December 10, 2020

Christian Beckner, Josh Campbell and Alexis Collins Join CNAS as Adjunct Senior Fellows

Washington, December 10, 2020—The Center for a New American Security (CNAS) is pleased to announce that Christian Beckner, Senior Director of Retail Technology and Cybersecurity at the National Retail Federation, Josh Campbell, CNN National Security Correspondent, and Alexis Collins, Litigation Partner at Cleary Gottlieb Steen and Hamilton, have joined CNAS as Adjunct Senior Fellows, to collaborate on projects led by the Robert M. Gates Senior Fellow.

“I’m proud to welcome Christian, Josh and Alexis to the Center,” said Carrie Cordero, CNAS Robert M. Gates Senior Fellow. “Their extraordinary wealth of experience in national and homeland security, intelligence and cybersecurity will make an invaluable contribution to our team’s work on strengthening the United States’ national and homeland security institutions.”

Mr. Beckner is currently the senior director of retail technology and cybersecurity at the National Retail Federation. In this capacity, he leads NRF’s CIO Council, Technology Leadership Council, IT Security Council, and cybersecurity program, including the NRF’s Information Sharing and Analysis Organization. Prior to NRF, Beckner spent five years as deputy director of the George Washington University’s Center for Cyber and Homeland Security, a think tank where he led projects and convened events focused on cybersecurity, counterterrorism, and homeland security. He was previously an associate staff director at the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, where he was responsible for coordination of oversight and legislation on a broad range of homeland security and intelligence issues. He has worked on cybersecurity and homeland security issues for close to 20 years, including positions at IBM, the Center for Strategic and International Studies and the O’Gara Company. Originally from the state of Washington, Beckner has a B.A. from Stanford University. He obtained his Master of Business Administration and Master of Science in Foreign Service from Georgetown University.

Mr. Campbell is a correspondent with CNN, covering national security, law enforcement, cybersecurity, and intelligence. Prior to joining CNN, Mr. Campbell was a Supervisory Special Agent with the U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation, conducting counterterrorism, kidnapping, cyber, and counterintelligence investigations. His work included diplomatic postings to American embassies abroad as a representative to foreign law enforcement and intelligence services; operational assignments in conflict zones; forward deployed global hostage rescue efforts; and Special Assistant to the FBI Director. He received four FBI Combat Theater Awards for his counterterrorism work while embedded with military special operations and CIA teams abroad. Mr. Campbell has a Master of Arts in Communication from Johns Hopkins, a Bachelor of Arts in Government from The University of Texas at Austin, and completed Arabic language immersion training at Middlebury College. He is a term member with the Council on Foreign Relations and the author of a book on the FBI's efforts to combat Russian election interference. In addition, Mr. Campbell is a reserve military officer and has taught digital and national security at the University of Southern California.

Ms. Collins is a litigation partner at Cleary Gottlieb Steen and Hamilton, focusing on cybersecurity and data privacy, civil litigation, and criminal and regulatory enforcement matters. She spent most of her career in public service in various positions within the Department of Justice. Most recently, Collins was Counsel to the Assistant Attorney General for National Security and a Deputy Chief of the Counterterrorism Section in the National Security Division. During that time, she assisted in the supervision and oversight of international and domestic terrorism cases and cyber-related terrorism investigations, and in the training of the National Security Cyber Specialist network in U.S. Attorney Offices throughout the country. She also served as a Trial Attorney in the Counterterrorism Section where she investigated and prosecuted international terrorism cases brought nationwide, and an Assistant U.S. Attorney in the Eastern District of New York. She has taught cyber law at Georgetown University Law Center as part of its National Security LLM program. Collins earned her J.D. with honors from the University of Chicago Law School, and B.A. from Oberlin College. After law school, she served for two years as a judicial clerk to the Honorable John R. Padova in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania.

For more information or to request an interview with CNAS experts, contact Cole Stevens at or call 202-695-8166.