Mr. Raskas served in the Israel Defense Forces as a combat infantry soldier. He received a Master’s degree in Strategic Public Relations from the George Washington University’s Graduate School of Political Management. Dr. Rhode received a Ph.D. in Ottoman History from Columbia University in 1979. He joined the Office of the U.S. Secretary of Defense in 1982 as an advisor on Turkey, Iraq, and Iran. He then served in the Office of the Secretary of Defense and as advisor on Islamic affairs on the Pentagon's policy planning staff.