Replaces General James Jones

Washington, D.C. — Atlantic Council President and CEO Frederick Kempe announced today that the Council’s Executive Committee has selected former Senator Chuck Hagel as its new Chairman, effective immediately.  Senator Hagel, who served two terms representing Nebraska from 1997 to 2009, received the Atlantic Council’s Distinguished International Leadership Award in 2004.

Hagel succeeds General James L. Jones, who stepped down to serve as National Security Advisor to President Barack Obama.  Jones presided over a two-year period of extraordinary growth for the Atlantic Council:  staff and operating revenue doubled in size, a New York office was established, and three new programs focusing on global business, Black Sea energy security, and South Asia were added in January alone.  Jones praised the selection, stating, “Senator Hagel is an excellent choice to guide the Council through its continued expansion.  His breadth of experience, knowledge of foreign policy, and commitment to transatlantic relations provide the basis for strong and productive leadership of the Council.”

In addition to Jones, several other Atlantic Council board members have joined the Obama administration:  Susan Rice as U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations, Richard Holbrooke as Special Representative to Afghanistan and Pakistan, General Eric K. Shinseki as Secretary of Veterans Affairs, and Anne-Marie Slaughter as Director of Policy Planning at the State Department.

Brent Scowcroft, Chairman of the Atlantic Council’s International Advisory Board and head of the search committee that recommended Hagel, commended the Board’s choice:  “Chuck Hagel’s demonstrated leadership and well deserved reputation for supporting and advancing U.S. foreign policy interests without regard to partisan considerations will be tremendous assets to the Atlantic Council.”

Senator Hagel himself welcomed the opportunity, saying, “At no other time has the Atlantic Community faced such critical and complex global challenges.  Whether the matter is Afghanistan and Pakistan, energy security and climate, or dealing with a rising China and resurgent Russia, transatlantic cooperation has never been more essential.  The Atlantic Council has built up considerable momentum, and I want to build upon that important work.”

Please contact Peter Cassata at or (202) 778-4991 for more information.