About the series

The Commanders Series, generously supported by Saab, is the Atlantic Council’s flagship speakers’ forum for senior military and defense leaders. The series provides a platform to discuss current strategic issues with an impressive audience drawn from across Washington’s policy community, including think tanks, media, industry, embassies, and the US government. In 2020, the Atlantic Council hosted Chief of Staff of the US Army General James C. McConville, Commander of US Transportation Command General Stephen R. Lyons, Commanding General of the US Army Futures Command General John M. Murray, then-Chief of the National Guard Bureau General Joseph L. Lengyel, Department of the Air Force Secretary Barbara M. Barrett, then-Chief of Staff of the US Air Force General David L. Goldfein, Chief of Space Operations General John W. Raymond, and former US National Security Advisors General James L. Jones, the Honorable Robert McFarlane, and Ambassador John R. Bolton.

Upcoming & recent events

Distinguished speakers we’ve hosted

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All Commanders Series events

Commanders Series

Oct 5, 2018

The Next Battle of the Atlantic? A Conversation with Admiral James G. Foggo on Transatlantic Security

By Conor Rodihan

On October 5, 2018, the Atlantic Council’s Transatlantic Security Initiative, part of the Scowcroft Center for Strategy and Security, hosted a public discussion with Admiral James G. Foggo, III, commander, US Naval Forces Europe; US Naval Forces Africa; and Allied Joint Force Command Naples, on NATO’s deterrence posture and Allied efforts to reinforce the maritime […]

NATO Security & Defense
General Robert Neller, Commandant of the US Marine Corps, speaks with moderator Kevin Baron during a Commanders Series event at the Atlantic Council.

Commanders Series

Mar 29, 2018

US Marine Corps: A Strategic Look with General Neller

By Joanna Jaworska

On March 29, the Atlantic Council hosted Commandant of the Marine Corps General Robert B. Neller for a strategic look at the US Marine Corps. The event featured a moderated discussion led by Kevin Baron, Executive Editor of Defense One.

Commanders Series

May 4, 2017

Commanders Series Event with Chief of Staff of the Army General Mark Milley

By Foresight, Strategy, and Risks Initiative

On May 4, the Atlantic Council’s Brent Scowcroft Center for International Security hosted Chief of Staff of the Army General Mark Milley at the Army and Navy Club on Farragut Square in downtown Washington DC. Dr. Nora Bensahel interviewed General Milley after his opening statements and a welcome by former Secretary of the Army John […]

Commanders Series

Dec 20, 2016

A Call for the Transatlantic Community to Stand Up to Russia

Deborah Lee James, secretary of the US Air Force, said the transatlantic community is facing significant challenges In light of numerous instances of Russian aggression around the world, the transatlantic security community must stand together in a coordinated show of force so as to deter Russian revanchism, Deborah Lee James, secretary of the US Air […]

Russia

Commanders Series

Jul 13, 2016

US SOUTHCOM: A Strategic Look with ADM Kurt W. Tidd

By Alex Ward

On July 13 the Atlantic Council’s Brent Scowcroft Center on International Security hosted a Commanders Series event with Admiral Kurt W. Tidd, the Commander of US Southern Command, on US SOUTHCOM’s strategy for Latin America. The issues discussed included the strategy that SOUTHCOM was asked to execute, how SOUTHCOM aims to execute that strategy, and […]

Forward Defense

Forward Defense, housed within the Scowcroft Center for Strategy and Security, shapes the debate around the greatest military challenges facing the United States and its allies, and creates forward-looking assessments of the trends, technologies, and concepts that will define the future of warfare.