CNAS Board of Director
Chief Executive Officer, WestExec Advisors
Michèle Flournoy is CEO of WestExec Advisors and is the former CEO of CNAS, an organization she co-founded. She serves on the CNAS Board of Directors.
She served as the Under Secretary of Defense for Policy from February 2009 to February 2012. She was the principal adviser to the Secretary of Defense in the formulation of national security and defense policy, oversight of military plans and operations, and in National Security Council deliberations. She led the development of DoD’s 2012 Strategic Guidance and represented the Department in dozens of foreign engagements, in the media and before Congress.
Prior to confirmation, Ms. Flournoy co-led President Obama’s transition team at DoD.
In January 2007, Ms. Flournoy co-founded CNAS, a non-partisan think tank dedicated to developing strong, pragmatic and principled national security policies. She served as CNAS’ President until 2009.
Previously, she was senior adviser at the Center for Strategic and International Studies for several years and, prior to that, a distinguished research professor at the Institute for National Strategic Studies at the National Defense University (NDU).
In the mid-1990s, she served as Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Strategy and Threat Reduction and Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Strategy. She has received several awards from the Secretary of Defense and the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.
Ms. Flournoy was a member of President Obama’s Intelligence Advisory Board and CIA Director John Brennan’s External Advisory Board, and is currently a member of the Defense Policy Board, the Council on Foreign Relations, and the Aspen Strategy Group, and a Senior Fellow at Harvard’s Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs. She also serves on the boards of The Mitre Corporation, CSRA, Amida Technology Solutions, The Mission Continues, Spirit of America, and CARE, and is a Senior Advisor at the Boston Consulting Group.
Ms. Flournoy earned a bachelor's degree in social studies from Harvard University and a master's degree in international relations from Balliol College, Oxford University, where she was a Newton-Tatum scholar.
Recent Publications & News
By Michèle Flournoy & Michael Sulmeyer
CommentaryPentagon Gender Gap Persists in Trump Era Even as Women Rise in Industry
By Michèle Flournoy & Loren DeJonge Schulman
CommentaryAn Obama alumna analyzes the Syria strikes
By Michèle Flournoy
Ex-Pentagon Official: Trump failed to prevent Iran's entrenchment in Syria
By Michèle Flournoy
War zones still waiting for a visit from Trump
By Phillip Carter & Michèle Flournoy
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