Michèle Flournoy

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Michèle Flournoy
Michele Flournoy official portrait.jpg
Undersecretary of Defense for Policy
In office
February 9, 2009 – February 8, 2012
President Barack Obama
Preceded by Eric Edelman
Succeeded by James Miller
Personal details
Born Michèle Angelique Flournoy
(1960-12-14) December 14, 1960 (age 53)
Los Angeles, California, U.S.
Nationality American
Political party Democratic
Spouse(s) Scott Gould
Children 3
Residence Bethesda, Maryland
Alma mater Harvard University
Balliol College, Oxford

Michèle Angelique Flournoy (born December 14, 1960) is the former Under Secretary of Defense for Policy, the third-ranking official in the U.S. Department of Defense, and in that role served as principal advisor to U.S. Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta from February 2009 to February 2012.[1] When the U.S. Senate confirmed her nomination on February 9, 2009, she was at the time the highest-ranking woman at the Pentagon in the department's history.[2]

She currently serves as a Senior Advisor to the Boston Consulting Group[3] and as a Senior Fellow at Harvard's Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs.[4] She also serves on the Board of Directors of the Center for a New American Security (CNAS), which she co-founded in 2007.

Early life and education[edit]

Flournoy attended Beverly Hills High School in Los Angeles, California, and has a bachelor of arts degree in social studies from Harvard University. She received an M.Litt. in international relations in 1983 from Oxford University, where she was a Newton-Tatum scholar at Balliol College. Her father George Flournoy died of a heart attack when she was fourteen years old. From 1989 until 1993 she was at Harvard's John F. Kennedy School of Government, where she was a Research Fellow in its International Security Program.[2]

Career[edit]

Clinton administration[edit]

Flournoy served as a political appointee under the Clinton administration in the U.S. Department of Defense, where she was dual-hatted as Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Strategy and Threat Reduction and Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Strategy. In that capacity, she was responsible for three policy offices in the Office of the Secretary of Defense:

Flournoy was awarded the Secretary of Defense Medal for Outstanding Public Service in 1996, the Department of Defense Medal for Distinguished Public Service in 1998 and the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff’s Joint Distinguished Civilian Service Award in 2000.[5]

Public policy research[edit]

She then joined the Institute for National Strategic Studies at the National Defense University (NDU) as a distinguished research professor, founding and leading NDU's Quadrennial Defense Review (QDR) working group, which had been chartered by the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff to develop intellectual capital in preparation for the Defense Department’s upcoming QDR in 2001.

She then moved to the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS), where she was a Senior Advisor working on a range of defense policy and international security issues before co-founding the Center for a New American Security (CNAS), to which she was named President, in 2007 with Kurt M. Campbell.[2] Flournoy and CNAS co-founder Kurt Campbell wrote a policy paper called "The Inheritance and the Way Forward" that advocated for a U.S. foreign policy "grounded in a common-sense pragmatism rather than ideology".[2][6]

Obama administration[edit]

After the 2008 presidential election, she was selected as one of the Review Team Leads for the Obama transition at the Department of Defense. On January 8, 2009, President-elect Obama announced that he was nominating her as Under Secretary of Defense for Policy, to serve under Secretary of Defense Robert Gates.[7] In his memoirs, Secretary Gates wrote that he had "developed high respect for" Flourney, whom he characterized as "clear-thinking and strong".[8]

On December 12, 2011, Flournoy announced that she would step down in February 2012 to return to private life and contribute to President Barack Obama's re-election bid.[9]

Affiliations[edit]

She currently serves as a Senior Advisor to the Boston Consulting Group's Washington, D.C.-based public sector practice, where she advises the consultancy on government projects,[3] and as a Senior Fellow at Harvard's Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs.[4] She also serves on the Board of Directors of the Center for a New American Security (CNAS), the Atlantic Council,[10] and Women in International Security. She is a member of the Aspen Strategy Group, the Council on Foreign Relations, and the CIA's External Advisory Board.

She is a former member of the guiding coalition of the Project on National Security Reform, the Defense Policy Board, and the Defense Science Board Task Force on Transformation.[11]

Personal life[edit]

Flournoy's husband W. Scott Gould is a retired captain who served for 26 years in the United States Navy Reserve.[2] He was a vice president at IBM before becoming United States Deputy Secretary of Veterans Affairs. The couple has three children, and resides in Bethesda, Maryland.[12][13]

Flournoy is a supporter of the Democratic Party and campaign finance records show she contributed $500 to Senator Hillary Clinton's presidential campaign in June 2007.[14]

Publications[edit]

In addition to several edited volumes and reports, Flournoy has authored many articles on international security issues:

External links[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Nominations Before the Senate Armed Services Committee, First Session, 111th Congress"
  2. ^ a b c d e f Emily Wax (6 November 2011), Michele Flournoy, Pentagon’s highest-ranking woman, is making her mark on foreign policy, Washington Post, retrieved 8 November 2011 
  3. ^ a b "ormer DoD Under Secretary Michele Flournoy Joins BCG as Senior Advisor". Boston Consulting Group. 16 July 2012. 
  4. ^ a b "Experts: Michèle Flournoy". Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs. Retrieved 23 March 2014. 
  5. ^ "DefenseLink Biography: Michèle Flournoy". U.S. Department of Defense. Retrieved 2009-07-02. 
  6. ^ Horowitz, Jason (15 August 2007). "Hot Policy Wonks For The Democrats: The New Realists". New York Observer. 
  7. ^ Scott, Ann (December 2, 2008). "Gate's Top Deputies May Leave Tyson". Washington Post. Retrieved December 2, 2008. 
  8. ^ Robert Gates, Duty: Memoirs of a Secretary at War. Alfred A. Knopf; (January 14, 2014). ISBN 978-0307959478, Kindle edition location 5150
  9. ^ "Pentagon’s Michele Flournoy To Step Down". Washington Post. 2011-12-12. Retrieved 2011-12-17. 
  10. ^ "Board of Directors (last updated March 21, 2014)". Atlantic Council. Retrieved 23 March 2014. 
  11. ^ "SheSource: Michèle Flournoy". Women's Media Center. Retrieved 23 March 2014. 
  12. ^ Vogel, Kenneth P. (June 15, 2009). "15 Obama administration power couples". Politico.com. Retrieved 2009-07-02. 
  13. ^ Skelton, Ike (January 15, 2009). "Confirmation Hearing on the Expected Nominations of Ms. Michele Flournoy" (PDF). U.S. Senate Committee on Armed Services. p. 7. Retrieved 2009-07-02. 
  14. ^ "Michele Flournoy Political Campaign Contributions 2008 Election Cycle". campaignmoney.com. Retrieved December 28, 2012. 
Political offices
Preceded by
Eric Edelman
Undersecretary of Defense for Policy
2009–2012
Succeeded by
James Miller