March 11, 2021

Michèle Flournoy Named Chair of CNAS Board of Directors, James Murdoch Vice Chair, and Michael J. Zak Chair of New Committee

Washington, March 11, 2021—The Center for a New American Security (CNAS) today announced the election of Michèle Flournoy as Board Chair and James Murdoch as Vice Chair. Michael Zak will serve as Chair of a newly established Nominating and Governance Committee.

“We are delighted that Michèle, James, and Mike are assuming these new board roles,” said CNAS CEO Richard Fontaine. “Each of them has been involved with the Center for over a decade, and they know it well. With their leadership and guidance, this next phase of CNAS life will be one of exceptional ideas, individuals, influence and impact.”

Michèle Flournoy served as Co-Founder and President of CNAS from 2007–2009 and as CEO from 2014–2017. She is currently the Co-Founder and Managing Partner of WestExec Advisors, a strategic advisory firm. Ms. Flournoy served as the Under Secretary of Defense for Policy from February 2009 to February 2012 and is co-chair of the CNAS Shawn Brimley Next Generation National Security Fellowship.

James Murdoch has spent more than two decades of global leadership in the media and technology industries and is the founder of Lupa Systems, a private holding company. Mr. Murdoch most recently served as CEO of 21st Century Fox from 2015 to 2019; previously he served as 21st Century Fox Co-COO, Chairman and CEO for Europe and Asia. Prior to his time at 21st Century Fox, Mr. Murdoch was the CEO and Chairman of Sky, and CEO of STAR TV. Mr. Murdoch is a co-founder of Quadrivium, a foundation that invests in democracy reform, technology and society, scientific awareness, and climate and ocean health issues.

Mike Zak serves as a Partner, Emeritus, at CRV, located in Boston and Silicon Valley, where he focused on early stage investments. Prior to joining CRV, Mr. Zak was a co-founder of a successful internet equipment company, backed by venture capital. He served as an officer in the United States Marine Corps, completing Cold War deployments throughout the western Pacific, East Asia, and NATO/West Germany, and has worked extensively with the Marine Corps University at Quantico in developing new approaches to professional military education.

For media inquiries, contact Cole Stevens at or call 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...