July 16, 2020

James Beamesderfer, Fred Humphries and Heather Nauert Join CNAS Board of Advisors

The Center for a New American Security (CNAS) today announced that James Beamesderfer, Vice President for Prudential’s Office of Veterans Initiatives, Fred Humphries, Corporate Vice President of U.S Government Affairs for Microsoft, and Heather Nauert, former spokesperson for the U.S. State Department, have joined the CNAS Board of Advisors. As members of the Board, they will contribute to the development and execution of the organization’s intellectual agenda.

The Board of Advisors is comprised of prominent leaders from the private sector, academia, the military and government who help inform the Center’s research and expand its community of interest.

“It's great to welcome Jim, Fred, and Heather to the CNAS Board of Advisors," said CNAS CEO Richard Fontaine. “With their vast wealth of experience across U.S. foreign policy, high-tech industry leadership, the military, in media, and more, these members’ insights will sharpen the Center's work on key policy issues. Our experts and research will benefit significantly from Jim, Fred, and Heather’s expertise.”

James M. Beamesderfer is a vice president for the Office of Veterans Initiatives within Prudential’s Inclusive Solutions department. He is responsible for the company’s internal veterans programs, which includes supporting inclusion and diversity activities, implementing the communications strategy and overseeing philanthropic activity in coordination with internal business partners. In addition, he oversees the VETalent program that in partnership with the nonprofit organization Workforce Opportunity Services, recruits, trains and hires Iraq and Afghanistan-era military veterans and military spouses. Beamesderfer has been a driving force behind the development of the company’s military spouse employment program and was recently appointed as the Co-Chair of the US Chamber of Commerce Hiring Our Heroes Military Spouse Employment Advisory Council. He also plays a key role in expanding the VETalent program and other Military Talent employment programs to other companies around the country.

Prior to joining Prudential, Beamesderfer was a captain in the U.S. Army, serving six years in Infantry units. Beamesderfer has a bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering from the United States Military Academy at West Point and a master’s degree in business administration from the University of Phoenix. He also earned the Project Management Professional designation. Beamesderfer sits on the board of directors of the United Service Organizations (USO) of Metro NYC, the board of advisors for the Center for a New American Security and is an active member of the Rutgers Business School Military and Veteran Advisory Board.

Fred Humphries is Corporate Vice President of U.S Government Affairs for Microsoft. Under his leadership, U.S. Government Affairs provides expertise in policy, outreach, political engagement, and government affairs that helps advance the company’s advocacy goals. As Microsoft’s chief public policy advocate internally and externally on all aspects of federal, state and civic affairs. He sets the company’s strategy and government affairs outreach on the most pressing policy issues facing the technology industry including cloud computing, taxes, privacy, trade, cyber security, education, immigration, and emerging technologies.

In 2000, Humphries joined Microsoft as Director of State Governmental Affairs, building a team responsible for outreach to our nation’s governors, mayors and local elected officials in every state capital. He was promoted to Microsoft’s Managing Director of U.S. Government Affairs in 2009 and Corporate Vice President in 2015. Humphries received a J.D. from Temple University School of Law and a B.A. in Political Science from Morehouse College. He proudly serves on the boards of numerous non-profit and public service organizations including Morehouse College, Temple University Beasley School of Law, Information Technology Industry Council, The Information Technology Industry Foundation, Internet Association, National Association of Manufacturers, Congressional Black Caucus Foundation, Martha’s Table Leadership Council, Software.org, Ford’s Theatre Board of Governors and the USTR Trade Advisory Committee on Africa. Humphries resides in Washington, D.C. with his wife Kim. They have two adult children.

Heather Nauert serves on the advisory board of BGR Group, a government relations and public affairs firm in Washington, D.C. She previously served in the State Department as spokesperson from 2017 to 2019 and as acting under secretary for public diplomacy and public affairs from 2018 to 2019. In those roles, Nauert articulated U.S. foreign policy and coordinated public messaging for the Department, its leadership and 294 U.S. embassies and consulates worldwide. She also helped plan, execute, and manage messaging on top department initiatives, including the maximum pressure sanctions campaign against North Korea, holding China accountable for actions in the South China Sea, and efforts to combat state-sponsored disinformation from Russia, China and Iran.

Nauert is a senior fellow at Hudson Institute where she focuses on U.S. foreign policy. She also is a member of the President’s Commission on White House Fellowships. President Trump appointed Nauert to the Fulbright Foreign Scholarship Board last year. Prior to her role at the State Department, Nauert spent nearly 20 years as an anchor and reporter at Fox News and ABC News where she covered many of the world’s most consequential stories. She was born in Rockford, Illinois, and spent much of her childhood in Wisconsin. She has an M.S. in journalism from Columbia University and received her B.A. from Mount Vernon College. She lives with her husband and two young children in New York.

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...