Center for a New American Security

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The Center for a New American Security (CNAS) is a Washington, D.C.-based national security think tank established in 2007.

It was initially led by co-founders Dr. Kurt M. Campbell, who then served as CEO, and Michèle Flournoy, who then served as President. CNAS says its goal is to develop "strong, pragmatic and principled national security and defense policies that promote and protect American interests and values." [1]

As of November 2008, its program topics include Iraq, energy security and climate change, WMD and nuclear proliferation, terrorism and irregular warfare, U.S. foreign policy, and U.S. military forces and operations. [2]

In 2011 Nathaniel C. Fick was their CEO, and John A. Nagl was their President. [3]

Involvement in the Obama transition team

"When President-elect Barack Obama released a roster of his transition advisers last week, many of the national-security appointments came from the ranks of the center," reported the Wall Street Journal in November 2008. CNAS co-founder Michele Flournoy "is one of two top members of Mr. Obama's defense transition team and is likely to be offered a high-ranking position at the Pentagon. ... Wendy Sherman, co-head of the Obama State Department transition team, also serves on the center's board of advisers and is expected to land a high-ranking post [in the new Administration]. Richard Danzig, a front-runner for defense secretary, is on the think tank's board of directors. Susan Rice and James Steinberg, both of whom are on Mr. Obama's short list for national security adviser, serve on its board of advisers." [4]

Principals and Personnel

Previous CNAS Personnel

Board of Directors: 2011
Richard J. Danzig
Chairman of the Board, Center for a New American Security
Madeleine K. Albright
Chair, The Albright Stonebridge Group
Richard L. Armitage
President, Armitage Intl.
Norman R. Augustine
Former Chairman, Exec. Committee, Lockheed Martin Corp.
Denis A. Bovin
Co-Chairman and Co-CEO, Stone Key Partners, LLC
R. Nicholas Burns

Prof. in the Practice of Diplomacy and Intl. Politics, Kennedy School of Government, Harvard

Nathaniel C. Fick
Chief Exec. Officer, Center for a New American Security
Karen Elliott House Leo S. Mackay
VP, Ethics and Business Conduct, Lockheed Martin Corp.
William J. Perry
Prof. and Senior Fellow, Hoover Institution on War, Revolution, and Peace, Stanford University
Mitchell B. Reiss
President, Washington College
Peter Schwartz
Co-Founder and Chairman, Global Business Network
John P. White
Robert and Renee Belfer Lecturer and Chair, Kennedy School Middle East Initiative
Michael J. Zak
Principal Investor, Charles River Ventures
CNAS: Board of Directors (Accessed: 8 November 2011)


Staff 2011
Nathaniel C. Fick
Chief Exec. Officer
John A. Nagl
Kristin M. Lord
Vice President and Dir. of Studies
David Asher
Non-Resident Senior Fellow
Melanie K. Baier
Exec. Asst. to the President and CEO
David W. Barno, USA (Ret.)
Senior Advisor and Senior Fellow
Nora Bensahel
Deputy Dir. of Studies and Senior Fellow
Nancy Berglass
Non-Resident Senior Fellow
Catherine Cloud
Development Coordinator
Sara Conneighton
External Relations Assoc.
Patrick Cronin
Senior Dir. of the Asia-Pacific Security Program
Laura DeLucia
Operations Asst.
Andrew M. Exum
Senior Fellow
Liz Fontaine
Publications Manager
Richard Fontaine
Senior Advisor and Senior Fellow
Jay Gulledge
Non-Resident Senior Fellow
Margaret C. Harrell
Senior Fellow and Dir. of the Joining Forces Initiative
Zachary M. Hosford
Rsch. Assoc.
Matthew Irvine
Rsch. Assoc.
Robert Kaplan
Senior Fellow
Ethan B. Kapstein
Non-Resident Senior Fellow
David Kilcullen
Non-Resident Senior Fellow
Robert Killebrew, USA (Ret.)
Non-Resident Senior Fellow
Fernando Lujan
Visiting Fellow
Marc Lynch
Non-Resident Senior Fellow
Ellen McHugh
Dir. of Operations
Shannon O'Reilly
Dir. of External Relations
Thomas E. Ricks
Senior Fellow
Will Rogers
Rsch. Assoc. and Joseph S. Nye Jr. Internship Coordinator
Travis Sharp
Bacevich Fellow
Joel E. Smith
Rsch. Asst.
Richard Weitz
Non-Resident Senior Fellow
CNAS: People (Accessed: 9 November 2011)
Senior Military Fellows: 2011
Kendall Bridgewater, Lieutenant Commander USN Robert Clark, Lieutenant Colonel USMC Thomas M. Cooper, Lieutenant ColonelUSAF
Anthony DeMartino, Lieutenant Colonel USA Shannon Gilreath, Commander USCG
CNAS: Military Fellows (Accessed: 8 November 2011)

Advisory Board

Accessed January 2011: [5]

Contact information

Center for a New American Security
1301 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW, Suite 403
Washington, DC 20004
Phone: 202-457-9400

Articles and resources

Related SourceWatch articles


  1. "About CNAS," Center for a New American Security website, accessed November 2008.
  2. "Topics," Center for a New American Security website, accessed November 2008.
  3. People, Center for a New American Security, accessed January 14, 2011.
  4. Yochi J. Dreazen, "Obama Dips Into Think Tank for Talent," Wall Street Journal (sub req'd), November 16, 2008.
  5. Advisory Board, Center for a New American Security, accessed January 14, 2011.

External resources

External articles