Cori Fleser is a nonresident fellow with the Transatlantic Security Initiative at the Atlantic Council’s Scowcroft Center for Strategy and Security and a senior specialist with Forge Group LLC. She provides technical subject matter expertise to defense and military institutions to implement women-, peace-, and security-focused policies, programs, and initiatives. In this capacity, she has advised foreign militaries, US combatant commands, the Joint Chiefs of Staff, and Office of the Undersecretary of Defense for Policy on gender’s effects on global, national, and individual security. She is an expert in accounting for these gender dynamics within military plans, programs, and operations.


Prior to her work on women, peace, and security, Fleser previously supported the Joint Chiefs of Staff as a joint planner and served as an analyst for US special operations forces. She also previously designed wargames for military and commercial organizations with Booz Allen Hamilton. Before working in the national security space, Fleser worked for several nongovernmental organizations focused on the development of girls’ leadership, gender-based violence prevention, and foreign-aid reform.


Fleser has participated in fellowships at the German Marshall Fund, Atlantik-Brücke, and the National Endowment for Democracy. In 2020, Fleser was one of the fourteen NATO 2030 Young Leaders, the sole US representative, appointed as an advisory body to the NATO Secretary General. While there, she co-authored a report with recommendations for strengthening the alliance through 2030 and beyond. In 2021, Fleser was selected to participate in the Shawn Brimley Next Generation National Security Fellowship with the Center for a New American Security.


Fleser has an MA in sustainable development with a focus on gender and security from the School for International Training Graduate Institute and a BA in international affairs and German with a minor in women’s, gender, and sexuality studies from James Madison University.