June 27, 2019

Susanna V. Blume Named Director of CNAS Defense Program

Washington, D.C. — The Center for a New American Security (CNAS) is pleased to announce that Susanna V. Blume has been named Director of the Defense Program. Blume joined the Center in 2017 after nearly a decade of service in the Department of Defense, including as Deputy Chief of Staff for Programs and Plans to the Deputy Secretary of Defense. She succeeds Elbridge Colby, who will depart CNAS to co-found a new policy initiative focused on implementing the National Security and National Defense Strategies in an era of great power competition.

"CNAS is an absolutely superb institution. I believe in its mission and look forward to admiring and engaging with its work from the outside,” said Colby. “I am particularly excited about what the Defense Program will produce under the excellent leadership of Susanna Blume. I am confident that CNAS will continue helping to define the future of defense."

CNAS CEO Richard Fontaine added: “Susanna’s insights and expertise on the biggest challenges for U.S. national defense make her uniquely suited to lead the Defense Program. Alongside a stellar team, including Robert Work and Chris Dougherty, the program is poised to tackle some of the most critical, complicated, and controversial issues facing the Department of Defense while developing clear recommendations on a way forward for policymakers.”

"With Susanna at the helm, I’m confident that the Defense Program will be led to new heights with energy, focus, and innovative spirit,” said Michèle Flournoy, a member of the CNAS Board of Directors.

The Defense team will continue to focus on what the Department of Defense must do to sustain America’s military advantage. Their work will address the most critical strategic, operational, organizational, and fiscal challenges facing the Department and the broader defense community. Through its project on “A New American Way of War,” the defense team will identify new approaches to military strategy, operational concepts, and supporting capabilities to prevail in long-term military competitions with China and Russia. The team’s “Defense Priorities” effort will push for meaningful change in the way the Department of Defense makes critical decisions on requirements, acquisition, and resourcing, and, most importantly, assess whether the Department’s decisions are aligned with its strategic goals.

To reach Blume or experts in the CNAS Defense Program, 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...