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Past Event

Redefining the American national security team: New players, defenses, and strategies

Past Event

Opening discussion: Leadership in the future threat environment

The sixth annual military and federal fellow research symposium, hosted by the Center for 21st Century Security and Intelligence at Brookings, featured the independent research produced by members of the military services and federal agencies who have spent the last year serving at think tanks and universities across the nation. Organized by the fellows themselves, it is intended to provide a platform for building greater awareness of the cutting-edge work that America’s military and governmental leaders are producing on key policy issues. 

This year’s symposium focused on “Redefining the American National Security Team,” taking into account a host of changes occurring in the defense and intelligence environments. Not only will this include American policymakers and other actors—both adversarial and allied—but also the tools they employ and how they engage with the world. Bruce Jones, deputy director of Foreign Policy at Brookings, and Paula G. Thornhill, senior political scientist at RAND, opened proceedings with a discussion of leadership and the future threat environment. Lieutenant General David L. Goldfein, director of the Joint Staff, delivered keynote remarks on “Providing the ‘best military advice’ as a joint leader.”


Opening discussion: Leadership in the future threat environment


Paula G. Thornhill

Director, Strategy and Doctrine Program, RAND Project Air Force, and Senior Political Scientist - RAND Corporation

Evolvers: Innovating services, weapons, and strategies


Col. John Evans, USA

Federal Executive Fellow, Brookings - "Getting it right: Determining the optimal active component end strength of the all-volunteer Army to meet the demands of the 21st century"


Lt. Col. Jeff Schreiner, USAF

Military Fellow, The Stimson Center - "Understanding 21st century deterrence: Defining the debate for future action"


Cmdr. Jack E. McKechnie, USN

Federal Executive Fellow, Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Lab - "Economic effects of a conflict between China and the U.S. and implications for U.S. strategy"

Leaders: How to grow, protect, and connect those who serve


Col. Scott Kieffer, USAF

Federal Executive Fellow, Brookings - "Proximity to the flagpole: Effective leadership in geographically dispersed organizations"


Maj. Reggie Yager, USAF

Air Force Strategic Policy Fellow, Department of Justice - "Sexual assault prevention/response: What we should be talking about"

Matchmakers: Military, civilian, and industry relationships


Cmdr. Jason Tama, USCG

Federal Executive Fellow, Brookings - "Disrupting the military-industrial complex: There's no app for that"


Capt. Robert Hein, USN

Federal Executive Fellow, Brookings - "What if before the war, everyone came? Aligning the Departments of Defense and State for peacetime operations"


Maj. Gregory Cameron, USAF

Air Force Fellow, National Nuclear Security Administration - "Interagency dynamics within the nuclear weapons enterprise"

Keynote remarks: Providing "best military advice" as a joint leader


Gamechangers: Emerging trends and adaptive policy


Lt. Col. Travis Norton, USAF

Air Force Fellow, Institute for Defense Analyses - "Small remotely piloted aircraft: An evolution in strategic airpower"


Dr. Brenda Seaver, CIA

National Security Fellow, Wilson Center - "The dark side of the developing world's expanding middle class"


Col. Brett Sylvia, USA

Army Fellow, United States Institute of Peace - "Megacities: Global dominator or distractor?"


Col. Benjamin Higginbotham, USA

Army Fellow, Office of the Director of National Intelligence - "Understanding the impacts of the presidential guidance for counterterrorism"

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