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National Security

National security is obtained through diplomacy, economic power, and political power. Also involved is energy and environmental security and a fully functioning intelligence gathering and analysis community. Prior threats to national security came in the form of nation states.

However, with the rise of non-state actors including terrorist organizations, transnational criminal organizations, and multi-national corporations, threats to national security now come from many more actors and forms, including cyber security. 

For more information on the ways in which the United States promotes national security see the following pages on the site: Military, Homeland Security, Ambassadors, and Intelligence.

General National Security Resources:

The National Security Agency provides U.S. decision makers and military leaders with timely information and services in order to protect the nation and is a key member of the intelligence community.

The National Security Council is the forum through which the President considers national security and foreign policy issues with senior security advisors and cabinet officials.  The NSC is also working to combat cyber attacks and promote cyber security. More information on these efforts can be found here.

The White House Strategy to Combat Transnational Organized Crime addresses converging threats to national security and ways to combat them released in July 2011.

The White House National Security Strategy outlines the way in which the Obama administration will protect the homeland, released in May 2010. 

Many news outlets have dedicated forums for national security reporting and analysis including Foreign Policy Magazine, NPR, and the New York Times. These outlets provide timely reporting of events with informed insights and opinions.

The 2015 Global Forecast is a report that analyzes the crises and opportunities that arose in 2015, how best to deal with them, and their lasting effects.

The Intelligence Community Consumer’s Guide provides insight into the Intelligence Community including how intelligence is gathered, processed, analyzed, and exploited to protect American soil and citizens. Released in 2013 by the Office of the Director of National Intelligence.

Terrorism Resources:

The Combatting Terrorism Center’s monthly publication, CTC Sentinel, discusses terrorism, responses to terrorism, and threats posed by terrorism and other forms of political violence. 

2015 Terrorism & Political Violence Risk Map-Aon’s guide to Terrorism & Political Violence Risk is a report that presents risk assessment analysis through a global map, graphs, charts, and breakdowns by region.

The Country Reports on Terrorism 2014 was released by the US Department of State in April 2015 as part of a series of yearly reports on global terrorism. 

The Global Terrorism Index 2014 summarizes terrorism trends and analyses changing patterns in geographic activity, methods of attack, organizations, and the national economic and political context.

The National Counterterrorism Center provides multiple resources, including archived speeches and testimonies and a Counterterrorism Guide, which includes information on terrorist methods and tactics, groups, profiles, and historical timeline.

International Crime Resources

The White House Strategy to Combat Transnational Organized Crime addresses converging threats to national security and ways to combat them released in July 2011.

The National Money Laundering Risk Assessment 2015 report by the Department of the Treasury provides an introduction to money laundering crimes as well as predicate crimes and laundering methods.

Mafia Today provides global mafia-related news and information about mafia history, families, and structures.

Drug Violence in Mexico: Data Analysis through 2015 is a report released by Justice in Mexico Project.


Featured Women:

Rene Carbone Bardorf


René Carbone Bardorf was appointed Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Public Affairs for Community and Public Outreach in November 2011. She is responsible for advising the Assistant Secretary of Defense for Public Affairs on matters relating to outreach, community relations, and social media.

Having worked in and outside of government, Ms. Bardorf is a recognized subject matter expert in military family readiness, and injured support. She has served on prestigious working groups and panels such as the Clinton Global Initiative - Veterans Employment Working Group, Comcast Corporation Social Media Seminar for Nonprofit Executives, Department of Defense Community and Public Outreach Leadership Roundtable, Jericho Project - Veterans Homelessness Advisory Council, West Point Global Leadership Conference, Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars, and the US House of Representatives, Veterans Affairs Committee Leadership Roundtable.

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M. Elaine Bunn


Appointed Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Nuclear and Missile Defense Policy (DASD/NMD) in March of 2013, M. Elaine Bunn directs the offices of the Under Secretary for Policy that develop and review Departmental and National policies for nuclear and missile defense capabilities. These responsibilities include defining requirements for future capabilities, reviewing and adjusting operational planning, and leading discussions to develop strategies and options with allies and friends as well as international cooperation or agreements in the areas of nuclear forces, global strike and missile defense.

Bunn is a 1988 graduate of the National War College, and received an M.A. in International Security from Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies in 1980. She was a Fulbright Scholar at the Université de Neuchâtel, Switzerland in 1974-75, after graduating from the University of Georgia with a B.A. in International Political Communications. She was awarded the Defense Medal for Distinguished Civilian Service in 1995, and the Medal for Meritorious Civilian Service in 1989 and 1993. Additionally, she has published a number of articles and book chapters on deterrence, assurance of allies, strategic planning, nuclear policy, missile defense, and preemption, and has spoken frequently on these issues at U.S. and international conferences.


Sharon E. Burke


Sharon E. Burke was sworn in as the Assistant Secretary of Defense for Operational Energy Plans and Programs on June 25, 2010. As the Assistant Secretary, Ms. Burke is the principal advisor to the Secretary and Deputy Secretary of Defense on operational energy security and reports to the Under Secretary of Defense for Acquisition, Technology, and Logistics. She is the inaugural Assistant Secretary for the office, which was created to strengthen the energy security of U.S. military operations.

Ms. Burke has extensive previous U.S. government service. She served as a member of the Policy Planning Staff at the Department of State, a Country Director in the Department of Defense's Office of Near Eastern and South Asian Affairs, and a speechwriter to Deputy Secretary of State Richard Armitage and Secretary of Defense William Cohen. She started her career in the Energy and Materials program of the U.S. Office of Technology Assessment, contributing to a multi-year study of energy in developing countries.


Sharon H. Cooper


Sharon H. Cooper was appointed Executive Director, Defense Human Resources Activity (DHRA) Headquarters. She became the Acting Deputy Under Secretary of Defense for Program Integration (DUSD (PI)) in the Office of the Secretary of Defense for Personnel and Readiness (OUSD (P&R)) in June 2009. In her capacity as the Executive Director of DHRA, she is the principal advisor to the Under Secretary of Defense for Personnel and Readiness (USD (P&R)) for planning, policy, program and resource analysis and management for the Field Activity Headquarters as well as performing special projects supporting the Under Secretary of Defense for Personnel and Readiness (USD (P&R)) and the Deputy Under Secretary of Defense for Program Integration (DUSD (PI)).


Madelyn Creedon


Madelyn Creedon was confirmed by the U.S. Senate as the Assistant Secretary of Defense for Global Strategic Affairs (GSA) on August 2, 2011. In this capacity she supports the Under Secretary of Defense for Policy in overseeing policy development and execution in the areas of countering Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD), U.S. nuclear forces and missile defense, and DOD cyber security and space issues.

Prior to her confirmation, Ms. Creedon was counsel for the Democratic staff on the Senate Committee on Armed Services and was responsible for the Subcommittee on Strategic Forces as well as threat reduction and nuclear nonproliferation issues.


Amanda Dory


Amanda J. Dory currently serves as the Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for African Affairs in the Office of the Secretary of Defense. She is a career member of the Senior Executive Service. Prior to this position, Amanda served as the Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Strategy in the Office of the Secretary of Defense from 2008-2011, where she was responsible for strategy articulation, development of force planning scenarios, policy planning, and analysis of long-term trends and the future security environment. She received a Presidential Rank Award for her work on the 2010 Quadrennial Defense Review and the security implications of climate and energy trends. She previously served in the same office as the Principal Director for Policy and Planning from 2007-2008 and as a Strategist from 1999-2002.


Stephanie Douglas


Stephanie Douglas is the Executive Assistant Director of the FBI’s National Security Branch.  She has served in this role since October 2012. For more information see here.


Evelyn Farkas


Dr. Evelyn N. Farkas is Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Russia/Ukraine/Eurasia. She served previously as Senior Advisor to the Supreme Allied Commander Europe/Commander, U.S. European Command, and as Special Advisor for the Secretary of Defense for the NATO Summit. Prior to that, she was a Senior Fellow at the American Security Project.

In 2008-2009, she served as Executive Director of the congressionally-mandated bipartisan Commission on the Prevention of Weapons of Mass Destruction Proliferation and Terrorism, which published its report, World at Risk (Random House) on-time and under-budget in November 2008.


Marilee Fitzgerald


As the Director of the Department of Defense Education Activity, Ms. Marilee Fitzgerald will have oversight of all DoDEA schools, in the U.S. and overseas. She was selected as the Director in November 2011 and had previously served as the acting Director since June 2010.

Prior to her recent service with DoDEA, Marilee Fitzgerald was appointed as the Director of Workforce Issues and International Programs, Office of the Deputy Under Secretary of Defense for Civilian Personnel Policy, in June 2005. She oversaw and approved the Department of Defense (DoD) human resource policies and programs that affect over 700,000 employees worldwide. She also served as the Principal Deputy to the Deputy Under Secretary of Defense for Civilian Personnel Policy. During her tenure, she led the transformation of the Senior Executive Service and the creation of the DoD Civilian Expeditionary Workforce (CEW).


Johanna Mendelson Forman


Johanna Mendelson-Forman is a senior associate with Americas Program at Center for Strategic International Studies (CSIS), where she works on renewable energy, the Americas, civil-military relations, and post-conflict reconstruction. As a former co-director of the Post-Conflict Reconstruction Project at CSIS, she has written extensively on security-sector reform in conflict states, economic development in postwar societies, the role of the United Nations in peace operations, and energy security. In 2003, she participated in a review of the post-conflict reconstruction effort of the Coalition Provisional Authority in Iraq as part of a CSIS team.

Mendelson-Forman served as the director of peace, security, and human rights at the UN Foundation prior to joining CSIS. She has also served in the U.S. Agency for International Development, the Bureau for Humanitarian Response, the Office of Transition Initiatives, and the World Bank’s Post Conflict Unit. She has been a senior fellow with the Association of the United States Army and a guest scholar at the U.S. Institute of Peace. She has also served as an adviser to the UN Mission in Haiti. She holds adjunct faculty appointments at American University and Georgetown University.

Mendelson-Forman is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations and serves on the advisory boards of Women in International Security and the Latin American Security Network, RESDAL. She holds a J.D. from Washington College of Law at American University, a Ph.D. in Latin American history from Washington University, St. Louis, and a master’s of international affairs, with a certificate of Latin America studies, from Columbia University in New York.


Christine H. Fox


Christine H. Fox was appointed Director, Cost Assessment and Program Evaluation on November 3, 2009. A Presidential appointee confirmed by the United States Senate, she serves as the principal staff assistant to the Secretary of Defense for analyzing and evaluating plans, programs, and budgets in relation to U.S. defense objectives and resource constraints.

Ms. Fox possesses nearly three decades of experience as an analyst and research manager focusing on defense issues, particularly operations. She formerly served as the President of the Center for Naval Analyses (CNA), a Federally Funded Research and Development Center, and as the scientific analyst to the Chief of Naval Operations. Prior to her appointment as President of CNA, Ms. Fox was the Vice President and Director of CNA’s Operations Evaluation Group, responsible for approximately 85 field representatives focused on helping operational commanders execute their missions. She oversaw CNA’s analysis of real-world operations, including the operations in Bosnia and Kosovo in the 1990s, the operation in Afghanistan in response to the September 11 attacks, and the operation in Iraq in early 2003.


Susan M. Gordon


Susan M. Gordon has 25 years of experience with CIA and has served in senior leadership positions in all four directorates. She joined the Agency in 1980 as an analyst in the Office of Scientific and Weapons Research in the Directorate of Intelligence (DI), responsible primarily for the telemetry analysis of foreign space and missile systems.

Ms. Gordon has held a succession of management positions to include an assignment in the Directorate of Science and Technology’s (DS&T) Office of Development and Engineering where she worked on both national systems and new concept development. In 1995, she was selected as an Executive Assistant for the Executive Director/CIA.

In 1996, she became the architect and first Director of the Office of Advanced Analytic Tools, a joint DI/DS&T endeavor. In 1998, she was the Special Assistant to the Director of Central Intelligence responsible for the design and initial implementation of

In-Q-Tel, a private, non-profit company whose primary purpose is to deliver innovative technology solutions for the Agency and the Intelligence Community.

Returning from an seven year hiatus to raise her children, in 2007 she was appointed Director of Special Activities in the DS&T, focusing on supporting counter proliferation and counterterrorism efforts and the intelligence community focal point for the related biological research, development and engineering capabilities for collection and operations.

Most recently, Ms. Gordon served as Deputy Chief, Information Operations Center from September 2009 to December 2011.

Ms. Gordon holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Zoology (Biomechanics) from Duke University.


Karen Guice


Karen S. Guice, M.D., M.P.P., is the Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Health Affairs. Dr. Guice also serves as the Principal Deputy Director, TRICARE Management Activity. In these two roles, Dr. Guice assists in the development of strategies and priorities to achieve the health mission of the Military Health System, and participates fully in formulating, developing, overseeing and advocating the policies of the Secretary of Defense.

Dr. Guice also acts as a liaison for the ASD(HA)/Director of TMA, other offices within OSD, the Military Departments, Congress, and other Executive Branch agencies to develop, coordinate and integrate health care policies with departmental priorities and initiatives. Additionally, Dr. Guice oversees Congressional and legislative activities for the OASD(HA), as well as guides the office’s public affairs and communications programs. The Office of Health Affairs is responsible for providing a cost effective, quality health benefit to 9.6 million active duty uniformed Service Members, retirees, survivors and their families. The MHS has a $50 billion annual budget and consists of a worldwide network of 59 military hospitals, 360 health clinics, private-sector health business partners, and the Uniformed Services University.


Avril D. Haines


Avril D. Haines is CIA Deputy Director. Prior to her appointment, Haines served as Deputy Assistant to the President and Deputy Counsel to the President for National Security Affairs at the White House.

Haines is an expert in the legal implications of drone strikes, cyber attacks, and domestic intelligence gathering, all domains that will prove critically important in today’s national security landscape.

Prior to joining the White House Counsel’s office in 2010, she was Assistant Legal Advisor for Treaty Affairs at the Department of State and, from 2007 to 2008, she served on the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations as Deputy Chief Counsel for the Majority. Previously, she served in the Office of the Legal Advisor at the Department of State from 2003 to 2006.

She received a B.S. in Physics from the University of Chicago and a J.D. from Georgetown University Law Center.


Lynne Halbrooks


Ms. Lynne Halbrooks is the Principal Deputy Inspector General for the Department of Defense and serves as the head of the Office of Inspector General under the Federal Vacancies Reform Act. She served as the Acting Inspector General from December 25, 2011 to June 21, 2012. Ms. Halbrooks came to the Department of Defense Inspector General on March 1, 2009, upon being selected to serve as General Counsel. Previously, Ms. Halbrooks was the General Counsel for the Special Inspector General for Iraq Reconstruction.

Prior to joining the IG Community in October 2007, Ms. Halbrooks served with the Sergeant at Arms in the United States Senate - first as General Counsel and later as the Deputy Sergeant at Arms. There, she oversaw an agency of more than 950 employees.


Kathleen Harger


Ms. Kathleen Harger has spent nearly 40 years associated with the Defense enterprise, and is now a private consultant for government, industry and academic institutions. Her most recent government assignment was Chief Advocate for Adaptive Initiatives at the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), where she advocated for adaptability as an essential ingredient of creating and delivering effective solutions required in modern theaters of conflict.

She established adaptability as a key focus of the Agency to better serve the evolving needs of its customers by facilitating direct communication between DARPA and U.S. Warfighters.

Prior to her DARPA assignment, Ms. Harger was the Assistant Deputy Under Secretary of Defense for Innovation and Technology Transition where she was the Department of Defense’s advocate for the rapid movement of technology for warfighter use.

Her private industry career culminated in the founding of a small business specializing in the accelerated movement of technology into warfighter use, where she served as the President and CEO for seven years before accepting the offer to join the Defense Department as a political appointee.

Ms. Harger served 25 years in the United States Navy, active and reserve, retiring in 2002 as a Captain, where she specialized in both Antisubmarine Warfare and Space Operations, and served as the first Deputy Director of Oversight for all Navy Special Access Programs.

Ms. Harger has also served on both Army Science Board and Defense Science Board studies, investigating how the Department of Defense can eliminate barriers to solving warfighters’ urgent


Rebecca K.C. Hersman


Ms. Rebecca K.C. Hersman was named Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Countering Weapons of Mass Destruction for the Office of the Under Secretary of Defense in March 2009. In this role she is responsible for establishing policies and guidance to protect US and Allied war fighters against a chemical, biological, radiological, or nuclear (CBRN) attack from a state actor or terrorist. Ms. Hersman also represents the Department’s interests on counter proliferation and non-proliferation policy issues, including the Biological Weapons Convention, Chemical Weapons Convention, and Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, as well as the Cooperative Threat Reduction Program.

Ms. Hersman was a Senior Research Fellow with the Center for the Study of Weapons of Mass Destruction at the National Defense University from 1998-2009. Her primary projects have been the role of the Department of Defense in mitigating the effects of chemical and biological weapons attack both in the United States and against US interests abroad, concepts and strategies for eliminating an adversary's WMD programs, as well as proliferation issues facing the Department of Defense and US government more generally.


Katheen Hicks


Dr. Kathleen Hicks was confirmed as the Principal Deputy Under Secretary of Defense for Policy on May 25, 2012. She is responsible for advising the Under Secretary of Defense for Policy and the Secretary of Defense on all matters pertaining to the development and execution of U.S. national defense policy and strategy. Prior to this, she served as the Deputy Under Secretary of Defense for Strategy, Plans, and Forces from February, 2009 to May 2012. In that position, she led the development of the 2012 Defense Strategic Guidance and the 2010 Quadrennial Defense Review and oversaw the strategic guidance development, review, and assessment for military contingency plans and the plans for the day-to-day military activities of Combatant Commanders.

In addition, Dr. Hicks led Policy’s efforts to provide strategic guidance and implementation oversight to the Department’s planning, programming, and budgeting process as well as various force development, force management, and corporate support processes. This included the integrated assessment of U.S. military posture, force structure, and associated defense activities and capabilities.


Paige Hinkle-Bowles


Ms. Paige Hinkle-Bowles, a member of the Senior Executive Service, is the Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Civilian Personnel Policy. Her responsibilities include policy and oversight of civilian personnel plans, policies and programs that affect over 740,000 defense employees worldwide. Ms. Hinkle-Bowles portfolio spans the full spectrum of the Human Capital Lifecycle to include: talent acquisition, development and sustainment, performance management, strategic workforce and succession planning, leader development and Senior Executive Service Leadership Programs and the Civilian Expeditionary Workforce (CEW). Ms. Hinkle-Bowles is also responsible for policies and program guidance for the Department’s 136,000 non-appropriated funded employees worldwide.

Prior to this appointment Ms. Hinkle-Bowles served as the Principal Director to the Office of the Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense, Civilian Personnel Policy. In this role, she supported the Deputy Assistant Secretary in formulating plans, policies and programs to manage the Department of Defense civilian workforce effectively and efficiently.


Caryn Hollis


Ms. Caryn Hollis is the Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Counternarcotics and Global Threats. Ms. Hollis leads the Department of Defense’s global counternarcotics and threat finance policies and operations, among other global issues, overseeing a budget of over $1 billion. She reports to the Assistant Secretary of Defense for Special Operations & Low Intensity Conflict in the Office of the Under Secretary of Defense for Policy.

Prior to her role as Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense, Ms. Hollis served as the Principal Director for the Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Counternarcotics and Global Threats, and as the Chief of Staff for the Assistant Secretary of Defense for Special Operations & Low Intensity Conflict in the Office of the Under Secretary of Defense for Policy.


Kathy Hutson


Kathy Hutson is currently the Associate Director for Human Resources (ADHR) for the National Security Agency (NSA) where she leads HR strategic planning and development, workforce planning and design, recruitment and staffing, employee HR services, occupational health and safety activities, deployment support and planning, and employee relations across the global NSA/CSS enterprise.

Prior to being appointed as ADHR, she was the Chief of Occupational Health, Environmental and Safety Services (OHESS) at NSA responsible for ensuring a safe workplace, healthy workforce and protection of the environment for NSA operations located around the world.

Before joining NSA, Kathy held a number of leadership positions at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and Booz-Allen & Hamilton, Inc.


Laura Junor


Dr. Laura Junor serves as the Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Readiness. She develops and oversees policies and programs to ensure the Armed Forces of the United States are ready for all missions assigned by the President and Secretary of Defense. She acts as the focal point on all issues and activities related to the readiness and training of the Total Force. Further, she leads major DoD-wide initiatives that include the development of real-time readiness reporting system, a transformed training environment for joint forces, sustainable military training ranges, and the implementation of the Secretary of Defense’s mishap reduction goal.

Previously, Dr. Junor supported the Department’s program and budget process as the Chief of Staff for the Director of Cost Assessment and Program Evaluation. From 1994 through 2006, she directed readiness research for the Center for Naval Analyses and held an IPA position in OSD (P&R). From 2006 until 2009, Dr. Junor worked with the Department of Homeland Security, the National Guard Bureau, and agencies within several states to develop a common lexicon for improving communication and capability flows in the event of domestic crises.


Elizabeth L. King


The Honorable Elizabeth L. King is the Assistant Secretary of Defense for Legislative Affairs. In this capacity, she serves as the legislative advisor to the Secretary of Defense and promotes the Department’s strategy, legislative priorities, policies, and budget to the United States Congress. She was nominated by President Obama on April 20, 2009 and was confirmed by the United States Senate on May 7, 2009.

Prior to her joining the Office of Legislative Affairs, Elizabeth King was the Counsel and Senior Policy Advisor for Defense, Foreign Affairs, and Veterans for Senator Jack Reed.


Stephanie Sanok Kostro


Stephanie Sanok Kostro is deputy director of the Center for Strategic International Studies (CSIS) International Security Program, where she focuses on a range of issues affecting defense, foreign affairs, and international development. Her research interests include defense policy and strategy, U.S. government stabilization and reconstruction efforts, the nexus between security and economic development, transitions of post-conflict responsibilities, and U.S. military activities to partner with foreign nations and other organizations.

Prior to joining CSIS, Mrs. Kostro served at the U.S. embassy in Baghdad, where she developed policy options for the U.S. government’s efforts to support a sovereign, stable, and self-reliant Iraq. She contributed to the Joint Campaign Plan—an interagency strategy to strengthen U.S. relations with Iraq along political, economic, energy, rule of law, and security lines of operation and identify strategic risks and transition issues related to the U.S. military withdrawal.

Ms. Kostro served as a senior professional staff member on the U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Armed Services, where she led a team on overarching defense policy topics. She also worked at the Pentagon from 1998 to 2005 in the Secretary of Defense’s counter-proliferation, European, and NATO policy offices as a Presidential Management Fellow.

Mrs. Kostro received a master of public policy degree with concentrations in international security policy and conflict resolution from Harvard University and a degree in communication and international relations from Cornell University.


Maren Leed


Dr. Maren Leed is senior adviser with the Harold Brown Chair in Defense Policy Studies, where she works on a variety of defense-related issues. From 2011 to 2012, she served as senior adviser to the chief of staff of the U.S. Army. Prior to this Dr. Leed served as senior fellow and director of the New Defense Approaches Project at Center for Strategic International Studies (CSIS), where she led projects on topics as diverse as military personnel costs, the future of ground forces, strategic forecasting, organizing for electromagnetic spectrum control, and service cultures. She also supported the U.S. Department of Defense (DOD) inquiry into the shootings at Fort Hood.

From 2005 to 2008, she was assigned as a special assistant to the vice chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and was responsible for a range of issues including IEDs, ISR, cyber operations, biometrics, rapid acquisition, and Iraq policy. From 2001 to 2005, she was a professional staff member on the Senate Armed Services Committee. Dr. Leed earned her doctorate in quantitative policy analysis from RAND Graduate School. She served as a doctoral fellow at RAND during this time and analyzed military manpower issues, training for operations other than war, leader development, and providing strategic planning support for the military and private-sector organizations. Dr. Leed received her A.B. in political science from Occidental College.


Letitia A. Long


Ms. Letitia A. Long was appointed Director of the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency on August 9, 2010.

Prior to her appointment, Ms. Long served as Deputy Director of the Defense Intelligence  Agency (DIA) from May 2006 until July 2010. Previously, she was the Deputy Under Secretary of Defense for Intelligence (Policy, Requirements, and Resources) from June 2003 until May 2006.

She also served as the Deputy Director of Naval Intelligence from July 2000 to June 2003 and as the Director of Central Intelligence’s Executive Director for Intelligence Community Affairs from January 1998 to June 2000, where she was responsible for community-wide policy formulation, resource planning, and program assessment and evaluation.

Ms. Long entered civilian federal service with the U.S. Navy in 1978 as a Project Engineer in training with the David Taylor Research Center. Upon completion of her degree in 1982, she continued with the David Taylor Research Center for six years, working on various submarine acoustic sensor programs. In 1988, Ms. Long joined the Office of the Director of Naval Intelligence where she managed Intelligence Research and Development programs.

Ms. Long was selected into the Senior Intelligence Executive Service in July 1994 and was dual-hatted as the Director, Requirements, Plans, Policy, and Programs Office for the Navy intelligence staff, as well as the Director of Resource Management for the Office of Naval Intelligence (ONI). From 1994 to 1996, Ms. Long was on rotational assignment from ONI to the DIA as the Director of Military Intelligence Staff. In 1996, Ms. Long joined DIA as the Deputy Director for Information Systems and Services where she directed DIA’s worldwide information technology and communications programs. Ms. Long was also DIA’s first Chief Information Officer.

Ms. Long earned a Bachelor of Science in Electrical Engineering from Virginia Tech and a Master of Science in Mechanical Engineering from the Catholic University of America.

She is the recipient of the Department of Defense Medal for Distinguished Civilian Service, the Presidential Rank Award of Distinguished Executive, the Navy Distinguished Civilian Service Award, the Presidential Rank Award of Meritorious Executive (two awards), the National Intelligence Distinguished Service Medal (two awards) and the Defense Intelligence Agency Director’s Award (two awards).

In 2011 Ms. Long received the Charlie Allen Award for Distinguished Intelligence Service from the Armed Forces Communications and Electronics Association, was decorated with the Medal of Merit by the King of Norway, and was appointed to the rank of Chevalier in the National Order of the Legion of Honor of France.


Mary Beth Long


The first-ever Senate confirmed female Assistant Secretary of Defense, Mary Beth Long worked directly with Secretaries of Defense Rumsfeld and Gates on the Department’s highest priority issues, and represented the Secretary of Defense at the National Security Council and the White House.

Mary Beth uniquely combines senior-most Defense, Security, Intelligence and legal skills with over two decades of international experience, including successful complex foreign negotiations on behalf of both the government and commercial sectors.

She has worked closely with the highest levels of leadership at State, Treasury, CIA, DNI and NSA, as well as abroad representing the Secretary of Defense. She was Secretary Gates’s principal advisor on defense and security issues in the Middle East, Europe and Africa, including Iraq and Afghanistan. Mary Beth also served in senior Defense positions where she was responsible for Latin America and the Western Hemisphere, and Asia-Pacific and Southeast Asia.

While Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Counter-narcotics, she had direct responsibility for funds in excess of $1 billion. Mary Beth has more than a decade of operations experience at the Central Intelligence Agency where she worked on targeting narcotics, Weapons of Mass Destruction, and terrorism.

A practicing attorney, Mary Beth has expertise in export compliance, regulatory regimes, securities regulations and due diligence from her tenure at Williams and Connelly, LLC. She is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations and International Institute for Strategic Studies (IISS).

Mary Beth received the highest civilian awards from Secretary Gates and Admiral Michael Mullen, as well as numerous awards at CIA, including for covert action.

She has considerable Congressional testimony experience.


Elizabeth McGrath


Ms. Elizabeth (Beth) McGrath is the Department of Defense Deputy Chief Management Officer and the Department’s Performance Improvement Officer. In these roles, Ms. McGrath leads the Department’s effort to better synchronize, integrate, and coordinate DoD business operations and serves as the Principal Staff Assistant (PSA) and advisor to the Secretary and Deputy Secretary of Defense for matters relating to management and the improvement of business operations. She also serves as the vice chair of the Federal Performance Accountability Council overseeing government-wide security clearance process reform initiatives.

Ms. McGrath retains acquisition decision authority over a $3 billion information technology (IT) business system portfolio and investment management responsibility for an additional $4 billion business IT systems/initiatives. Her role as DCMO requires integration and coordination across DoD and other inter-governmental agencies to include the Office of Management and Budget and the Government Accountability Office.

Previously, Ms. McGrath served as the Deputy Director for Systems Integration, Defense Finance and Accounting Service (DFAS) where she created a financial migration strategy that included a comprehensive architecture and identification of DoD-wide systems valued at more than $1 billion.


Stephanie O'Sullivan


Ms. Stephanie O'Sullivan was sworn in as the Principal Deputy Director of National Intelligence (PDDNI) on February 28, 2011. As PDDNI, Ms. O'Sullivan serves in a role similar to that of a Chief Operating Officer where she focuses on the operations of the ODNI, and manages Intelligence Community (IC) coordination and information sharing. She also reinforces the DNI's intelligence integration initiatives and focus on IC resource challenges.

Before this assignment she served as the Associate Deputy Director of the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) since December 2009, where she worked with the Director and Deputy Director in the overall leadership of the Agency, with emphasis on day‐to‐day management of the organization.

Prior to becoming Associate Deputy Director of the CIA, Ms. O'Sullivan for four years led the CIA's Directorate of Science and Technology (DS&T) ‐ the part of the Agency responsible for developing and deploying innovative technology in support of intelligence collection and analysis.

Earlier in her career, she held various management positions in the CIA's DS&T, where her responsibilities included systems acquisition and research and development in fields ranging from power sources to biotechnology. Ms. O'Sullivan joined the CIA in 1995 after working for the Office of Naval Intelligence and TRW. She holds a Bachelor of Science degree in civil engineering from the Missouri Science and Technology University.


Virginia Penrod


Ms. Virginia (Vee) Penrod, assumed the duties of Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Military Personnel Policy on October 6, 2010. A member of the Senior Executive Service, she is responsible for recruiting, retention, compensation, travel and the related human resource management for the 1.4 million active duty military members of the U.S. Armed Services.

She has also served as a member of the Senior Executive Service in the Office of the Secretary of Defense for Military Personnel Policy for over four years. Most recently, she served as the Acting Principal Director and Deputy Under Secretary of Defense for Military Community and Family Policy from April through September, 2010. Her awards and decorations include the Legion of Merit and Defense Superior Service Medal.


Debora Plunkett


Debora Plunkett is the Director of the Information Assurance Directorate (IAD) at the National Security Agency. The IAD is the focal point for cyber security, cryptography, and information systems security for all national security systems.

With over 25 years at the Agency, Ms. Plunkett has served in a number of leadership and operational roles in both the Signals Intelligence and Information Assurance missions.

She also served as a Director on the National Security Council where she helped shape the national policy on critical infrastructure protection and cyber security.

In 2007, she was awarded the rank of Meritorious Executive in the Senior Cryptologic Executive Service by the President of the United States.


Susan Rice


Susan E. Rice is President Obama’s National Security Advisor, where she has been a key player in the international and domestic community.Prior to this, she served as the U.S. Permanent Representative to the UN. She has served as Senior Advisor for National Security Affairs on the Obama for America Campaign, the Advisory Board of the Obama-Biden Transition, and as co-chair of its policy-working group on national security. From 2002-2009, she was a Senior Fellow at the Brookings Institution, where she focused on U.S. foreign policy, transnational security threats, weak states, global poverty and development.

From 1997 to 2001, Ambassador Rice was the U.S. Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs. In this position, she formulated and implemented U.S. policy for 48 countries in Sub-Saharan Africa and oversaw the management of 43 U.S. From 1995-1997, Ambassador Rice served as Special Assistant to President William J. Clinton and Senior Director for African Affairs at the National Security Council at the White House. From 1993-1995, she served as the Director for International Organizations and Peacekeeping on the National Security Council staff.

Ambassador Rice received her Master’s degree and Ph.D in International Relations from New College, Oxford University, England, where she was a Rhodes Scholar. She was awarded the Chatham House-British International Studies Association Prize for the most distinguished doctoral dissertation in the United Kingdom in the field of International Relations. Ambassador Rice received her B.A. in History with honors from Stanford University, where she graduated junior Phi Beta Kappa and was a Truman Scholar.


Julie A. Sattler


Julie A. Sattler is the vice president and general manager of Lockheed Martin Space Systems Company (SSC). Sattler is responsible for one of SSC’s largest lines of business that focuses on developing some of the most sophisticated space systems for sensitive national security.

Sattler has achieved many firsts during her career with Lockheed Martin. She previously served as the first female vice president of SSC's engineering organization and as the vice president and program manager of a multi-billion dollar military communications satellite program, known at the Advanced Extremely High Frequency system, another first for a female at Lockheed Martin. Sattler also successfully delivered other critical programs, including Milstar and the Defense Satellite Communications System.

Sattler is a member of the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics, Society of Women Engineers and the National Defense Industrial Association. The Women in Aerospace (WIA) recognized Sattler for her leadership in the development of space-based communication systems that protect war fighters worldwide and for her contributions to the advancement of future leaders.

Sattler earned bachelor's degree in Aeronautical Engineering from San Jose State University and is a graduate of the Executive Program Management Course at the Defense Systems Management College, the Harvard Program for Senior Executives in National and International Security and Lockheed Martin Executive Development and Leadership Program.


Jolynn Shoemaker


Jolynn Shoemaker is Director of Women in International Security (WIIS) at the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS). WIIS is the only global network actively advancing women’s leadership, at all stages of their careers, in international peace and security. Previously, she worked for the Institute for Inclusive Security on policy advocacy and research on women in peace processes.

Ms. Shoemaker has served in policy and legal positions in the U.S. government, including in the Office of the Secretary of Defense and in the Department of State as a Presidential Management Fellow (PMF).

She holds a J.D. and an M.A. (security studies) from Georgetown University and a B.A. from University of California, San Diego. She has published extensively on women, peace, and security and women’s leadership.

She is a member of the New York Bar, a term member of the Council on Foreign Relations, and a Truman National Security Fellow.


Elissa Slotkin


Elissa Slotkin is currently the Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for International Security Affairs, where she and the Assistant Secretary oversee policy development and implementation on the Middle East, Africa, Europa/NATO and Russia. She joined the Office of the Secretary of Defense for Policy in 2011 as the Senior Adviser for Middle East Transition, and prior to that served in the State Department where she worked closely with Secretary Clinton, then-Deputy Secretary Jack Lew, and later Deputy Secretary Tom Nides on Iraq policy during the transition from military to civilian lead.

Elissa has also served on the National Security Council Staff as Director for Iraq, where her portfolio included a leading role in the drafting of the U.S-Iraq Status of Forces Agreement. Her career in government began in the intelligence community, where she served in Iraq for nearly 24 months total and as Special Assistant to the first Director of National Intelligence, John Negroponte. In addition to her government experience, Elissa has worked at non-profit organizations in the Middle East and East Africa. She received her undergraduate degree from Cornell and her Masters degree from Columbia's School of International and Public Affairs.


Gayle Smith


Gayle Smith is Special Assistant to the President and Senior Director at the National Security Council, where she is responsible for global development, democracy, and humanitarian assistance issues. She was previously a Senior Fellow at the Center for American Progress, Co-Chair of the ENOUGH Project, and Co-Founder of the Modernizing Foreign Assistance Network. During the Clinton Administration, Smith previously served as Special Assistant to the President and Senior Director for African Affairs at the NSC, and as Senior Advisor to the Administrator and Chief of Staff of the U.S. Agency for International Development.


Teri Takai


Teri Takai is the Department of Defense Chief Information Officer (DoD CIO). She serves as the principal advisor to the Secretary of Defense for Information Management/Information Technology and Information Assurance as well as non-intelligence Space systems, critical satellite communications, navigation, and timing programs, spectrum and telecommunications. She provides strategy, leadership, and guidance to create a unified information management and technology vision for the Department and to ensure the delivery of information technology based capabilities required to support the broad set of Department missions.

Ms. Takai previously served as Chief Information Officer for the State of California. As a member of the Governor's cabinet, she advised the governor on the strategic management and direction of information technology resources as the state worked to modernize and transform the way California does business with its citizens.


Rosemary Freitas Williams


Rosemary Freitas Williams serves as the Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Military Community and Family Policy. In her role, she is responsible for policy, advocacy, and oversight of all community support to service members and their families; quality of life issues; state liaison initiatives; family programs and the 24/7/365 online and call-in family assistance services; child development and youth programs; military spouse career advancement; the off-duty, voluntary education program for military personnel; tuition assistance; morale, welfare, and recreation; defense resale for commissaries and exchanges; and family violence prevention and intervention. Her oversight includes the Armed Forces Retirement Homes, casualty and mortuary affairs, and military funeral honors.

Prior to her appointment, Williams served as a vice president at Reingold, Inc., a social marketing and strategic communications firm where she was responsible for the strategic direction of media relations and oversight of the agency’s public awareness campaigns, with a particular focus on issues affecting the veteran and military communities.


Christine Wormuth


Ms. Christine Wormuth was appointed as the Deputy Under Secretary of Defense for Strategy, Plans and Force Development in August 2012. Ms. Wormuth is responsible for advising the Under Secretary of Defense for Policy (USD[P]) and the Secretary of Defense on all matters pertaining to the development of U.S. national security and defense strategy. She oversees the strategic guidance development, review, and assessment for military contingency plans and the plans for the day-to-day military activities of Combatant Commanders. In addition, Ms. Wormuth leads Policy’s efforts to provide strategic guidance and implementation oversight to the Department’s planning, programming, and budgeting process as well as various force development, force management, and corporate support processes. This includes the integrated assessment of U.S. military posture, force structure, and associated defense activities and capabilities.

Prior to joining the Office of USD(P), Ms. Wormuth was a Special Assistant to the President and Senior Director for Defense Policy and Strategy on the National Security Staff (NSS). As the Senior Director for Defense Policy and Strategy, Ms. Wormuth oversaw the Defense directorate and was responsible for providing NSS expertise on global, functional, and regional defense, military and political-military issues.


Jessica L. Wright


Secretary Jessica L. Wright was selected to serve as Acting Under Secretary of Defense for Personnel and Readinesson January 1, 2013. Previously, she was confirmed as the Assistant Secretary of Defense for Reserve Affairs on May 24th, 2012. She is the deputy senior policy advisor to the Secretary of Defense on recruitment, career development, pay and benefits for 1.4 million active duty military personnel, 1.3 million Guard and Reserve personnel, 680,000 DoD civilians, and is responsible for overseeing the overall state of military readiness.

Mrs. Wright retired as a Major General in the Pennsylvania Army National Guard. Her distinguished 35 year career of military service culminated in her final assignment as Adjutant General of Pennsylvania and commander of the Pennsylvania National Guard. In this State of Pennsylvania Cabinet-level position, she was responsible for command, control and supervision of all Air and Army National Guard units allocated to the state of Pennsylvania, six state-owned veterans’ homes, and programs for Pennsylvania’s one million veterans. Prior to this assignment, she also served as the deputy adjutant general for the Army.