine Corps reserve from 1982 to 1988.