February 26, 2020

CNAS Elects Admiral John Richardson and Avril Haines to Board of Directors

Washington, February 26, 2020—The Center for a New American Security (CNAS) Board of Directors announced today that Admiral John Richardson, USN (Ret.) and Avril Haines, Deputy Director of Columbia World Projects, will join the Board of Directors.

Dr. Kurt Campbell, Chairman of the CNAS Board and former Assistant Secretary of State for East Asia and Pacific Affairs, said, “We are thrilled to welcome Admiral John Richardson and Avril Haines to CNAS. Their experiences and leadership on the national stage will provide invaluable expertise to the Board of Directors and will be a great resource for our research team.”

Admiral John Richardson graduated from the U.S. Naval Academy in 1982 with a Bachelor of Science in Physics. He holds master’s degrees in electrical engineering from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, and a master’s degree in National Security Strategy from the National War College. Richardson has commanded at every level of the Navy. At sea, Richardson served in four submarines, commanding the attack submarine USS Honolulu. Richardson was awarded the Vice Admiral James Bond Stockdale Inspirational Leadership Award for his time in command of USS Honolulu. His staff assignments include naval aide to the President of the United States and the Director of Strategy and Policy at U.S. Joint Forces Command. Richardson was the Director of Naval Reactors before serving as the 31st Chief of Naval Operations (CNO). Richardson retired from the Navy in August 2019 after 37 years of service. Since leaving the Navy, Richardson has joined the Board of Directors for The Exelon Corporation and The Boeing Company. He also serves on the Board of Trustees for the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution and is a Senior Fellow at the Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory.

Avril Haines is a Senior Research Scholar at Columbia University, Deputy Director of Columbia World Projects, a Nonresident Senior Fellow at the Brookings Institution, and a Senior Fellow at the Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory. She additionally serves as a Member of the National Commission on Military, National, and Public Service. Avril serves on a number of boards and advisory groups, including the Nuclear Threat Initiative’s Bio Advisory Group, the Board of Trustees for the Vodafone Foundation, and the Refugees International Policy Advisory Council. Prior to joining Columbia University, Avril served as Assistant to the President and Principal Deputy National Security Advisor to President Obama. She chaired the Deputies Committee, the administration’s principal forum for formulating national security and foreign policy. Before that, she served as the Deputy Director of the Central Intelligence Agency. Avril also held a number of senior legal positions in the government, including Legal Adviser to the National Security Council. Avril received her bachelor’s degree in Physics from the University of Chicago and a law degree from Georgetown University Law Center.

For more information, please contact Cole Stevens at cstevens@cnas.org or 202-695-8166.


  • 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...