Chief Executive Officer
Richard Fontaine is the Chief Executive Officer of the Center for a New American Security (CNAS). He served as President of CNAS from 2012 to 2019 and as a Senior Advisor and Senior Fellow from 2009-2012. Prior to CNAS, he was 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.
Recent Publications & News
EventsNew Voices in American Grand Strategy
By Michael J. Zak, Richard Fontaine, Loren DeJonge Schulman, Elbridge Colby, Emma Ashford, Hal Brands, Kate Kizer, Rebecca Friedman Lissner, Joshua R. Itzkowitz Shifrinson & Vance Serchuk
ReportsNew Voices in Grand Strategy
By Richard Fontaine, Loren DeJonge Schulman, Emma Ashford, Hal Brands, Jasen J. Castillo, Kate Kizer, Rebecca Friedman Lissner, Jeremy Shapiro & Joshua R. Itzkowitz Shifrinson
CommentaryFrom Truman to Trump, why Kansas City matters to NATO
By Derek Chollet & Richard Fontaine
CommentaryNATO Secretary General sounds notes of caution for alliance
By Richard Fontaine
In The NewsTrump, trouble spots and Mueller: US expert Fontaine in conversation
By Richard Fontaine
- More Publications by Richard Fontaine
- Congressional Testimonies
- Press Relating to Richard Fontaine
- In The News
- Press Notes