Leo Michel is a nonresident senior fellow with the Atlantic Council’s Scowcroft Center for Strategy and Security. Prior to his appointment at the Council in July 2015, Mr. Michel was a distinguished research fellow at the Institute for National Strategic Studies, the think-tank component of the Defense Department’s National Defense University in Washington, DC.
During 1986-2002, Mr. Michel served in the Office of the Secretary of Defense, where his positions included: Director for NATO Policy; Director for Non-Nuclear Arms Control; Deputy U.S. Representative to the U.S.-Russia Bilateral Consultative Commission; and Deputy Director, Verification Policy. During 1996-99, he was the Defense Department Representative on the faculty of the Geneva Centre for Security Policy. Mr. Michel was promoted to the Senior Executive Service in 2000.
Before joining the Defense Department, Mr. Michel served in the Directorate for Intelligence in the Central Intelligence Agency, as a legislative aide on national security for a Member of Congress, and as a reporter for French media. He was a U.S. Navy officer during 1969-1972. He holds an MA from Johns Hopkins School for Advanced International Studies and a BA from Princeton University.
In addition to his INSS publications, Mr. Michel’s commentaries have appeared in The Los Angeles Times, Newsweek, Defense News, Foreign Policy, Le Monde, Revue Défense Nationale, and other US and European publications. He has directed seminars on transatlantic defense relations at the National War College, American University’s School for International Studies, and the Institut d’études politiques (Strasbourg.)
Mr. Michel’s research interests focus on NATO’s adaptation to the evolving European security environment; U.S. defense relations with France, the United Kingdom, and the Nordic states; and the European Union’s Common Defense and Security Policy.