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Michèle Flournoy

Senior Advisor

Washington, DC

Michèle Flournoy is a member of The Boston Consulting Group’s Public Sector and Industrial Goods practices. She is the former US Undersecretary of Defense for Policy, the principal advisor 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.

In her role as undersecretary, she led the development of the US Department of Defense's 2013 strategic guidance and represented the department in dozens of foreign engagements, in the media and before Congress. At the time the US Senate confirmed her nomination in 2009, she was the highest-ranking woman at the Pentagon in the department's history.

Michèle previously coled President Obama’s transition team at the Department of Defense following the 2008 election, and she also cofounded and served as president of the Center for a New American Security (CNAS), a nonpartisan think tank dedicated to developing strong, pragmatic, and principled national security policies. She has worked as a senior advisor at the Center for Strategic and International Studies and, prior to that, a distinguished research professor at the Institute for National Strategic Studies at the National Defense University (NDU).

She currently serves on the board of directors of both CNAS and the Atlantic Council. She is also a senior fellow at Harvard University’s Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs and 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.

Areas of Expertise

  • Public sector
  • Security and defense
  • Economic development
  • Military operations
  • Policy development

Honors and Awards

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


  • Master’s degree, international relations, Balliol College, Oxford University
  • BA, Harvard University
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