WASHINGTON—The Heritage Foundation announced a new director of the organization’s Sarah Allison Center for Foreign Policy, as well as two high-profile additions to Heritage’s national security team to focus on the most pressing threats facing the United States.
Max Primorac is leading the Allison Center, after joining Heritage in April as a senior fellow for international economics and foreign aid. Primorac brings expertise on the threat to international economies posed by the Chinese Communist Party (CCP), corruption in U.S. foreign aid, and international religious freedom.
Prior to joining Heritage, Primorac established himself as a leading voice on international economics. He served in the Trump administration for several years, in multiple executive roles at the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), leading the new Bureau for Humanitarian Affairs, and working as senior adviser to the Middle East Bureau. He also worked as Vice President Mike Pence’s envoy to Iraq, overseeing Pence’s genocide recovery initiative to support Christian, Yezidis, and other targeted religious minorities.
Heritage also announced that Victoria Coates and Erin Walsh are joining the organization as senior fellows.
Coates will be part of Heritage’s Margaret Thatcher Center for Freedom as a senior fellow in international affairs and national security, focusing on several pressing issues, including the global CCP threat, the Middle East, and global energy security. Prior to joining Heritage, Coates served in numerous roles in the Trump administration, including as the deputy national security advisor for the Middle East and North Africa on the National Security Council staff, deputy assistant to President Trump, and as the senior policy advisor to the secretary of energy. She also served as the national security adviser to Sen. Ted Cruz. Most recently, she was a distinguished fellow in strategic studies with the American Foreign Policy Council.
Walsh will serve in the Allison Center for Foreign Policy as a senior fellow in international affairs. Her portfolio will include the CCP threat, Russia and the post-Soviet states, Africa, and economic warfare. Walsh’s distinguished career includes service as the assistant secretary of commerce, and director general of the U.S. Commercial Service during the Trump administration. In 2018, she joined the National Security Council, directing the NSC’s work on international organizations and alliances, as well as Africa.
Walsh also served as special assistant to President Trump, and associate director for presidential personnel. She was a critical voice on the Trump transition team, helping to fill out the State Department team in the run-up to and wake of the 2016 presidential election. She has also held positions at the State Department, U.S. Mission to the United Nations, and the Department of Energy. Walsh also worked for more than a decade in the private sector, serving in positions with firms like Cisco and Goldman Sachs, living in China during her time with the latter.
James Carafano, Heritage Foundation vice president for foreign policy and national security, released the following statement on the announcements:
“America can no longer afford the two extremes offered by the political establishment. Excessive and counterproductive interventionism has depleted American lives and resources, while radical isolation has left our citizens in danger, our global interests unguarded, and our alliances and partnerships in tatters. That’s why what Victoria and Erin will be doing for Heritage is so critical. We must communicate a better foreign policy, a better national security strategy—both to the leaders in Washington who can implement it, and to the American people, who can rally around it. It all starts with confronting the China problem head on, but it doesn’t stop there. Victoria and Erin are going to be central to Heritage’s effort on both fronts. And Max’s leadership will be critical, as well, as we make sure that Heritage is tackling the problems on the world stage most in need of a strong, coherent U.S. response.”
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