October 17, 2017

Press Release: Flournoy to Transition to Board of Directors December 31; Two New Board Members Added

Washington, October 17 – The Center for a New American Security (CNAS) Board of Directors today announced that former U.S. Secretary of Homeland Security Jeh Johnson; former commander of U.S. Strategic Command Adm. Cecil D. Haney, USN (Ret.); and CNAS CEO Michèle Flournoy will join the Board of Directors. The Board of Directors also announced that Flournoy will transition from her current position as CEO to the Board of Directors effective December 31, 2017.

The Board of Directors released the following statement concerning Flournoy’s transition:

“The Board of the Center for a New American Security (CNAS) was informed by Michèle Flournoy that she will depart her position as CEO by the end of 2017 to start a new strategic advisory firm. She will, however, remain engaged with the Center as a Board member and as an active supporter of the Center’s programs and activities. The Board is grateful to Michèle for her stellar commitment and contributions to CNAS, first as its Co-Founder and President, and currently as its CEO, and collectively wish her well in her new endeavors.  

"Flournoy, along with a strong executive team including President Richard Fontaine and other dedicated professionals, has helped CNAS achieve global recognition as a leading national security and defense think tank. Fontaine will remain President of CNAS and will ensure continuity of mission and operations. 

"The Board has established a CEO search committee to identify, recruit, and recommend to the full Board outstanding candidates to lead CNAS as it continues to fulfill its mission to develop strong, pragmatic, and principled national security and defense policies; to engage policymakers, experts, and the public with innovative, fact-based research, ideas, and analysis; to shape and elevate the national security debate; and to inform and prepare the next generation of national security leaders.”

Secretary Johnson is the former U.S. Secretary of Homeland Security, serving in that position from December 2013 to January 2017. He has returned to private law practice at Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison, LLP. As Secretary of Homeland Security, Sec. Johnson was head of the third largest cabinet department of the U.S. government, consisting of 230,000 personnel and 22 components, including TSA, Customs and Border Protection, Immigration and Customs Services, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, the Coast Guard, the Secret Service, and FEMA. Prior to becoming Secretary of Homeland Security, Sec. Johnson served as General Counsel of the U.S. Department of Defense, where he is credited with being the legal architect for the U.S. military’s counterterrorism efforts in the Obama administration. He is on the Board of Directors of PG&E Corporation and is a non-resident Senior Fellow at the Harvard Kennedy School. Sec. Johnson received his J.D. from Columbia Law School, his B.A. from Morehouse College, and is the recipient of nine honorary degrees.

Before retiring from the U.S. Navy, Admiral Haney served as commander of U.S. Strategic Command (USSTRATCOM), one of nine Unified Commands under the Department of Defense. USSTRATCOM is responsible for the global command and control of U.S. strategic force to meet decisive national security objectives. Before taking command at USSTRATCOM, Adm. Haney served as commander of the U.S. Pacific Fleet. Among many other decorations, Adm. Haney received the Navy Distinguished Service medal, the Defense Superior Service medal, the Legion of Merit, the Navy Commendation Medal, and the Navy Achievement Medal. He received master’s degrees in National Security Strategy from National Defense University and in Engineering Acoustics and in System Technology from the Naval Post Graduate School. He is a 1978 graduate of the U.S. Naval Academy.  In retirement, Adm. Haney serves on the John Hopkins University Applied Physics Board of Managers and as a co-chair for the China-U.S. Dialogue on Strategic Nuclear Dynamics for the Pacific Forum of the Center for Strategic and International Studies.


For more information, please contact Neal Urwitz at nurwitz@cnas.org.


  • Neal Urwitz

    Former Director of External Relations

    Neal Urwitz is the former Director of External Relations at the Center for a New American Security (CNAS). In that capacity, Mr. Urwitz was responsible for the organization’s ...