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News Release

Brookings Foreign Policy experts selected to join Biden administration in leadership roles

This press release was updated on July 22, 2021, to reflect the Senate’s confirmation of Bonnie Jenkins as under secretary of state for arms control and international security affairs.

Washington, D.C. – The Brookings Institution is proud that a number of experts from its Foreign Policy program have been selected to serve in key, high-level national security and foreign policy roles in the new Biden-Harris administration.

“We at Brookings are honored when scholars from within our community are chosen for the top echelons of public service. Each of the people tapped to help lead our government’s foreign policymaking brings tremendous expertise on critical issues facing the country. We wish them all the best in their endeavors to come,” said Brookings President John R. Allen.

The Brookings Foreign Policy experts are:

Hady Amr, selected to serve as deputy assistant secretary for Israeli-Palestinian affairs at the Department of State. Beginning in 2006, Amr served in a variety of capacities at Brookings, most recently as a nonresident senior fellow at the Center for Middle East Policy.

Tarun Chhabra, selected to serve as senior director for technology and national security on the National Security Council. Chhabra was a fellow and then nonresident fellow in the Center for Security, Strategy, and Technology from 2017 until 2021.

Rush Doshi, selected to serve as a China director on the National Security Council. Doshi joined Brookings as a post-doctoral research fellow in 2018, and beginning in 2019 was a fellow in the Center for East Asia Policy Studies.

Jeffrey Feltman, whom the State Department has appointed the U.S. special envoy for the Horn of Africa. Since 2018, Feltman has been the John C. Whitehead Visiting Fellow in International Diplomacy with the Center for Security, Strategy, and Technology.

Lindsey Ford, selected to serve as deputy assistant secretary of defense for South and South East Asia. Ford joined Brookings in 2019 as a David M. Rubenstein Fellow in the Center for East Asia Policy Studies.

Avril Haines, confirmed as director of national intelligence. Haines was a nonresident senior fellow in the Energy Security and Climate Initiative from 2019 until 2020.

Bonnie Jenkins, confirmed as under secretary of state for arms control and international security affairs. Amb. Jenkins was a visiting fellow in Foreign Policy in 2017 and since then has been a nonresident senior fellow in the Center for Security, Strategy, and Technology.

Mara Karlinnominated for assistant secretary for strategy, plans, and capabilities, Department of Defense. Since 2017, Karlin has been a nonresident senior fellow in the Center for Security, Strategy, and Technology.

Molly Montgomery, selected to serve as deputy assistant secretary of state for European and Eurasian affairs. Since 2017, Montgomery has been a nonresident senior fellow in the Center on the United States and Europe.

Richard Nephew, selected to serve as deputy special envoy for Iran at the Department of State. Beginning in 2015, Nephew served as nonresident senior fellow in the Arms Control and Non-Proliferation Initiative.

Victoria Nuland, confirmed as under secretary of state for political affairs. Amb. Nuland was a nonresident senior fellow in the Center on the United States and Europe at Brookings in 2017-2018 and 2019-2021.

Jung Pak, selected to serve as deputy assistant secretary of state for east Asian and Pacific affairs. Since 2017, Pak has been a senior fellow and the SK-Korea Foundation Chair in Korea Studies in the Center for East Asia Policy Studies.

Frank Rose  nominated for principal deputy administrator for national nuclear security at the Department of Energy. Since 2018, Rose has been a senior fellow and co-director of the Center for Security, Strategy, and Technology.

Amanda Sloat, selected to serve as senior director for Europe on the National Security Council. Beginning in 2017, Sloat was the Robert Bosch senior fellow in the Center on the United States and Europe.

Zach Vertin, selected to serve as senior advisor to the ambassador to the United Nations. Since 2019, Vertin was a nonresident fellow in the Center for Middle East Policy and Center for Security, Strategy, and Technology.

Tamara Cofman Wittes, whom President Biden intends to nominate to the position of assistant administrator for Middle East, United States Agency for International Development. Wittes has been a senior fellow in the Center for Middle East Policy since 2003 and previously served as deputy assistant secretary of state for Near Eastern affairs from 2009 to 2012.

Additionally, Brookings’s former vice president for communications Emily Horne has been selected to serve as senior director for press and spokesperson on the National Security Council.

Vice President and Director of Foreign Policy Suzanne Maloney said: “We benefited tremendously from the expertise and wisdom of these colleagues during their time at Brookings, and congratulate them on their appointments to positions of high importance in the new administration. Each of them espouses a deep commitment to effective American foreign policy, and our country is in great hands as they take up these new roles.”

These appointments to senior foreign policy positions in the new administration are one of the most important ways that Brookings sustains its positive impact and informs public policy to tackle the challenges confronting Washington and the world. Our impact through public service reflects the deep expertise, innovative ideas, and high-level policy experience that is the institution’s trademark. Moreover, it is nonpartisan – Brookings Foreign Policy scholars have been honored to serve in the National Security Council or Departments of State or Defense for every U.S. president since Franklin D. Roosevelt.

This press release will continue to be updated, as additional relevant announcements are made.

About Brookings

The Brookings Institution is a nonprofit organization devoted to independent research and policy solutions. Its mission is to conduct high-quality, independent research and, based on that research, to provide innovative, practical recommendations for policymakers and the public.

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