Michèle Flournoy

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Person.png Michèle Flournoy   Keywiki SourcewatchRdf-entity.pngRdf-icon.png
Michele Flournoy official portrait.jpg
BornMichèle Angelique Flournoy
Los Angeles, California, U.S.
Alma materHarvard University/John F. Kennedy School of Government, Oxford University/Balliol College
SpouseWilliam Scott Gould
Founder ofCenter for a New American Security
Member ofAspen Strategy Group, Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, Booz Allen Hamilton, Center for Strategic and International Studies/Board and Staff, Center for a New American Security/People, Project for the New American Century, Truman Center for National Policy, WestExec Advisors

Employment.png Under Secretary of Defense for Policy Wikipedia-icon.png

In office
February 9, 2009 - February 8, 2012
Preceded byEric Edelman
Succeeded byJames N. Miller

Michele Flournoy is US presidential candidate Joe Biden's choice for Secretary of Defense.

Clinton Administration

As assistant secretary of defense for strategy under President Bill Clinton, Flournoy was the principal author of the May 1997 Quadrennial Defense Review (QDR)[1], which laid the ideological foundation for the endless wars that followed. Under “Defense Strategy,” the QDR effectively announced that the United States would no longer be bound by the UN Charter’s prohibition against the threat or use of military force. It declared that, “when the interests at stake are vital, …we should do whatever it takes to defend them, including, when necessary, the unilateral use of military power.” The QDR defined U.S. vital interests to include “preventing the emergence of a hostile regional coalition” anywhere on Earth and “ensuring uninhibited access to key markets, energy supplies and strategic resources.”


After the Clinton administration, she joined the Institute for National Strategic Studies at the National Defense University (NDU) as a research professor, founding and leading NDU's Quadrennial Defense Review (QDR) working group, which had been chartered by the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff to develop intellectual capital in preparation for the Defense Department’s upcoming QDR in 2001.

In June 2002, as President George W. Bush threatened to attack against Iraq, Flournoy stated that the United States would “need to strike preemptively before a crisis erupts to destroy an adversary’s weapons stockpile” before it “could erect defenses to protect those weapons, or simply disperse them.” [2]

She then moved to the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS), where she was a Senior Advisor working on a range of defense policy and international security issues before co-founding the think-tank Center for a New American Security (CNAS), to which she was named President, in 2007 with Kurt M. Campbell.

Obama Administration

In 2009, she joined the Obama administration as under secretary of defense for policy, under Hillary Clinton, where she helped engineer political and humanitarian disasters in [[Libya] and Syria and a new escalation of the endless war in Afghanistan before resigning in 2012.

After Obama Administration

From 2013-2016, she joined Boston Consulting, trading on her Pentagon connections to boost the firm’s military contracts from $1.6 million in 2013 to $32 million in 2016. By 2017, Flourney herself was now making $452,000 a year.[3]

In 2017, Flournoy and President Barack Obama’s Deputy Secretary of State Antony Blinken founded their own corporate consulting business, WestExec Advisors, where Flournoy continued to cash in on her contacts by helping companies successfully navigate the complex bureaucracy of winning enormous Pentagon contracts.

In 2016, Flournoy was selected as Hillary Clinton’s choice for secretary of defense, and she co-authored a CNAS report titled “Expanding American Power” with a team of hawks that included former Dick Cheney aide Eric Edelman, PNAC co-founder Robert Kagan and Bush’s National Security Adviser Stephen Hadley. The report was seen as a view of how Clinton’s foreign policy would differ from Obama’s, and wanted higher military spending, arms shipments to Ukraine, renewed military threats against Iran, more aggressive military action in Syria and Iraq, and further increases to domestic oil and gas production — all of which Donald Trump adopted.

Deep State Networks

Flournoy is a Senior Fellow at Harvard's Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs. She also serves on the Board of Directors of the Center for a New American Security (CNAS). She formerly served on the board of the Atlantic Council. She is a member of the Aspen Strategy Group, the Council on Foreign Relations, and the CIA's External Advisory Board. She is a former member of the guiding coalition of the Project on National Security Reform, the Defense Policy Board, and the Defense Science Board Task Force on Transformation. She is a Senior Fellow at the Truman National Security Project.

[[Display born on::14 December 1960| ]]