Please join the Atlantic Council for a public panel discussion on “From inside the Pentagon: The work of women in national security” on Thursday, September 27, 2018 from 4:00 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. at the Atlantic Council’s headquarters (1030 15th Street NW, 12th Floor, West Tower Elevators, Washington, DC 20005). 

Evolving geo-politics and changing warfare has increased the challenges to developing effective and efficient strategy. From disinformation to the re-emergence of great power competition, US policymakers are dealing with an increasingly complex security environment.

Convening an all-female panel of national security leaders, the event focuses on many of the strategic challenges currently faced by the United States and its allies, as well as the life and work of women in national security. Having all worked in the Pentagon in senior positions at different times, the panel discusses the development of US strategic policy, the difficulty of strategic choices, the complexities of managing civil-military relationships, relations with China and Russia, and the meaning of national service.

This event features a moderated conversation between Kathleen McInnis, international security analyst for the Congressional Research Service; Christine Wormuth, director of RAND’s International Security and Defense Policy Center; and Loren DeJonge Schulman, Deputy Director of Studies at the Center for a New American Security, and the conversation is moderated by Thom Shanker, assistant Washington editor for the New York Times.

The event also features the launch of Kathleen McInnis’ new book The Heart of War: Misadventures in the Pentagon, based in part on Dr. McInnis’ own experiences working in the Pentagon. The novel tells the story of Dr. Heather Reilly as she takes on her new role in the Pentagon and faces the many issues that come with working in the Department of Defense. The Heart of War raises several important themes that cut to the heart of today’s US strategic challenges and provides critical insights into the internal dynamics in the Pentagon, from gender inequities to bureaucratic dysfunction. It also tackles topical strategic challenges, such as how to strike a balance between counterterrorism operations and great power competition, an issue that the current NSS attempts to resolve.

As they reflect on their own experiences working in the Pentagon, the panelists will also explore the role of women in national security policy making and share their own stories of the contributions made by women working diligently behind the scenes.

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Follow @AtlanticCouncil and @ACScowcroft and use #WomenInNatSec and #HeartofWar to join the conversation.

From Inside the Pentagon: The Work of Women in National Security

Introduced by:
Damon Wilson
Executive Vice President
Atlantic Council

A Conversation with:
Kathleen J. McInnis
International Security Analyst
Congressional Research Service;
Nonresident Senior Fellow, Scowcroft Center for Strategy and Security
Atlantic Council

Christine E. Wormuth
Director, International Security and Defense Policy Center
RAND Corporation

Loren DeJonge Schulman
Deputy Director of Studies and the Leon E. Panetta Senior Fellow
Center for a New American Security

Moderated by:
Thom Shanker
Assistant Washington Editor
The New York Times