February 14, 2020

CNAS Announces 2020 Brimley Next Generation National Security Fellows

The Center for a New American Security (CNAS) announced today the selection of the 2020 Shawn Brimley Next Generation National Security Fellows. Now it its 11th year, the NextGen Program is a fundamental component of CNAS’ commitment to ensuring the United States develops talented individuals dedicated to preserving and strengthening its national security. After a highly competitive process with over 240 applicants, CNAS selected a bipartisan group of 24 emerging leaders from multiple sectors. This year’s fellows include members of the military; professionals with the Department of Defense and the Department of State; congressional staffers; individuals from the private sector; journalists; and think tank experts.

“This class of talented, accomplished young leaders is another impressive chapter in the Shawn Brimley Next Generation fellowship,” said Michèle Flournoy, CNAS Co-Founder and Board member, who will co-chair the program along with Robert Rangel, Lockheed Martin’s Senior Vice President of Government Affairs. “This year’s fellows bring a remarkable wealth of diverse perspectives and expertise to the program. I am proud that CNAS continues to invest in the next generation of national security leaders.”

Through this leadership development program and its monthly dinner series and small private discussions, the Next Generation Fellows will engage with those who have led before them, developing a deeper understanding of U.S. national security interests and policies, as well as leadership principles and best practices. Previous classes have met with former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright, former National Security Advisor Susan Rice, former White House Chiefs of Staff Josh Bolten and Denis McDonough, Gen. Stanley McChrystal, Admiral Mike Mullen, Rep. Mike Gallagher (R-WI), and many others. Fellows will also collaborate with CNAS experts and their colleagues on a variety of projects and participate in CNAS events. Last year’s class had the opportunity to take part in both a leadership staff ride and a week-long international study tour. Upon completion of the program, fellows remain connected to the Center through the CNAS alumni program.

“I look forward to having the opportunity to engage with these remarkably accomplished young leaders,” said Rangel. “This class of Next Generation fellows have proven their commitment to leadership and service in furthering U.S. national security, and I welcome the opportunity to work with them and make an investment in their development as national security leaders.”

The complete list of the 2020 Brimley Next Generation National Security Fellows is below. Their full biographies are available here: www.cnas.org/next-gen-class-of-2020

CNAS 2020 Brimley Next Generation National Security Fellows:

  • Krishnan Aiyer, Enterprise Security Engineer, Democratic National Committee
  • James Anderson, Staff Intelligence Officer, U.S. Air Forces Central Command & External Fellow, U.S. Air Forces Central Command & Centre for International and Defense Policy
  • Kyle Atwell, Army Officer, Princeton University
  • Krista Auchenbach, Associate Division Chief for Strategic Assessments, U.S. Air Force
  • Zoe Bedell, Attorney, Munger, Tolles & Olson LLP
  • Jaclyn Cahan, Counsel, House Foreign Affairs Committee
  • Caitlin Dohrman, General Manager, Improbable US
  • Ryan Essman, Deputy Spokesperson, U.S. Agency for International Development
  • Abigail P. Gage, Program Examiner, Office of Management and Budget
  • Sarah Harrison, Associate General Counsel, U.S. Department of Defense Office of General Counsel
  • Daniel Jackson, Nonproliferation Specialist, Pacific Northwest National Laboratory
  • Alexiaa Jordan, Public Affairs Liaison, Rice, Hadley, Gates, Manuel
  • Iranga Kahangama, Director of Cyber Policy, National Security Council
  • Phoebe Kotlikoff, Submarine Warfare Officer, U.S. Navy
  • Daphne McCurdy, Senior Associate, International Security Program, Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Bethany McGann, Research and Project Manager, Africa Portfolio, RESOLVE Network, U.S. Institute of Peace
  • Charles Morrison, Legislative Director, Office of Congressman Mike Gallagher
  • Ahmad Mohibbi, Analyst, Department of Defense
  • Mark Nakhla, Executive Vice President, Kharon
  • Celidon Pitt, Judge Advocate, U.S. Marine Corps
  • Prashanth Rajan, Director of Public Affairs, APCO Worldwide
  • Hope Seck, Managing Editor, Military.com
  • Alex Zerden, Policy Advisor, U.S. Department of the Treasury
  • Chenny Zhang, Program Manager, In-Q-Tel

CNAS would like to thank its partners, the American Express Foundation and Lockheed Martin, for their generous support of the program.

For questions concerning the fellowship, please contact nextgeneration@cnas.org.


  • Cole Stevens

    Former Communications Officer

    Cole Stevens is a former Communications Officer at the Center for a New American Security (CNAS). In this role, he led the Center's press and public affairs strategy to advanc...