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Michelle Flournoy

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Michelle Flournoy is Under Secretary of Defense for Policy in the Obama administration, reporting to Deputy Secretary of Defense William Lynn. She came there from co-founding the Center for a New American Security with Kurt Campbell. While she supported Hillary Clinton in the primary, she was part of the Obama transition team.

In 2001, she was a Distinguished Research Professor Institute for National Strategic Studies at the National Defense University, where she created a working group that participated in Joint Chiefs of Staff prepararation for the Quadrennial Defense Review

At the Center for Strategic and International Studies, she studied defense policy and international security, with a focus on improving the immediate response to attacks.

In the Clinton Administration, she held two deputy assistant secretary of defense titles, Strategy and Threat Reduction.


  • bachelor’s degree in social studies from Harvard University
  • master’s degree in international relations from Balliol College, Oxford University, where she was a Newton-Tatum scholar.