Does ‘MTP’ Appearance Signal a Political Turn for Flournoy?

Then-U.S. Under Secretary of Defence for Policy Michele Flournoy at a bilateral meeting with Chinese officials in December 2011. She makes her first "Meet the Press" appearance this Sunday. (Andy Wong-Pool/Getty Images)

Michele Flournoy has achieved a lot of firsts in her career. She was the first Pentagon policy chief, a stint that made her the first senior female U.S. defense official to sit across with leaders in Afghanistan, China and elsewhere. And she was one of the founding leaders of the Center for a New American Security (CNAS), a Washington think tank.

But she has never appeared on “Meet the Press,” a Sunday morning destination for Washington’s power elite. That will change on Sunday, when Flournoy, who sources said made President Obama’s shortlist for defense secretary earlier this year, sits across from host David Gregory.

MTP Executive Producer Betsy Fischer Martin tweeted the booking Friday afternoon: “Michele Flournoy, the highest-ranking woman in Pentagon history as fmr Under Secretary for Policy, “Meets the Press” for 1st time Sunday.”

As Pentagon policy chief, Flournoy dealt with a range of foreign policy issues, including periodic sabre rattling on the Korean Peninsula. With North Korea steadily increasing its bellicose rhetoric and actions in recent days, expect Flournoy to weigh in on what some are calling a simmering crisis.

What’s more, Flournoy is viewed largely as a talented policy wonk and a skilled bureaucratic operator — but not a political figure. Will that change on Sunday?


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