The Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs will host a Director's Lunch with Michèle Flournoy Belfer Center Senior Fellow and former Under Secretary of Defense for Policy, in the Belfer Center Library (L369).

This past summer, Belfer Senior Fellow Michèle Flournoy and co-author Janine Davidson wrote in Foreign Affairs that, despite the tough economic times, now is not the time for a more modest U.S. foreign policy. The former Under Secretary of Defense, and highest ranking woman in the Pentagon’s history, argued the benefits of forward engagement can help build international partnerships, control potential threats, and maintain the U.S. as a leader in global affairs. 

“Preserving the United States' unique standing and leadership will require revitalizing the American economy, the foundation of the nation's power.  It will also require smart engagement with the rest of the world to create the conditions that are essential to economic recovery and growth, namely, stability and uninterrupted trade.” 

Michèle Flournoy is a Senior Fellow at the Belfer Center and a Senior Advisor at the Boston Consulting Group.  From 2009 to 2012, she served as the Under Secretary of Defense for Policy, the principal adviser to the Secretary of Defense in the formulation of national security and defense policy, oversight of military plans and operations, and in National Security Council deliberations.  She led the development of DoD’s FY2013 Strategic Guidance and represented the Department in dozens of foreign engagements, in the media, and before Congress.

Flournoy co-founded the Center for a New American Security, a non-partisan think tank, and was senior adviser at the Center for Strategic and International Studies.  She has served as a distinguished research professor at the Institute for National Strategic Studies at the National Defense University.  In the mid-1990s, she served as Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Strategy and Threat Reduction and Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Strategy in the Clinton administration.  From 1989 to 1993 Flournoy was a Belfer Center Research Fellow.  She now serves on the Board of Directors of both CNAS and the Atlantic Council, is a member of the Defense Policy Board, the DCIA’s External Advisory Board, the Aspen Strategy Group, the Council on Foreign Relations, and Women in International Security.  She earned her B.A. from Harvard University and her Masters in International Relations from Balliol College, Oxford University, where she was a Newton-Tatum Scholar.

She received the Department of Defense Medal for Distinguished Public Service in 1998, 2011, and 2012, the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff’s Joint Distinguished Civilian Service Award in 2000 and 2012, and the Secretary of Defense Medal for Outstanding Public Service in 1996.



As space is limited for this event, RSVPs will be accepted on a first come, first served basis.

Belfer Center Lunches are strictly off-the-record. By requesting to attend the lunch, you agree that you will comply with the Belfer Center's strict policy against recording or disclosing the contents of the lunch. Your access is conditioned on your compliance with these restrictions. Should you violate these rules, the Center will pursue all available legal options and you will be excluded from all future events.