Doug Wilson named Senior Fellow, Chair of Truman Board of Advisors

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Washington, DC
– The Truman National Security Project and Center for National Policy (CNP) today announced that longtime national security, foreign policy, and strategic communications expert Doug Wilson will become Senior Fellow in residence at Truman Project and CNP and Chair of the Truman National Security Project’s Board of Advisors.

“Doug Wilson is a man who has spent a lifetime advocating for strong, smart, principled security, and mentoring, connecting, and nurturing rising talent,” said Dr. Rachel Kleinfeld, co-founder and President of the Truman National Security Project.  “We are thrilled to have him join our team and make yet another mark on politics and policy by shaping this new generation.”

“We are not a ’think tank,’ we are a ’do tank,’” said Center for National Policy President Scott Bates, who previously worked with Wilson on homeland security issues in the aftermath of the 9/11 attacks. “And Doug Wilson knows how to get things done. We are looking forward to working with Doug to strengthen our impact on developing policies that advance American leadership in a changing world.”

“The Truman National Security Project has been one of the most successful cross-disciplinary incubators of next-generation political, military, and policy talent that I’ve seen in my career,” said Wilson.  “Together with the Center for National Policy, which  has been led by such respected men and women as Leon Panetta and Madeleine Albright, this partnership provides a combination of good timing and new talent that has unique potential to make huge contributions in reframing national discussions and breaking partisan gridlock.  I’m looking forward to being part of that process.”

“Doug is passionate about the contributions which our men and women in uniform make daily to this country,” said Truman Project and CNP Executive Director Michael Breen, a former US Army officer and paratrooper.  “He is also passionate about ensuring that Americans from all walks of life become more actively involved in successfully reintegrating our returning troops and their families into communities throughout the United States.”


About Doug Wilson

Wilson most recently served as Assistant Secretary of Defense for Public Affairs – the Pentagon’s senior spokesman and communications strategist – during President Obama’s first term, playing key communication roles on such  major national security issues as the transitions in Afghanistan  and Libya, the 2012 budget-related Defense Strategic Guidance framework, China, the Air-Sea Battle doctrine, journalist safety on the battlefield, improved conditions for journalists covering Guantanamo military commission hearings, policies to assist military families and wounded warriors, and counterterrorism, including the aftermath of the death of Osama bin Laden.  During his career, Wilson has served under US Defense Secretaries William Cohen, Robert Gates and Leon Panetta. He has three times been awarded the Distinguished Public Service Medal, the Pentagon’s highest civilian honor.

Wilson played a major role in the repeal of the Don’t Ask/Don’t Tell Legislation and in the first-ever White House “state dinner” for Servicemembers, honoring men and women from all US states and territories and all Service branches who served on the battlefield in Iraq.  During his tenure, he was instrumental in raising sexual assault and military family issues to front-burner Pentagon leadership attention.  Wilson also played a key role in establishing new ties between the Pentagon and the National Endowment for the Arts, helping to enable returning vets and military families to take advantage of local museum and theater resources throughout the nation.

Wilson has served on the boards of directors of several national security and foreign policy organizations, including the National Security Network (NSN) and Third Way.  He was the founding Chair of the Harvard Public Diplomacy Collaborative and co-founder of the US-Muslim Engagement Initiative.

Wilson – a native of Tucson, Arizona and a graduate of Stanford University and the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy – previously served as Executive Vice President of the Howard Gilman Foundation, overseeing the Foundation’s domestic and international policy programs at White Oak.   A former Foreign Service officer, he is also the immediate past President of The Leaders Project, the decade-long global successor generation leadership initiative which he co-founded in 2001 with former U.S. Defense Secretary William Cohen.    He has convened and led global cross-disciplinary meetings on issues including energy security, health and macroeconomics, women as leaders of change, and media and policy; a series of bilateral and multilateral meetings of U.S. thought leaders with counterparts from India, Russia, South Asia, Europe, the Pacific Rim and Muslim majority nations; and policy strategy sessions on issues ranging from public diplomacy to foreign assistance to military families.

In 1996, Wilson coordinated the Clinton-Gore re-election effort in his home state of Arizona, developing and implementing the strategy and putting the Arizona team that achieved the only democratic Presidential win in that state since Harry Truman. As former National Political Director of the Democratic Leadership Council, Wilson helped develop state and local political networks which served as key training and proving grounds for many current Democratic political leaders.    He has been a strategic communications consultant for companies including Boeing and Microsoft, and has served as a Vice President for private sector companies including The Cohen Group and Penn Schoen & Berland, and for the non-profit Business Executives for National Security (BENS).

He currently serves on the boards of directors for Blue Star Families (the nation’s largest military family support organization) and America Abroad Media and on the Command Council of the Donnie Dixon Center, which addresses the needs of returning veterans in communities throughout the United States.

The Truman National Security Project is a leadership institute that empowers forward-thinking Americans to strengthen our national security, our nation’s economy, and human rights and democracy at home and around the world. Together with our sister organization, the Center for National Policy, we unite generations of leaders to forge a stronger America.

The Center for National Policy is an independent policy institute that crafts policies to strengthen American national security, our nations’ economy, and human rights and democracy at home and around the world. Together with our sister organization, the Truman National Security Project, we unite generations of innovative thinkers to forge a stronger America.