September 06, 2017

Robert O. Work, former Deputy Secretary of Defense and CEO of CNAS, Rejoins Center as Distinguished Senior Fellow for Defense and National Security

The Center for a New American Security (CNAS) today announced that Robert O. Work, former Deputy Secretary of Defense and former CNAS CEO, will rejoin the organization as a Distinguished Senior Fellow for Defense and National Security. At CNAS, he will work with the Center’s experts on cutting-edge research, mentor future national security leaders, and provide his perspective on the modern threat landscape and the shape of the future force.

“We are thrilled to have Bob rejoin CNAS following his successful tenure as Deputy Secretary of Defense,” said current CNAS Chief Executive Officer Michèle Flournoy. “He has served America’s national security his entire life – first in uniform, at the Department of the Navy, at CNAS, and at DoD. We are grateful that Bob will continue that legacy by coming home to CNAS.”

Work served as Deputy Secretary of Defense from 2014 to 2017, where he led the Department’s efforts to modernize the force, among a host of other responsibilities. He previously served as CEO of CNAS, before which he was Undersecretary of the Navy. As Undersecretary, he acted with the full authority of the Secretary in day-to-day management of the Department of the Navy. In 2008, Work served on President-elect Barack Obama’s Department of Defense Transition Team as leader of the Department of the Navy issues team.

Work served 27 years in the U.S. Marine Corps, ultimately retiring as a colonel.

“I am honored to return to CNAS,” said Work. “I am proud of the impact CNAS had and the work it did while I was CEO, and I am gratified to see how much it has grown and flourished since. The organization perpetually nurtures top-tier talent, and I am looking forward to mentoring these rising leaders and contributing to their research.  I am grateful to have the opportunity to once again work with CNAS.”

Work earned a Bachelor of Science Degree in Biology from the University of Illinois, a Master of Science in Systems Management from the University of Southern California, a Master of Science in Space System Operations from the Naval Postgraduate School, and a Master in International Public Policy from the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS). He is also a member of the International Institute for Strategic Studies.

For more information, please contact Neal Urwitz at [email protected] or 202-457-9409.


  • 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 ...