Michele Flournoy

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Michele Flournoy

Michele Flournoy served as the Under Secretary of Defense for Policy from February 2009 to February 2012. She was the principal adviser to the Secretary of Defense in the formulation of national security and defense policy, oversight of military plans and operations, and in National Security Council deliberations. She led the development of DoD’s new Strategic Guidance and represented the Department in dozens of foreign engagements, in the media and before Congress.

Prior to confirmation, Ms. Flournoy co-led President Obama’s transition team at DoD.


Ms. Flournoy earned a bachelor's degree in social studies from Harvard University and a master's degree in international relations from Balliol College, Oxford University, where she was a Newton-Tatum scholar.[1]


In January 2007, Ms. Flournoy co-founded the Center for a New American Security, a non-partisan think tank dedicated to developing strong, pragmatic and principled national security policies. She served as CNAS’ President until 2009.

Previously, she was senior adviser at the Center for Strategic and International Studies for several years and, prior to that, a distinguished research professor at the Institute for National Strategic Studies at the National Defense University.

In the mid-1990s, she served as Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Strategy and Threat Reduction and Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Strategy.

Ms. Flournoy has received several awards from the Secretary of Defense and the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. She is a member of the Defense Policy Board, the Council on Foreign Relations, and the Aspen Strategy Group.[2]

Arms Control Association

In 1988, Michele Flournoy was a Senior research Analyst, for the Arms Control Association.[3]

Obama appointment

In January 2009 Michele Flournoy was nominated by the Obama administration for the position of Under Sec Policy in the DOD and confirmed in February 2009.[4]

Rosa Brooks appointment

Circa 2009, Rosa Ehrenreich Brooks became a senior advisor to the Under Secretary of Defense for Policy, Michele Flournoy.