July 16, 2020

Tony Ierardi, Sarah Mineiro, and Paul Benfield Join CNAS as Adjunct Senior Fellows in the Defense Program

The Center for a New American Security (CNAS) is pleased to announce that LTG Anthony R. "Tony" Ierardi, USA (Ret.), head of strategic engagement for Rebellion Defense, Sarah Mineiro, lead on space and missile strategy and business development at Anduril Industries, and Paul Benfield, Director of Emerging Technologies at Pallas Advisors, have joined CNAS as Adjunct Senior Fellows in the Defense Program.

“I am very pleased to welcome Tony, Sarah and Paul to the Center,” said Susanna Blume, Director of the CNAS Defense Program. “As public servants with remarkably accomplished careers, they understand the defense challenges and opportunities that the country faces. Tony, Sarah and Paul’s experiences, insights, and expertise will be valuable to our team’s work.”

Lieutenant General (Retired) Tony Ierardi departed active duty in the U.S. Army in August 2019. Tony subsequently joined Rebellion Defense in December 2019 leading strategic partner engagement. Over the course of his military career, Tony served in a uniquely diverse set of assignments where he led challenging missions in strategically important Army and Joint units and organizations. As a General Officer, Tony served in critical assignments at the DoD, Joint and Army enterprise-levels related to requirements, capabilities and the strategic allocation of resources. Tony’s culminating military assignment was as the Joint Staff’s J-8 Director where he oversaw JCS analytic assessments and all matters related to current and future requirements for forces, capabilities, budgets and resources for the U.S. Joint Force. Tony led Army and Joint units at every level from platoon to division, in the U.S. and abroad, including commanding the First Cavalry Division at Fort Hood, Texas. Earlier, he deployed in support of Operation Enduring Freedom as the Deputy Commander for Programs, Combined Security Transition Command in Kabul, Afghanistan, and with the Second Armored Cavalry Regiment in Operation Desert Storm. He has a bachelor’s degree in business from Washington & Lee University, and masters degrees from Georgetown University and the Naval War College.

Sarah Mineiro currently works at Anduril Industries where she is responsible for space and missile strategy and business development. Sarah has worked within the national security and defense sector for over 15 years. Previously, she was the Staff Lead for the Strategic Forces Subcommittee for the House Armed Service Committee (HASC). She led the Subcommittee’s legislative and oversight activities of all Department of Defense and Military Intelligence Program space programs, U.S. nuclear weapons, missile defense, directed energy, and hypersonic systems. Sarah was the senior legislative advisor to Ranking Member Mac Thornberry on all strategic force issues. In this role she was the primary drafter and negotiator of the Space Force and Space Command legislation for the House Republicans.

Prior to joining the HASC, Sarah served in the Office of the Under Secretary of Defense for Policy (OSDP) in Nuclear and Missile Defense, Koreas, Brazil, and Space Policy offices. At OSDP she was responsible for the development and implementation of several international strategies, negotiation of international agreements, as well as planning, programming, budgeting, and execution of Defense of Defense programs. Sarah holds a master’s degree in Public and International Affairs and a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science from the University of Pittsburgh.

Paul Benfield is currently the Director of Emerging Technologies at Pallas Advisors, a strategic consulting firm focused on national and economic security. Prior to joining the private sector, he served more than 20 years in the U.S. Army in various Airborne, Special Operations, and Infantry units.

Paul enlisted in the Army in October 1997. He served in Korea and Ft. Bragg, North Carolina and deployed in support of Operation Enduring Freedom (I and III) and Operation Iraqi Freedom (I) before attending Officer Candidate School in 2005. He graduated as the Distinguished Academic Graduate, and was commissioned a Second Lieutenant in the Infantry in September 2005. Additional operational deployments included tours with the 82nd Airborne Division in Baghdad, Iraq in support of the ‘Surge’ from January 2007 to March 2008 and with the 3rd Infantry Division where he deployed to Fallujah, Iraq in 2010 to conduct Advise and Assist Operations. In May of 2013, he received the Douglas MacArthur Leadership award for leadership excellence. Paul's final assignment was as a Military Assistant to the Deputy Secretary of Defense. His portfolio included Department of Defense innovation and modernization priorities focusing on incorporating emerging technology into innovative and transformative operational concepts. Paul holds an M.A. in Policy Management from Georgetown University, and a B.A. in Political Science from Campbell University.

For more information or to schedule an interview with Ierardi, Mineiro, or Benfield, contact Cole Stevens at cstevens@cnas.org or call 202-695-8166.