Heavy Hitters: Allen, Lieberman, Hudson Join CNAS Board of Directors

NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen (L) listens to then-ISAF Commander US General John Allen (R) prior to the start of a NATO Defence Ministers meeting at the NATO headquarters in Brussels in October 2012. (AFP PHOTO/Thierry Charlier via Getty Images)

NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen (L) listens to then-ISAF Commander U.S. Gen. John Allen (R) prior to the start of a NATO Defence Ministers meeting at the NATO headquarters in Brussels in October 2012. (AFP PHOTO/Thierry Charlier via Getty Images)

The Center for a New American Security (CNAS) quickly has become a top Washington national security think tank. And on Monday morning, it offered the latest glimpse why.

The organization announced it is adding a handful of heavy hitters to its board of directors, including former Marine Corps Gen. John Allen, outgoing BAE Systems CEO Linda Hudson and former Sen. Joseph Lieberman.

The moves give the relatively young think tank further inroads to the Obama administration. Its two board co-chairs are former Obama administration officials, and Allen ran the Afghanistan war under President Barack Obama. Lieberman was more ally than irritant to the White House before he left the Senate, and Hudson worked closely with senior Pentagon leaders as head of BAE.

CNAS announced former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright, former Defense Secretary William Perry will become board directors emeriti. Perry was the think tank’s founding director.

Allen might be out of the military’s leadership upper echelon, but he’s still very much involved in Pentagon policy, something CNAS made sure to note in a statement announcing the additions.

“John Allen’s thoughtfulness and years of military experience will provide an invaluable perspective to CNAS board discussions,” CNAS Co-Founder and Board Co-Chair Michèle Flournoy said in the statement. “We are delighted to have him on our team.”

Flournoy labeled Hudson “a trailblazer” as one of the first women to hold senior defense-sector positions at BAE, Lockheed Martin and General Dynamics.

“I cannot think of a person better qualified to offer innovative ideas and insights to CNAS as it seeks to find solutions to national security challenges in a constrained budget environment,” Flournoy said.

Lieberman is a former member of the Senate’s “Three Amigos,” a hawkish group that favors high defense budgets and U.S. military intervention in hot spots around the world. He also was considered an old-school deal maker as a legislator.

“We are privileged to have a senator with such a distinguished record of bipartisan accomplishment in the national security realm join our board,” said CNAS Co-Founder and Co-Chair Kurt Campbell.

John T. Bennett

John T. Bennett

Bennett is the Editor of Defense News' CongressWatch channel. He has a Masters degree in Global Security Studies from Johns Hopkins University.
John T. Bennett
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