WASHINGTON — Victoria Nuland, a longtime U.S. State Department official, has been named the new CEO of the Center for a New American Security think tank, while former Deputy Secretary of Defense Bob Work will be stepping up his involvement with the group.
She succeeds Michèle Flournoy, the former undersecretary of defense for policy, who co-founded CNAS in 2007. Flournoy, who is leaving to create a new consulting group, will remain on the think tank’s board.
Nuland comes to the group with a strong bipartisan background. Under the George W. Bush administration, she served as deputy national security adviser to Vice President Dick Cheney and deputy chief of mission for the United States at NATO, before becoming the full ambassador to NATO in President George W. Bush’s second term.
She then became the State Department’s spokeswoman for President Barack Obama’s first term, later transitioning to assistant secretary of state for European and Eurasian affairs from September 2013 until the end of the administration.
“I am honored to join CNAS at this vital time,” Nuland said in a news release. “For over a decade, the Center has excelled in offering pragmatic, bipartisan solutions to our nation’s most pressing national security and defense challenges. Those are needed more than ever today. As CEO, I look forward to working with the men and women of CNAS and leaders across the national security community to advance the best ideas and the strongest public consensus for principled American leadership in the world.”
Work, who retired from the Pentagon in July, will also become a more visible part of the think tank, with the group announcing he will serve as senior counselor for defense. Work is a previous CEO of the think tank.
In a release, the group said Work will “advise CNAS’ defense studies, produce analyses related to the future of warfare, and lead signature CNAS initiatives including the Artificial Intelligence Task Force and the Evolving the Future Force Initiative.”
That all seems in line with the Third Offset technology focus he brought to the Pentagon.
Aaron Mehta was deputy editor and senior Pentagon correspondent for Defense News, covering policy, strategy and acquisition at the highest levels of the Defense Department and its international partners.