Global Security Expert Kiron Skinner Joins The Heritage Foundation as Visiting Fellow

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Global Security Expert Kiron Skinner Joins The Heritage Foundation as Visiting Fellow

Sep 10, 2019 2 min read

WASHINGTON — Kiron Skinner this week joined The Heritage Foundation as a visiting fellow at the Kathryn and Shelby Cullom Davis Institute for National Security and Foreign Policy.

Skinner brings broad expertise in international relations, international security, U.S. foreign policy, and political strategy. Her work at Heritage will focus on analyzing how cutting edge technology – including artificial intelligence (AI), quantum science, and a host of other breakthroughs – will impact foreign policy and national security. 

Skinner is the author or editor of seven books, two of which (“Reagan, In His Own Hand” and “Reagan, A Life in Letters”) were New York Times best-sellers.  She served as director of policy planning at the Department of State and senior adviser to Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, where she played a central role in creating the secretary of state’s Commission on Unalienable Rights and rechartering the Foreign Affairs Policy Board.

Skinner is the Taube professor of international relations and politics and director of the Institute of Politics and Strategy, the home of the study of international and politics at Carnegie Mellon University. She is a member of the artificial-intelligence faculty community at CMU, which holds the No. 1 spot among all U.S. universities for AI graduate training. At Stanford University’s Hoover Institution, Skinner is the W. Glenn Campbell research fellow.

“Kiron is a longtime thought leader known for her high character, tireless work ethic, stellar collaborative ability, and deep connections across influential communities,” Heritage Foundation President Kay Coles James said. “It’s difficult to imagine a better mind joining Heritage for this work at a more perfect time, as the intersection of information, technology, and policy looms larger in every one of our lives every day. Her addition will help us navigate largely uncharted waters and contribute to a future in which technology, freedom, and security are complementary forces for societal good.”

“Dr. Skinner brings vast knowledge, experience, and a practitioner’s perspective that will keep Heritage on the leading edge of shaping policy around emerging technology,” Heritage Foundation Vice President for National Security and Foreign Policy James Carafano said. “Dr. Skinner provides unique insight into the nation’s foreign policy priorities, strategies, and key influencers and will be key in ensuring our policy analysis is bold, realistic, and aimed at maximum influence.”

“Congratulations to Heritage on the appointment of Dr. Kiron Skinner as a visiting fellow,” said Mary Ann Glendon. the chairwoman of the State Department Commission on Unalienable Rights and a Harvard Law School professor. “As director of policy planning for the State Department, Dr. Skinner was instrumental in establishing the Commission on Unalienable Rights and in setting it on a promising course. Her wisdom, skill, and experience will make her a treasure for Heritage.”

Skinner’s government and public service includes membership on the Defense Department’s Defense Policy Board (2001–07and 2017-18); the Eisenhower Commission’s Legacy Committee of historians (2002-03); the chief of naval operations’ Executive Panel (2004–2015); the National Academies’ Committee on Behavioral and Social Science Research to Improve Intelligence Analysis for National Security (2009–11); and the National Security Education Board (2004–11).

Skinner is a lifetime director on the board of the Atlantic Council in Washington, D.C. She is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations in New York City and the Pacific Council on International Policy in Los Angeles.

Skinner holds master’s and doctoral degrees in political science from Harvard University and undergraduate degrees from Spelman College and Sacramento City College. She also has an honorary doctor of laws degree from Molloy College, Long Island.

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