November 18, 2014

Ilan Goldenberg, Fmr. Chief of Staff to Special Envoy for Israeli-Palestinian Negotiations and Iran Team Chief of OSD-Policy, Named CNAS Middle East Security Program Director


Washington, November 18 – The Center for a New American Security (CNAS) announced today that Ilan Goldenberg will join CNAS as a Senior Fellow and Middle East Security Program Director. Mr. Goldenberg comes to CNAS from the U.S. Department of State, where he served as Chief of Staff to the Special Envoy for Israeli-Palestinian Negotiations. His career includes positions in the Office of the Secretary of Defense for Policy and with the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, where he has covered U.S. policy on Israel, Iran, Syria and Iraq.
“The challenges facing the Middle East have been, and will continue to be, a major strategic issue for the U.S.” said CNAS Chief Executive Officer Michèle Flournoy. “CNAS has always been proud of the fact that the issues we raise and the recommendations we make for U.S. policy in the region inform decision makers at the highest levels. Ilan’s tremendous experience and knowledge of the region will enable him to continue that tradition.”
Richard Fontaine, CNAS’ president, echoed Ms. Flournoy. “Ilan’s background and expertise are impressive. We are excited about the research he will conduct, the recommendations he will make, and the impact he will have on policy toward this critical region.”
Mr. Goldenberg replaces Dr. Colin Kahl, who left CNAS to be National Security Advisor to Vice President Joe Biden.
From 2012 to 2013, Mr. Goldenberg served as a Senior Professional Staff Member on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee covering Middle East issues for Chairmen Kerry and Menendez. In that capacity, he acted as one of the lead drafters of the Syria Transition Support Act which provided additional authorities to arm the Syrian opposition. The bill passed the Senate Foreign Relations Committee in May 2013.
From 2009 to 2012, Mr. Goldenberg served first as a Special Advisor on the Middle East and then as the Iran Team Chief in the Office of the Under-Secretary of Defense for Policy. In that position he provided advice and support to the Undersecretary of Defense for Policy and other senior DOD officials on Iranian nuclear, military, and political issues.
Prior to that, Mr. Goldenberg worked as Policy Director and was one of the founding staff members of the National Security Network – a progressive nonprofit foreign policy organization dedicated to a pragmatic and principled foreign policy.  He also spent time early in his career as a financial analyst at CitiGroup Investment Banking where he covered the oil and gas industry.
Mr. Goldenberg is also an adjunct professor at Georgetown University’s Security Studies Program and George Washington University’s Elliot School of School of International Affairs.
Mr. Goldenberg holds a B.A. in international studies from the University of Pennsylvania, a B.S. in economics from the Wharton School of Business, and a master's degree in International Affairs from Columbia’s School of International and Public Affairs.


  • Ilan Goldenberg

    Former Senior Fellow and Director, Middle East Security Program

    Ilan Goldenberg is the former Senior Fellow and Director of the Middle East Security Program at the Center for a New American Security. He is a foreign policy and defense expe...