Former Heritage Scholar Joins the National Security Council


Former Heritage Scholar Joins the National Security Council

Jul 28, 2017

U.S. President Donald Trump and national security adviser H.R. McMaster Shen Ting Xinhua News Agency/Newscom

Lisa Curtis, former senior research fellow on South Asia in Heritage’s Asian Studies Center, is serving as Deputy Assistant to the President and Senior Director for South and Central Asia at the White House. Curtis was appointed to the National Security Council earlier this year. 

Prior to her ten years of service at Heritage, Curtis worked as a staffer for the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, an analyst for the CIA, a U.S. diplomat to India and Pakistan, and as an advisor the assistant secretary of State for South Asian Affairs following the 9/11 attacks. 

While at Heritage, Curtis published hundreds of reports and testified before Congress many times on issues related to, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Bangladesh, India and Islamic extremism.

“Lisa Curtis’ presence on the National Security Council is no surprise to anyone at Heritage, or to any of her peers,” said James Carafano, vice president of the Davis Institute for National Security and Foreign Policy. “Throughout her distinguished career, Lisa has demonstrated an understanding of some of the world’s most complex and difficult places, and the ability to turn that understanding into policy known and implemented by the highest-ranking leaders in our nation. 

“She is exactly the skilled, principled expert the NSC needs during this pivotal time in our nation’s history,” said Carafano. 

Curtis was recently highlighted by CQ Magazine as one of “five Washington hands who have a knack for smoothing out the process.” 

Rachel Oswald, reporter for CQ, wrote, “Curtis has the unenviable job of finding a way to convince Islamabad to crack down on the terrorist organizations operating from its territory rather than continuing to covertly provide support to groups such as the Afghan Taliban and the Haqqani Network.” 

Read CQ’s full story here