January 06, 2014

CNAS Welcomes New Experts on Strategy and Statecraft, Future Security Issues and Asia-Pacific Security

The Center for a New American Security (CNAS) this week welcomes four new experts to its national security team.  The four will contribute to CNAS’ new Strategy and Statecraft program, a groundbreaking research initiative on the future of warfare, and the Center’s long-running Asia-Pacific Security Program.

Julianne (“Julie”) Smith, who served until June 2013 as deputy national security advisor to Vice President Joseph R. Biden, Jr. and spent nearly three years as Principal Director for European and NATO Policy in the Office of the Secretary of Defense, joins CNAS as a Senior Fellow and Director of the Strategy and Statecraft Program.  With several years of experience directing programs at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, Julie will lead CNAS’ Strategy and Statecraft program in its goal of developing pragmatic solutions to security, political and economic problems in today’s volatile global environment.

“We are delighted to welcome Julie to the CNAS family,” said CEO Robert Work.  “She brings with her an invaluable combination of government and think tank experience that promises to make the Strategy and Statecraft Program the best in the country.”

Also joining the Center is Paul Scharre, Fellow and Project Director for the 20YY Warfare Initiative—a multiyear effort to explore how emerging technologies will shape the future of warfare. Prior to joining CNAS, Mr. Scharre worked for five years in the Office of the Secretary of Defense (OSD), serving most recently as Special Assistant to the Under Secretary of Defense for Policy. At OSD, he played a leading role in establishing policies on unmanned and autonomous systems and emerging weapons technologies.  Previously, Mr. Scharre served as a special operations reconnaissance team leader in the Army’s 3rd Ranger Battalion and completed multiple tours in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Elbridge (“Bridge”) Colby joins CNAS as a Fellow, where he will focus on Asia-Pacific security, deterrence, nuclear weapons, and regional conventional force and intelligence issues.  From 2010 to 2013, Bridge was a principal analyst and division lead for global strategic affairs at the Center for Naval Analysis and during 2012 served on several security policy teams for the Mitt Romney campaign.  Previously, he spent over five years in the U.S. government, including as policy advisor to the Secretary of Defense’s Representative for the new Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty, as an expert advisor to the Congressional Strategic Posture Commission, as a staff member on the President’s Commission on the Intelligence Capabilities of the U.S. Regarding WMD, with the Coalition Provisional Authority in Iraq, and with the State Department.

“Paul and Bridge are two excellent additions to the CNAS team,” noted Executive Vice President and Director of Studies Shawn Brimley.  Paul has been at the forefront of emerging defense technology policy for the last several years, and we look forward to his continuing his path breaking work on future warfare,” he added.  “Likewise,” stated Mr. Brimley,  “Bridge offers a wealth of expertise on strategic arms issues and intelligence and his reputation as a cutting-edge national security thinker is well-established.”

Completing the roster of new CNAS experts is Vance Serchuk, who joins the Center as an Adjunct Senior Fellow.  Since August 2013, Vance has been executive director of the KKR Global Institute, based in New York.  He previously served for six years as senior foreign policy advisor to Senator Joseph Lieberman (I-CT) and as a professional staff member on the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee. Prior to working in the Senate, Vance was a research fellow in foreign and defense policy studies at the American Enterprise Institute. 

“Vance is one of the foremost foreign policy thinkers of his generation and will be a tremendous addition to our team,” said Center President Richard Fontaine.  “CNAS will benefit immensely from Vance’s experience in government and out, as well as from his judicious counsel,” he added.

Several promotions of the current staff were also announced.  Shawn Brimley was named Executive Vice President and Director of Studies, Dr. Nora Bensahel is now Co-Director of the Responsible Defense program, and Ely Ratner was promoted to Senior Fellow. “Congratulations to Shawn, Nora and Ely, all three of whom have performed superbly over the last year, helping to give CNAS its outsized influence in the national security policy arena,” said Mr. Work.
Click here for Julie Smith’s full biography.

Click here for Paul Scharre’s full biography.

Click here for Bridge Colby’s full biography.

Click here for Vance Serchuk’s full biography.


  • Elbridge Colby

  • Julianne Smith

    Former Adjunct Senior Fellow, Transatlantic Security Program

    Julianne (“Julie”) Smith is a contributing editor to Foreign Policy, where she coedits “Shadow Government.” She is also a senior advisor at WestExec Advisors, an adjunct senio...

  • Paul Scharre

    Executive Vice President and Director of Studies

    Paul Scharre is the Executive Vice President and Director of Studies at CNAS. He is the award-winning author of Four Battlegrounds: Power in the Age of Artificial Intelligence...

  • Vance Serchuk

    Strategy and Statecraft

    Vance Serchuk is an adjunct senior fellow at the Center for a New American Security. Since August 2013, he has been executive director of the KKR Global Institute, based in ...