Image credit: CNAS

April 06, 2021

CNAS Names Paul Scharre Vice President and Director of Studies

Washington, April 6, 2021—The Center for a New American Security (CNAS) is pleased to announce that Paul Scharre has been named Vice President and Director of Studies. Dr. Scharre has served as Director of the CNAS Technology and National Security Program since 2017, and previously as Senior Fellow in the Defense Program.

As a member of the CNAS executive team, Scharre will be responsible for managing the Center’s research agenda, publications, and research staff.

“Paul Scharre combines leadership, vision and extraordinary intellect – all qualities that will make him a superb Director of Studies," said CNAS CEO Richard Fontaine. "During his seven years at the Center, he has developed a cutting-edge research agenda and a reputation for both boldness and rigor. Paul will take CNAS’ research to new heights.”

Michèle Flournoy, Chair of the CNAS Board of Directors, also had praise for Scharre. “I have worked alongside Paul for many years and watched his extraordinary service to our country and CNAS with admiration. He is a uniquely accomplished national security leader who will guide the Center’s research with strong, smart, and innovative leadership.”

Dr. Scharre has served as Director of the CNAS Technology and National Security program since 2017 and as a Fellow and Senior Fellow at CNAS since 2014. He is the award-winning author of Army of None: Autonomous Weapons and the Future of War, which won the 2019 Colby Award and was named one of Bill Gates’ top five books of 2018. Prior to joining CNAS, Scharre worked in the Office of the Secretary of Defense (OSD) where he played a leading role in establishing policies on unmanned and autonomous systems and emerging weapons technologies. His most recent government position was Special Assistant to the Under Secretary of Defense for Policy.

Prior to joining OSD, Scharre served as a special operations reconnaissance team leader in the Army’s 3rd Ranger Battalion and completed multiple tours to Iraq and Afghanistan. He is a graduate of the Army’s Airborne, Ranger, and Sniper Schools and Honor Graduate of the 75th Ranger Regiment’s Ranger Indoctrination Program. Scharre has testified before the House and Senate Armed Services Committees and has presented at the United Nations, NATO, the Pentagon, the CIA, and other national security venues. He holds a Ph.D. in War Studies from King’s College London and an M.A. in Political Economy and Public Policy and a B.S. in Physics, cum laude, from Washington University in St. Louis.

To reach Dr. Scharre or for more information on CNAS, please contact Cole Stevens at or 202-695-8166.