April 30, 2014

CNAS CEO Robert Work Confirmed as Deputy Secretary of Defense

WASHINGTON, April 30, 2014 – Robert Work, CEO of the Center for a New American Security (CNAS), was confirmed today by the Senate as the nation’s new Deputy Secretary of Defense. During his tenure as the Center's chief executive officer, Mr. Work oversaw the establishment of seven research programs, an increase in the size of the research staff, and a move to new offices.  He also coauthored a groundbreaking study on the future of warfare that laid the intellectual groundwork for the Center's “20YY” Warfare Initiative.

Michèle Flournoy co-chair of the Center’s Board of Directors, said, "Bob Work has made remarkable contributions to CNAS during his tenure as CEO, and I know that he will do great things in the Pentagon.”

CNAS President Richard Fontaine said, "Bob Work has been a terrific leader and partner at CNAS.  His vision and energy have guided the Center in bold new directions, and he leaves an organization deeply marked by his presence.  We will benefit from Bob Work's service - both his time at CNAS and his future at the Pentagon - for a long time to come."

Prior to leading CNAS, Mr. Work was Under Secretary of the Navy from 2009 to 2013. In this capacity, Mr. Work served as the Deputy and Principal Assistant to the Secretary of the Navy and acted with full authority of the Secretary in the day-to-day management of the Department of the Navy. He was commissioned a second lieutenant in the U.S. Marine Corps in August 1974. During his 27-year career, he held a wide range of command, leadership, and management positions. He commanded an artillery battery and artillery battalion, was the base commander at Camp Fuji, Japan, and served as Military Assistant to Navy Secretary Richard J. Danzig.

“My year serving as the Chief Executive Officer of CNAS has been one of the most rewarding of my professional career,” said Mr. Work. “I was very fortunate to have the opportunity to lead such a truly unique, bipartisan ‘idea tank.’ The Center’s staff, Board of Directors, and Board of Advisors are among the most talented group of people I know, and an endless source of innovative, cutting edge ideas. I learned a ton while being here. I was also endlessly amazed and uplifted by the collaborative nature of the Center, which is both inspiring and rewarding to be a part of.  I will miss everyone who is part of the extended CNAS family, and the vibrant spirit of the organization.”

Executive Vice President Shawn Brimley added, “It has been an honor working with Bob. He rejuvenated CNAS’ business model, created new research programs, and positioned us to continue shaping and elevating the national security debate. He will be sorely missed, but Bob is the perfect person to help lead the Department of Defense through a critical period and we wish him all the best." 


  • Robert O. Work

    Senior Counselor for Defense and Distinguished Senior Fellow for Defense and National Security

    Secretary Robert O. Work is the Distinguished Senior Fellow for Defense and National Security at the Center for a New American Security and the owner of TeamWork, LLC, which s...