AGS hosted Michèle Flournoy, Undersecretary of Defense for Policy (2009-2012), for the Fall 2012 Von der Heyden Fellows Program Endowment Fund Lecture on September 27, 2012 at 6:15 pm in the Sanford School of Public Policy’s Fleishman Commons. Her conversation with AGS Director, Dr. Peter Feaver, explored her career, her experience of civil-military relations under five Secretaries of Defense, current events, and President Obama’s foreign and defense policies. And estimated 170 people attended the event.
Reception: 5:30 – 6:15 (Sanford School of Public Policy, 1st Floor)
Public Lecture: 6:15 – 7:30 (Sanford School of Public Policy, Fleishman Commons)
Parking will be available in the Science Drive Visitor’s Lot
Michèle Flournoy is the former under secretary of defense for policy in the United States and the most senior female civilian to serve at the Pentagon. One of the top national security experts in the country, Flournoy believes in developing strong and pragmatic national security and defense policies. A moderate on defense matters, she remains at the top of the Democrats’ list of women who have a solid chance of becoming the nation’s first female defense secretary. Exclusively represented by Leading Authorities speakers bureau, Flournoy addresses national security and defense policy, leadership, and leading change in large organizations.
Under Secretary: Part of President Obama’s transition team, Flournoy was influential from the start of the Obama administration in shaping defense policy toward emerging threats and formulating counterinsurgency strategy in Afghanistan. Confirmed as under secretary of defense in February 2009, she served as the Pentagon’s top policy adviser to former defense chief Robert Gates, and, for the last six months, to Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta. Panetta praised Flournoy’s work, saying, “From guiding our strategy in Afghanistan and Iraq, to helping set the department’s priorities and global posture through the 2010 Quadrennial Defense Review, as well as the strategy review that has been underway this year, Michèle has made a strong and lasting positive imprint on this department and on our nation’s security.” Flournoy was at the center of some of the administration’s most challenging foreign policy issues, including the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, the intervention in Libya, and the U.S. response to the Arab Spring. She also dealt extensively with the realignment of U.S. global military posture and the re-balancing toward Asia-Pacific.
Before Being Under Secretary: Before becoming under secretary of defense, Flournoy worked in the defense department under President Bill Clinton, holding two positions simultaneously. She was both the principal deputy assistant secretary of defense for strategy and threat reduction and the deputy assistant secretary of defense for strategy. In those capacities, she oversaw three policy offices int he Office of the United States Secretary of Defense: strategy; requirements, plans, and counter-proliferation; and Russia, Ukraine, and Eurasian Affairs.
In 2007, Flournoy founded and was named president of the Center for a New American Security (CNAS), and independent, non-partisan national security think tank that has major influence on Democratic policy. Prior to co-founding CNAS, she was a senior adviser at the Center for Strategy and International Studies (CSIS), where she worked on a broad range of defense policy and international security issues, including post-9/11 strategy, interagency reform, and reducing the risk of nuclear terrorism. Before that, Flournoy was a distinguished research professor at the Institute for National Strategy Studies at the National Defense University (NDU), where she founded and led the university’s Quadrennial Defense Review (QDR) working group.
Flournoy was awarded the Secretary of Defense Medal for Outstanding Public Service in 1996; the Department of Defense Medal for Distinguished Public Service in 1998, 2011, and 2012; and the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff’s Joint Distinguished Civilian Service Award in 2000 and 2012.
*Photo and biography provided by Leading Authorities speakers bureau.