February 17, 2009

CNAS Announces New Leadership and Program Updates

February 17, 2009 - The Center for a New American Security (CNAS) would like to congratulate Michèle Flournoy, Co-Founder and former President, who was sworn-in last week as the Under Secretary of Defense for Policy. While we will miss Michèle's leadership, drive, and deep knowledge of national security issues, we know she will do great things for the country and the Department of Defense.

Michèle's appointment underscores the transition that CNAS itself is undergoing, and so we wish to take this opportunity to make several announcements about our organization and its ongoing mission of developing strong, pragmatic and principled national security policies.


Dr. John Nagl, acclaimed author, West Point graduate, Rhodes Scholar, retired Army officer, and Bronze Star recipient, will replace Michèle as President of CNAS. John is widely respected for co-writing the U.S. Army's counterinsurgency field manual, for his book Learning to Eat Soup With a Knife, and for his willingness to guide and mentor members of the younger generation of national security leaders.

Nathaniel Fick, author of the New York Times bestseller One Bullet Away and former Marine officer who served in Afghanistan and Iraq before attending the Kennedy School of Government and the Harvard Business School, will replace Nate Tibbits as Chief Operating Officer. Nate Tibbits has accepted a position in Presidential Personnel as the Special Assistant to the President.

In addition to John Nagl and Nate Fick, we've also added a distinguished senior fellow to our ranks: Thomas Ricks, Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist, and author of The Gamble: General David Petraeus and the American Military Adventure in Iraq 2006-2008, published last week.


With the completion of former Secretary of Defense William Perry's tenure as Chairman of the Board of Directors, the Honorable Richard J. Danzig has taken the helm as Chairman of the Board. We thank Secretary Perry for his leadership and guidance as Chairman, and look forward to continuing to work closely with him as a member of the Board. Richard Danzig, one of this nation's premier defense and national security practitioners and most committed public servants, will help build on the strong foundation Secretary Perry established.

The Honorable R. Nicholas Burns, Professor of Diplomacy and International Politics at Harvard's John F. Kennedy School of Government and former Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs, has joined the Board of Directors of CNAS.

Two members of our Board of Directors have been asked by President Obama to serve our nation: Admiral Dennis Blair has been confirmed as Director of National Intelligence, and William Lynn has been confirmed as the Deputy Secretary of Defense. In addition, two members of our Board of Advisors have been asked to serve in the new administration: Susan Rice is the new Ambassador to the United Nations, and James Steinberg has been confirmed as the Deputy Secretary of State. These talented Americans bring a wealth of experience to their new positions and we know our country will benefit from their experience and commitment.


We are expanding our work on Afghanistan and Pakistan, and will release a broader report on challenges the U.S. faces and options for the future. Our Energy Security and Climate Change team is undertaking a comprehensive review of energy policy within the U.S. government, and will be introducing an interactive mapping project early this spring. Our ongoing efforts to think strategically on Asia continue as we release two major reports this month on the future of the U.S.-South Korea Alliance and an assessment of U.S. strategic imperatives in the Asia-Pacific region while providing several policy recommendations for the Obama administration. CNAS is also undertaking ground-breaking work on post-traumatic stress disorder, and is convening communities of experts dedicated to addressing the mental health challenges facing our troops. We will continue and expand our Writers in Residence program, which will host four to five senior writers in national security each year as they work on longer research projects.

We are especially excited about four new programs we're adding to our repertoire. First, CNAS will begin a bipartisan Next Generation Defense Leaders development program co-led by Steve Biegun, Ford Motor Company Vice President for International Governmental Affairs (and former national security adviser to Senator John McCain and Governor Sarah Palin), and John Nagl. This program will convene a series of evening events with select young leaders to help introduce them to policymaking in the national security and defense community. Second, CNAS is working in partnership with the Chicago Council on Global Affairs on a three-year Transatlantic Initiative to explore the continuing relevance of the transatlantic alliance in an era of new threats and new challenges. Third, Richard Danzig will be undertaking an extensive research program on bioterrorism. Fourth, CNAS will be launching a ground-breaking program called "natural security," based on the Center's new concept of integrating all natural resource-related security challenges.


In the CNAS National Security Leaders Forum (NSLF) event series, recent and upcoming speakers include Admiral James G. Stavridis, Commander of U.S. Southern Command, General David Petraeus, Commander of United States Central Command; General James E. Cartwright, Vice Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff; and General Norton A. Schwartz, Chief of Staff of the U.S. Air Force.

We will hold a book launch event for CNAS Senior Fellow David Kilcullen on April 1, 2009 for his new book The Accidental Guerilla, which describes his experiences as a counterinsurgency practitioner in Indonesia, Iraq, Afghanistan, and Pakistan. Stay tuned for information about CNAS' annual June conference.


This is a pivotal moment for America's national security, and CNAS will continue to be a leading voice in the national debate, seeking principled, pragmatic solutions to the challenges ahead. You can always get the latest information at www.cnas.org.

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The Center for a New American Security (CNAS) is an independent and nonpartisan research institution that develops strong, pragmatic and principled national security and defense policies that promote and protect American interests and values. CNAS leads efforts to help inform and prepare the national security leaders of today and tomorrow.