Press Release - Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, Harvard Kennedy School

Rolf Mowatt-Larssen to Succeed Kevin Ryan as Director of Harvard Belfer Center’s Defense and Intelligence Project and Project on Saudi and GCC Security

| Apr. 06, 2017

Harvard Kennedy School’s Belfer Center has announced that Rolf Mowatt-Larssen, senior fellow with the Center and former long-time intelligence officer, will succeed Brigadier General (ret) Kevin Ryan as director of the Center’s Defense and Intelligence Project and the Project on Saudi and GCC Security at the end of April.

Mowatt-Larssen has been affiliated with the Belfer Center as a senior fellow since 2009, following his service as director of the Office of Intelligence and Counterintelligence at the U.S. Department of Energy (DoE) and as head of the Central Intelligence Agency's WMD and terrorism efforts. Prior to his appointment to the top intelligence position in the Department of Energy, Mowatt-Larssen served for 23 years as a CIA intelligence officer in various domestic and international posts, including as deputy associate director of Central Intelligence for Military Support and chief of the Weapons of Mass Destruction Department and the Counterterrorism Center. His overseas assignments included service in Moscow, Zurich, and other major cities.

A graduate of the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, Mowatt-Larssen is the recipient of a number of awards including the CIA Director's Award, Distinguished Career Intelligence Medal, Commendation Medal, and Secretary of Defense Civilian Distinguished Service Medal.

Ryan joined the Belfer Center in 2005 as a senior fellow and in 2009 founded the Center’s U.S.–Russia Initiative to Prevent Nuclear Terrorism. He served as the Center’s executive director for research from 2010 to 2013, at which time he became founding director of the Defense and Intelligence Project. A career military officer with extensive service in air and missile defense, intelligence, and political-military policy areas, Ryan held positions that included heading the Moscow office of the POW/MIA Commission, serving as chief of staff for the Army’s Space and Missile Defense Command, as professor of Russian at the U.S. Military Academy, and as defense attaché to Russia. He will continue as an Associate at the Center working on Defense and Intelligence issues and focusing on Russian military and security questions. He will also remain a part of the Elbe Group, which he launched in 2010 to maintain open communications between high-level defense and intelligence officials in the U.S. and Russia.

“We have been privileged to have Kevin Ryan as a member of the Belfer team for the past decade. He has shared his experience and skills in building and heading projects aimed at improving our security, defense, and intelligence,” said Belfer Center Director Graham Allison. “While we will greatly miss interacting with Kevin on a daily basis, we are fortunate to have our colleague Rolf Mowatt-Larssen taking his space as director of our defense and intelligence and Saudi and GCC security initiatives and as manager of our Recanati-Kaplan Foundation Fellows Program. We have benefited for a number of years from Rolf’s insights on intelligence, nuclear security, and other issues, and we’re looking forward to having him here full-time in his new position.”

The Center launched the Defense and Intelligence Project in 2013 to increase the Center’s capacity to advance policy relevant knowledge in defense and intelligence areas and to help prepare future leaders in those fields. The initiative links defense and intelligence agencies with Belfer researchers, faculty, and Kennedy School students, to facilitate better policy-making in the field and enrich the education of fellows and students about defense and intelligence. The Project on Saudi and GCC Security is a new initiative aimed at exploring ideas and recommendations for the United States and allies and partners in the Saudi/GCC region to address critical Middle East security issues.

Mowatt-Larssen said about his new position, “I am looking forward to continuing the cutting edge work of the Belfer Center in bringing defense and intelligence issues of policy relevance into focus for students, experts and researchers, in the U.S. and internationally."

“It has been an honor and pleasure to work with the people of the Belfer Center this past decade plus,” Ryan said.

For more information on this publication: Please contact the Belfer Communications Office
For Academic Citation:Rolf Mowatt-Larssen to Succeed Kevin Ryan as Director of Harvard Belfer Center’s Defense and Intelligence Project and Project on Saudi and GCC Security.” Press Release, Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, Harvard Kennedy School, April 6, 2017.

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