National security experts will work within Scowcroft Center’s New American Engagement Initiative to challenge assumptions underpinning US foreign policy

WASHINGTON, DC – October 5, 2020 – The Atlantic Council announced today the hire of two new senior fellows: Emma Ashford and Erica Borghard. The two fellows will join co-directors Christopher Preble and Mathew Burrows as part of the New American Engagement Initiative (NAEI), an innovative new effort within the Scowcroft Center for Strategy and Security that seeks to challenge the assumptions underlying US foreign policy and help policymakers to set priorities and allocate resources to the most urgent challenges.

“We are thrilled to welcome two absolutely first-rate individuals to the New American Engagement Initiative,” said NAEI co-directors Christopher Preble and Mathew Burrows. “Emma Ashford and Erica Borghard have established stellar reputations as foreign policy analysts, and they know how to reach a diverse audience, including both practitioners and the wider public.” The Atlantic Council’s Executive Vice President Damon Wilson added, “Bringing on Dr. Ashford and Dr. Borghard will greatly advance the Scowcroft Center’s core programs that are catalyzing a debate on a new American grand strategy for the very different era in which we now live.”

Bringing on Dr. Ashford and Dr. Borghard will greatly advance the Scowcroft Center’s core programs that are catalyzing a debate on a new American grand strategy for the very different era in which we now live.

Damon Wilson, Executive Vice President, Atlantic Council

Emma Ashford was previously a research fellow in defense and foreign policy studies at the Cato Institute, where she worked on issues of international security, energy politics, and US foreign policy. She was the founder and co-host of the Power Problems podcast, and her work has appeared in major publications, including Foreign Affairs, The New York Times, the Texas National Security Review, and The Washington Post. Along with Scowcroft Center Deputy Director Matthew Kroenig, Ashford writes a bi-weekly Foreign Policy discussion column, “It’s Debatable.” She is a term member of the Council on Foreign Relations and holds a PhD in Foreign Affairs from the University of Virginia.

Erica Borghard is currently an assistant professor in the Army Cyber Institute at the United States Military Academy at West Point and was a senior director on the Cyberspace Solarium Commission. Previously, she was a Council on Foreign Relations international affairs fellow with placements at both JPMorgan Chase and US Cyber Command. From 2014-2017, she was the executive director of the Rupert H. Johnson Grand Strategy Program in the Department of Social Sciences at West Point. Her work has appeared in a range of outlets including The American Political Science Review, Security Studies, Strategic Studies Quarterly, Survival, Lawfare, and The Washington Post. Borghard is also a research fellow at the Saltzman Institute of War and Peace Studies at Columbia University, and a term member of the Council on Foreign Relations. She holds a PhD in Political Science from Columbia University. She will join the Atlantic Council full-time later this month.

NAEI—launched this year—fills a major gap in creative and innovative strategies at a critical time for the United States’ changing global role. Building upon the foreign policy thinking of the late Brent Scowcroft, two-time US National Security Advisor and Atlantic Council chairman, the long-term aim for this initiative is to transform the national security debate within the policy establishment and in the broader media. Housed in the Scowcroft Center, NAEI generates fresh thinking that informs a robust debate over sustainable grand strategies for the United States. 

For media inquiries, please contact