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Paul R. Pillar

Nonresident Senior Fellow - Foreign Policy, Center for 21st Century Security and Intelligence

Paul R. Pillar is a nonresident senior fellow in the Center for 21st Century Security and Intelligence in the Foreign Policy program at the Brookings Institution, a nonresident senior fellow of the Center for Security Studies in the Edmund A. Walsh School of Foreign Service at Georgetown University, and a contributing editor at The National Interest.

He retired in 2005 from a 28-year career in the U.S. intelligence community, in which his last position was national intelligence officer for the Near East and South Asia. Earlier he served in a variety of analytical and managerial positions, including as chief of analytic units at the CIA covering portions of the Near East, the Persian Gulf, and South Asia. Pillar also served in the National Intelligence Council as one of the original members of its Analytic Group. He has been executive assistant to the CIA's Deputy Director for Intelligence and Executive Assistant to Director of Central Intelligence William Webster. He has also headed the Assessments and Information Group of the DCI Counterterrorist Center, and from 1997 to 1999 was deputy chief of the center. He was a federal executive fellow at the Brookings Institution from 1999 to 2000. Dr. Pillar was a visiting professor in the Security Studies Program at Georgetown University from 2005 to 2012.

Pillar received an A.B. summa cum laude from Dartmouth College, a B.Phil. from Oxford University, and an M.A. and Ph.D. from Princeton University. He is a retired officer in the U.S. Army Reserve and served on active duty in 1971-1973, including a tour of duty in Vietnam. He is the author of Negotiating Peace: War Termination as a Bargaining Process (Princeton University Press, 1983); Terrorism and U.S. Foreign Policy (Brookings Institution Press, 2001; second edition 2003); and Intelligence and U.S. Foreign Policy: Iraq, 9/11, and Misguided Reform (Columbia University Press, 2011). He writes a blog at nationalinterest.org.

Pillar’s writing chiefly addresses Middle Eastern and South Asia affairs, U.S. foreign and security policy and the policy-making process, counterterrorism, and intelligence. He is a frequent guest in broadcast discussions on programs such as the PBS NewsHour, The Diane Rehm Show, and To The Point. He also has given testimony as an expert witness in congressional hearings, including those of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee and House Armed Services Committee. He currently is working on a book on the historical, cultural, and political roots of American perceptions of the world abroad.

Paul R. Pillar is a nonresident senior fellow in the Center for 21st Century Security and Intelligence in the Foreign Policy program at the Brookings Institution, a nonresident senior fellow of the Center for Security Studies in the Edmund A. Walsh School of Foreign Service at Georgetown University, and a contributing editor at The National Interest.

He retired in 2005 from a 28-year career in the U.S. intelligence community, in which his last position was national intelligence officer for the Near East and South Asia. Earlier he served in a variety of analytical and managerial positions, including as chief of analytic units at the CIA covering portions of the Near East, the Persian Gulf, and South Asia. Pillar also served in the National Intelligence Council as one of the original members of its Analytic Group. He has been executive assistant to the CIA’s Deputy Director for Intelligence and Executive Assistant to Director of Central Intelligence William Webster. He has also headed the Assessments and Information Group of the DCI Counterterrorist Center, and from 1997 to 1999 was deputy chief of the center. He was a federal executive fellow at the Brookings Institution from 1999 to 2000. Dr. Pillar was a visiting professor in the Security Studies Program at Georgetown University from 2005 to 2012.

Pillar received an A.B. summa cum laude from Dartmouth College, a B.Phil. from Oxford University, and an M.A. and Ph.D. from Princeton University. He is a retired officer in the U.S. Army Reserve and served on active duty in 1971-1973, including a tour of duty in Vietnam. He is the author of Negotiating Peace: War Termination as a Bargaining Process (Princeton University Press, 1983); Terrorism and U.S. Foreign Policy (Brookings Institution Press, 2001; second edition 2003); and Intelligence and U.S. Foreign Policy: Iraq, 9/11, and Misguided Reform (Columbia University Press, 2011). He writes a blog at nationalinterest.org.

Pillar’s writing chiefly addresses Middle Eastern and South Asia affairs, U.S. foreign and security policy and the policy-making process, counterterrorism, and intelligence. He is a frequent guest in broadcast discussions on programs such as the PBS NewsHour, The Diane Rehm Show, and To The Point. He also has given testimony as an expert witness in congressional hearings, including those of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee and House Armed Services Committee. He currently is working on a book on the historical, cultural, and political roots of American perceptions of the world abroad.

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