Kaley Scholl is a nonresident fellow in the Forward Defense program of the Atlantic Council’s Scowcroft Center for Strategy and Security. Currently, Scholl is the deputy director for the Strategic Assessments Branch within the Strategy Development Division, Joint Staff J5 Directorate for Strategy, Plans, and Policy.

She is the primary author of the annual Chairman’s Risk Assessment as well as the Joint Risk Analysis Methodology, which serves as the Joint Force’s methodology for communicating military risk to executing strategy. She is a contributing author to the 2022 National Military Strategy and oversees the execution and formulation of defense policy and posture options for senior military leaders. Previously, she served as the deputy director for the assistant secretary of the Navy for research, development, and acquisitions’ strategic cell. She led or supported several lines of effort: Congressional engagements and nomination hearings; the strategic communications strategy; and White House and National Security Council policy priorities through cross-department working groups. She also implemented risk-mitigation efforts by producing educational material on nefarious foreign investment in the US Navy’s defense industrial base for acquisition professionals.

Scholl has also worked in a policy capacity at the Department of State and Department of Labor and taught high school government and economics. Scholl holds a master of arts in global policy from Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies, where she finished top of her class and published her thesis paper on the role of special operation forces in strategic competition. She also holds a master of arts in education and a bachelor’s degree in cultural anthropology from the University of California, Santa Cruz.