James N. Miller

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James N. "Jim" Miller is Deputy Under Secretary of Defense for Policy in the Obama Administration,[1] working closely Under Secretary of Defense for Policy Michelle Flournoy. He came to the Department of Defense from a position as Senior Vice President and Director of Studies at the Center for a New American Security (CNAS) from February 2007 to April 2009, where he also worked with Flournoy. "To a degree," Miller said of the extensive analysis required, "I feel like I've gone from being director of studies at a think tank ... to director of studies at the Defense Department."[2]

He is a member of the International Institute for Strategic Studies and the Combating WMD Panel of DoD’s Threat Reduction Advisory Committee. Ex officio, he is on the U.S. Institute of Peace's board of directors.

At CNAS, he was coauthor, with Shawn Brimley, of a study supported by a number of moderate Democrats, seen as more of a future state for the Iraq War than one for the present. Nevertheless, it went into planning for the Surge.[3] was supported by moderate Democrats. It described an immediate drawdwn to 60,000 troops, which Linda Robinson described as a plausible blueprint for a future security mission, "but the three bedrock U.S. security goals the author set out — preventing al-Qaeda safe haven, regional war, and genocide — could not be prevented with so few troops."[4]

Previous positions include serving as Senior Vice President (2003-2007) and Vice President (2000-2003) at Hicks and Associates, Inc.; Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Requirements, Plans, and Counterproliferation Policy (1997-2000); assistant professor at Duke University (1992-1997); and senior professional staff member for the House Armed Services Committee (1988-1992). He has served as an advisor to the Defense Science Board, as senior associate at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, and as senior associate member at St. Antony’s College, Oxford.

In 2000 he received the Department of Defense Medal for Outstanding Public Service.


  • B.A. degree with honors in economics from Stanford University
  • Master’s and Ph.D. degrees in public policy from the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University.


  1. Dr. James N. Miller: Principal Deputy Under Secretary of Defense for Policy, U.S. Department of Defense
  2. "Decision Makers", National Journal
  3. James Miller and Shawn Brimley (June 2007), Phased Transition: A Responsible Way Forward and Out of Iraq, Center for a New American Security publication
  4. Linda Robinson (2007), Tell Me How This Ends: General David Petraeus and the Search for a Way out of Iraq, Public Affairs, ISBN 9781586485283 Tell Me, pp. 303-304