Bold. Innovative. Bipartisan.
Bold. Innovative. Bipartisan.
Richard Fontaine is the President of the Center for a New American Security (CNAS). He served as a Senior Advisor and Senior Fellow at CNAS from 2009-2012 and previously as foreign policy advisor to Senator John McCain for more than five years. He has also worked at the State Department, the National Security Council and on the staff of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee.
Mr. Fontaine served as foreign policy advisor to the McCain 2008 presidential campaign and, following the election, as the minority deputy staff director on the Senate Armed Services Committee. Prior to this, he served as associate director for Near Eastern affairs at the National Security Council (NSC) from 2003-04. He also worked in the NSC’s Asian Affairs directorate, where he covered Southeast Asian issues.
During his time at the State Department, Mr. Fontaine worked in the office of former Deputy Secretary of State Richard Armitage and in the department’s South Asia bureau, working on issues related to India, Nepal and Sri Lanka. Mr. Fontaine began his foreign policy career as a staff member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, focusing on the Middle East and South Asia. He also spent a year teaching English in Japan.
A native of New Orleans, Mr. Fontaine graduated summa cum laude with a B.A. in International Relations from Tulane University. He also holds a M.A. in International Affairs from the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS) in Washington, and he attended Oxford University. He is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations and has been an adjunct professor in the Security Studies Program at Georgetown University’s School of Foreign Service. He also served as the chairman of the World Economic Forum’s Global Agenda Council on the United States.
Mr. Fontaine lives in Falls Church, Va., with his wife and four children.
Eight CNAS experts examine a host of issues posed by unification – including nuclear weapons and deterrence, the U.S.-Korea alliance, and relations between the countries in Northeast Asia – and offers key findings to inform how policymakers should prepare for unification on the Korean Peninsula.Read More
CNAS CEO Michèle Flournoy and President Richard Fontaine have authored a new policy brief arguing that “current efforts to counter ISIS are not adequate to the task” and that American efforts thus far “convey a sense of creeping incrementalism.Read More
CNAS President Richard Fontaine offers an agenda of deepened strategic ties between the United States and India in anticipation of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to the United States in late September.Read More
CNAS President Richard Fontaine argues that, despite the many complications arising from the Snowden disclosures, America still needs a comprehensive Internet freedom strategy.Read More
President Obama is right to take action in response to the Asad regime’s chemical attack on Syrian civilians. Yet in the absence of a strategy that aims at ending the broader humanitarian catastrophe in Syria, the impending attacks will raise as many questions as they answer.Read More
Nine experts at the Center for a New American Security offer analysis and commentary on the range of issues relating to the U.S. response to the alleged use of chemical weapons by the Asad regime in Syria.Read More
The Asia team at the Center for a New American Security (CNAS) explores the “Asia Power Web," a term the team developed to describe the growing trend of intra-Asian defense and security cooperation among six key countries – Australia, India, Japan, Singapore, South Korea and Vietnam.Read More
Daniel M. Kliman of the German Marshall Fund of the United States (GMF) and CNAS President Richard Fontaine urge U.S. leaders to pursue closer partnerships with BRazil, India, Indonesia and Turkey.Read More
The Center for a New American Security's National Security Guide to the 2012 Presidential Election draws on the expertise of CNAS scholars to provide readers with a fact-based, non-ideological assessment of the critical national security issues that the next president must address. The guide, edited by Kay King, Senior Advisor and Director of External Relations, and Researcher Jacob Stokes, is intended to help American voters, global partners and other interested observers better understand the national security issues that are at stake in this election and that will impact the nation for decades to come.Read More
In America’s Path: Grand Strategy for the Next Administration, editors and CNAS experts Richard Fontaine and Dr. Kristin M. Lord bring together four strategists - Dr. Robert J. Art, Dr. Richard K. Betts, Dr. Peter Feaver and Dr. Anne-Marie Slaughter - with diverse backgrounds and perspectives to advance a common mission of promoting informed debate about America’s role in the world and the best ways to fulfill it.Read More
On February 12, CNAS hosted an event with the U.S. Senate Global Internet Freedom Caucus to explore the major issues affecting Internet governance in 2013, including the outcome of the recent World Conference on International Telecommunications in Dubai and the increasing divisiveness over the role of governments in regulating the Internet.Read More
The Center for a New American Security's 2012 annual conference, "Rethinking U.S. Security: Navigating a World in Transition," took place in Washington, D.C., on Wednesday, June 13, 2012.Read More
On October 20, 2010, the Center for a New American Security (CNAS) will host an event at the Newseum to launch a new report on the future of U.S.-India relations. The event will feature a roundtable discussion on the path forward for this critical relationship, featuring former U.S. Deputy Secretary of State Richard Armitage, Professor R. Nicholas Burns, CNAS Senior Fellow Richard Fontaine, and other outside experts.Read More
In POLITICO, CNAS President Richard Fontaine weighs in on presidential candidate Donald Trump's involvement in the election.Read More
President Richard Fontaine discusses the Republican debate surrounding international engagement in AP.Read More
President Richard Fontaine examines the rate of U.S. involvement in Syria in The Washington Post.Read More
President Richard Fontaine is mentioned in regards to his op-ed on Syrian refugees in The Huffington Post.Read More
President Richard Fontaine discusses options the US can take to fight ISIS in Syria on NPR's All Things Considered.Read More
As the United States reassesses its strategy following terrorist attacks by the Islamic State in Paris, CNAS President Richard Fontaine has written a new Press Note to frame the issues Washington and its international partners will confront.Read More
President Richard Fontaine discusses US foreign policy options in Iraq and Syria in Associated Press.Read More
Co-Founder and Chief Executive Officer Hon. Michèle Flournoy and President Richard Fontaine are mentioned in regards to their policy paper detailing steps the president can take against ISIL in Politico.Read More
President Richard Fontaine examines areas of cooperation on foreign policy between President Obama and Speaker Ryan in The Washington Post.Read More
President Richard Fontaine discusses whether the US will withdraw troops from Afghanistan in 2017 on the BBC World Service.Read More
Senior Advisor and Senior Fellow Richard Fontaine testified before the House Committee on Foreign Affairs Subcomittee on the Middle East and South Asia on June 23, 2011. Fontaine testifed to the importance of the Unites States' strategic interests in Iraq. The testimony included points on the stability of the future of Iraq and how that will impact U.S. strategic interests in the Middle East.Read More
CNAS Senior Fellow Richard Fontaine testified on the problems associated with contracting in conflicts and areas for reform before the U.S. Congressional Committee on Oversight and Government Reform.Read More
Senior Advisor to the Clinton Campaign and Visiting Professor at Yale Law School, Jake Sullivan, Professor at Harvard University Meghan O'Sullivan, President Richard Fontaine and Senior Fellow Julianne Smith discuss national security challenges facing the next administration in 2017.Read More
President Richard Fontaine joined NPR to discuss ISIS and the G7 Summit.Read More
President Richard Fontaine joins BYU Radio to discuss India's new political landscape after 500 million voters going the polls in India.Read More
President Richard Fontaine discusses India's Global Future at the Brigham Young University's Kennedy Center for International Studies.Read More
The National Interest speaks with President Richard Fontaine on the ISIS challenge, America's "pivot" to Asia, sequestration, U.S. foreign policy and more.Read More
CNAS President Richard Fontaine delivers closing remarks at the Eighth Annual National Security Conference.Read More
CNAS released a report analyzing competition and risk in #MaritimeAsia. On March 24, security experts from around the world convened via Google Hangout On Air (HOA) to discuss the report's key findings and security risks in the region.Read More
CNAS President Richard Fontaine closes the CNAS 2013 Annual Conference by thanking speakers and attendees.Read More
CNAS CEO Nathanial Fick gives opening remarks at the CNAS Fifth Annual Conference on June 2, 2011. Following his remarks is the roundtable discussion, "Reveloution In The Middle East: Democracy In The Digital Domain" featuring: Karen House, Former Publisher of The Wall Street Journal; Andrew Exum, Fellow at CNAS; Richard Fontaine, Senior Fellow at CNAS; Shadi Hamid, Director of Research at the Brookings Doha Center; and Dr. Colin Kahl, Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for the Middle East. Watch the video here.Read More
In this exclusive interview, CNAS Senior Fellow Richard Fontaine, co-author of the new CNAS report Natural Allies: A Blueprint for the Future of U.S.-India Relations, talks about the benefits of a stronger U.S. relationship with India.Read More