Daniel E. Mouton is a nonresident senior fellow at the Scowcroft Middle East Security Initiative of the Atlantic Council’s Middle East Programs. He brings a multitude of policy, operational, and embassy experiences in the fields of security cooperation, defense diplomacy, and national-security policy. Mouton served on the National Security Council from 2021 to 2023 as the director for defense and political-military policy for the Middle East and North Africa for Coordinator Brett McGurk. Prior to his role with the White House, Mouton served in the Pentagon as a military assistant to then Secretary of Defense Jim Mattis, working as the director of the secretary’s Action Group. Mouton also served as the senior defense official and defense attaché in Beirut, as well as the chief of security cooperation in Cairo.

Notably, Mouton began his career in the Middle East with a deployment to Iraq as part of Operation Iraqi Freedom. He followed the Iraq deployment with a tour as an exchange officer with Oman’s Armed Forces. After Oman, Mouton served as the aide-de-camp to then Commanding General of US Central Command (CENTCOM) David Petraeus. Next, Mouton led CENTCOM’s security cooperation mission in Sana’a, Yemen. Following Yemen, Mouton served in the 82nd Airborne Division as a security force assistance commander in Afghanistan. Following Afghanistan, Mouton served in Libya as the chief of staff for the task force deployed to establish a new Libyan Army.
Mouton’s roles have allowed him to gain considerable insights about defense and national security policy making for the Middle East and North Africa. Mouton played a part in defense sales to the region and contributed to interagency policy decisions and government relations.

Mouton is a graduate of the US Military Academy at West Point, Princeton University’s Department of Near Eastern Studies, and the US Army War College for Advanced Strategic Arts.