February 14, 2018

CNAS Releases Two Essays on Women in National Security

By Mark R. Jacobson, and Joseph Cirincione

Washington, D.C., February 14, 2018 – The Center for a New American Security (CNAS) today released two new essays as part of its Women in National Security Project. The essay series, along with associated podcasts, publications, and events, is designed to bring discussions of gender and inclusivity to national security audiences that do not normally focus on them.

Maternity and Paternity Leave: Implications for the National Security Workforce” is by Mark R. Jacobson, an associate teaching professor at Georgetown University and a former senior advisor to the secretary of defense. Drawing on personal experience, Jacobson addresses the parental leave challenges faced by national security professionals and argues for federal policy and legislative reforms. In addition to detailing these policies, he emphasizes the importance of top-down leadership in department leaders encouraging their managers to allow flexible parental leave.

Ending Gender Shunning” is by Joseph Cirincione, president of the Ploughshares Fund and a former member of the International Security Advisory Board to Secretaries of State John Kerry and Hillary Clinton. Cirincione argues that shunning female leadership in U.S. national security institutions is costing the country a diverse set of perspectives and views from which to improve its foreign and defense policies. He proposes adopting formal guidelines on gender balance for American organizations and foundations.

The authors are available for discussions or interviews. To make arrangements, please contact Cole Stevens at cstevens@cnas.org or 202-695-8166.


  • Mark R. Jacobson

    Mark Jacobson is an Associate Teaching Professor at the Walsh School of Foreign Service at Georgetown University, a Non-Resident Senior Fellow at the Pell Center for Internati...

  • Joseph Cirincione

    Joseph Cirincione is the president of the Ploughshares Fund, a global security foundation. His most recent books are Nuclear Nightmares: Securing the World before It Is Too La...