Shawn Brimley

  • Executive Vice President and Director of Studies

Shawn Brimley is Executive Vice President and Director of Studies at the Center for a New American Security (CNAS) where he oversees the center’s research and serves on the executive leadership team. Mr. Brimley rejoined CNAS after serving in the Obama Administration from February 2009 to October 2012 most recently as Director for Strategic Planning on the National Security Council staff at the White House. He also served as Special Advisor to the Under Secretary of Defense for Policy at the Pentagon from 2009 to 2011, where he focused on the 2010 Quadrennial Defense Review, overseas basing and posture, and long-range strategy development. In 2012, he was awarded the Secretary of Defense Medal for Outstanding Public Service and in 2010 he was awarded the Officer of the Secretary of Defense Medal for Exceptional Public Service.

Mr. Brimley was a founding member of CNAS in 2007 and was the inaugural recipient of the 1Lt. Andrew Bacevich Jr. Memorial Fellowship. He has also worked at the Center for Strategic and International Studies.

Mr. Brimley has been published in a variety of venues, including the New York Times, Foreign Affairs and Foreign Policy. Educated at Queen’s University and George Washington University, his research interests include U.S. national security strategy and defense policy, the impact of emerging technology on U.S. strategic choices, and the evolution of America’s global diplomatic and defense posture. Mr. Brimley is a term member of the Council on Foreign Relations. He lives in Washington with his wife Marjorie and their two children.