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

September 27, 2018 - 4:00 pm

1030 15th Street NW
Washington, DC
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 will focus 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 will discuss 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 will feature 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 will be moderated by Thom Shanker, assistant washington editor for the New York Times.
The event will also feature 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 policymaking and share their own stories of the contributions made by women working diligently behind the scenes.

Register now by clicking on the RSVP button above. We hope you can join us for what promises to be a fascinating discussion.

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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 


Kathleen J. McInnis is a nonresident senior fellow with the Scowcroft Center for Strategy and Security. She currently serves as an international security analyst for the Congressional Research Service, writing on US defense policy and strategy issues. Prior to that, she was a research consultant at Chatham House in London, working on NATO and transatlantic security matters. Between 2010 and 2012, Dr. McInnis cofounded Caerus Associates, a strategic design consulting company. From 2006 to 2010, Dr. McInnis served in the Office of the Secretary of Defense (Policy), working NATO-Afghanistan matters and stability operations capability development. In that capacity, she helped formulate and support US policy for two NATO summits, eight NATO Defense Ministerial meetings, and four Regional Command- South Ministerial meetings. Prior to joining Stability Operations, Dr. McInnis spent several years at the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS), analyzing US nuclear weapons strategy, strategic capabilities, NATO, European security, and transatlantic relations. Before joining CSIS, she was a researcher in the United Kingdom (UK) House of Commons, working on NATO, the European Union, and US-UK political-military relations. Kathleen has commented on international affairs on television, radio, and print. She has appeared on CNN, Sky News, BBC, Al Jazeera English, and Voice of America. Her articles have featured in publications including The Atlantic Monthly, Defense One,, The Washington Quarterly, Defense News, War on the Rocks and The Washington Times, and was a contributing author to several Chatham House and CSIS studies. She was awarded her MSc in international relations from the London School of Economics in 2002, and in 2017 completed her PhD in the Department of War Studies, King's College London. Her book on coalitions, How and Why States Defect from Contemporary Military Coalitions, will be published by Palgrave in 2018.  She is a contributing author to the edited volume Strategy Strikes Back: What Star Wars Teaches Us About Modern Military Conflict, released by Potomac Press in April 2018. Kathleen’s debut novel, The Heart of War: Misadventures in the Pentagon which will be published by Post Hill Press on September 25, 2018.

Christine E. Wormuth is director of the International Security and Defense Policy Center at the RAND Corporation. Wormuth has an extensive background in defense and national security, including service as under secretary of defense for policy (2014-2016); deputy under secretary of defense for strategy, plans and forces (2012-2014); special assistant to the president and senior director for defense at the National Security Council (2010-2012); and principal deputy assistant secretary for homeland defense (2009-2010). As under secretary, Wormuth shaped the U.S. military's counter-ISIS campaign, strengthened defense relationships with allies and partners in the Asia-Pacific, adjusted U.S. force posture in Afghanistan and placed greater emphasis on deterrence of Russia and China. In 2014, she led the Quadrennial Defense Review. At the National Security Council, Wormuth played a key role in the 2012 Defense Strategic Guidance and led a comprehensive effort to update nuclear weapons planning and employment guidance. Her career in government is bookended by positions at two national security research institutions. Prior to joining RAND, Wormuth directed the Adrienne Arsht Center for Resilience at the Atlantic Council. Before her service in government she was a senior fellow at the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS). Wormuth holds a master's degree in public policy from the University of Maryland and a bachelor's degree from Williams College.

Loren DeJonge Schulman is the deputy director of studies and the Leon E. Panetta senior fellow at the Center for a New American Security. Her research interests include national security and defense strategy and reform, with focus on strengthening and modernizing the U.S. national security toolkit. Ms. Schulman most recently served as the Senior Advisor to National Security Advisor Susan Rice. Before returning to the White House in 2013, she was Chief of Staff to the Assistant Secretary of Defense for International Security Affairs, advising on security policy issues related to Europe, the Middle East, Africa, and Russia. She served as Director for Defense Policy on the National Security Council staff from 2011­–2012, contributing to the 2012 Defense Strategic Guidance, overseeing development of the U.S. Security Sector Assistance Policy, and coordinating U.S.-Libya policy at the outset of military intervention. Prior to that, she worked as a special assistant to Secretary of Defense Robert Gates, first supporting the Obama administration's transition in the Department of Defense and later advising on the 2010 Quadrennial Defense Review, defense reform issues, and major interagency initiatives. Ms. Schulman is also an affiliate of Stanford University’s Center for International Security and Cooperation. She began her career in government as a Presidential Management Fellow. Raised in Texas, she received her Bachelor of Arts in political science and international studies from Trinity University and her Master in Public Policy from the University of Minnesota as a Distinguished Fellow for International Peace and Conflict Studies.

Thom Shanker is an assistant Washington editor for The Times, joining the editing ranks in 2014 after serving for 13 years as a correspondent covering the Pentagon, the military and national security. He is an author, with Eric Schmitt, of “Counterstrike: The Untold Story of America’s Secret Campaign Against Al Qaeda,” published in August 2011 by Times Books and Henry Holt & Company. The book became a New York Times best seller. For the war in Afghanistan, Mr. Shanker embedded with Army Special Forces at Kandahar. He conducted dozens of reporting trips to Afghanistan and Iraq, and has embedded in the field with units from the squad and company level through battalion, brigade, division and corps. Before joining The Times in 1997, he was foreign editor of The Chicago Tribune. Mr. Shanker was The Tribune's senior European correspondent, based in Berlin, from 1992 to 1995. Most of that time was spent covering the wars in former Yugoslavia, where Mr. Shanker was the first reporter to uncover and write about the Serb campaign of systematic mass rape of Muslim women. He spent five years as The Tribune's Moscow correspondent, covering from the start of the Gorbachev era to the the death of the USSR and the collapse of the communist empire in Eastern Europe. Mr. Shanker attended the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy, studying strategic nuclear policy and international law. He serves as a nonresident senior fellow at the Edward R. Murrow Center for a Digital World at the school. He graduated cum laude with a bachelor’s degree in political science from Colorado College, and was awarded an honorary doctor of laws by the college.