Robert Greenway

Robert Greenway

Director, Center for National Defense

Robert Greenway is Director of the Center for National Defense at The Heritage Foundation.

Robert Greenway has more than 30 years experience in public service culminating as the senior U.S. government official responsible for developing, coordinating and implementing U.S. government policy for all the Middle East and North Africa on the National Security Council.

Prior to service on the NSC he served as a Senior Intelligence Officer at the Defense Intelligence Agency and a veteran of the United States Army Special Forces with six combat tours in Afghanistan and Iraq. Following his government service, he established and led the Abraham Accords Peace Institute dedicated to strengthening and expanding the historic agreements.

While Deputy Assistant to the President and Senior Director of the National Security Council’s Middle Eastern and North African Affairs Directorate he planned and executed the United States’ most significant economic sanctions since the Cold War as part of a broad strategy for Iran which doubled the sanctions pressure of the previous three administrations in one third the time. He was a principal architect of the historic Abraham Accords, the most significant diplomatic breakthrough in Middle East peace since 1994. Personally supervised development of a first-ever presidentially approved strategies for Iran, Syria, Iraq, Libya, Lebanon and Israel, and established the first national level efficacy and assessment process to quantify outcomes and measure progress toward strategic objectives. He was instrumental in the removal of the world’s most dangerous terrorist leaders greatly improving regional stability and safety. He coordinated the implementation of a comprehensive strategy with a broad international coalition to defeat ISIS resulting in the liberation of the 20,000 square miles of territory it controlled, and the elimination of its leadership in Syria and Iraq.

Before being assigned to the NSC he served at the Defense Intelligence Agency as a Senior Intelligence Officer in U.S. Central Command. While assigned to USCENTCOM he deployed twice to Afghanistan as the Senior Intelligence Analyst for the Commander, Special Operations Joint Task Force from 2013-2014, and as Senior Intelligence Advisor for the Commander International Security Assistance Forces in 2011 he identified new approaches to mapping bulk financial transactions using big data to identify illicit activity enabling legal action against global illicit trade networks for which he was awarded the David Rist Prize for research contributing to the forfeiture or seizure of hundreds of millions dollars in illicit funds.

Greenway retired from active duty prior to joining the DIA having commanded Special Forces units at every level from Team through Battalion. In October 2001 he deployed in support of Operation Relentless Pursuit and Enduring Freedom I while assigned to and Army Special Mission Unit immediately following the attacks of 11 September. He deployed again in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom with 5th Special Forces Group (Airborne) in 2003 and 2004 where his duties included establishing the Iraqi Counterterrorism Force. Greenway was selected by the Deputy Secretary of Defense to report on the status of the Iraqi Insurgency before serving as a Counterterrorism Policy Advisor to the Assistant Secretary of Defense for Special Operations and Low Intensity Conflict. Following his service at the Pentagon he exercised daily control over the Special Forces Assessment, Selection, and Qualification Courses from 2008 until retiring in July 2010 where he realigned the military’s most complex training process allowing unprecedented expansion of high-demand Special Forces without compromise in quality.

Greenway holds a bachelor’s degree from the Virginia Military Institute and a master’s degree with honors from Webster University.

His civilian awards include the Secretary of Defense Medal for Outstanding Public Service, two National Intelligence Meritorious Unit Citations, the Army’s Outstanding Civilian Service Award, Defense Intelligence Agency’s Civilian Combat Support Award, three Joint Meritorious Unit Awards and NATO Service Medal. In addition, he received the Military Operations Research Society’s highest award, the David Rist Prize.

His military awards and decorations include the Legion of Merit, Bronze Star Medal with Oak Leaf Cluster; the Defense Meritorious Service Medal with Oak Leaf Cluster; the Meritorious Service Medal with Oak Leaf Cluster; the Joint Service Commendation Medal; the Army Commendation Medal; the Joint Service Achievement Medal; the Army Achievement Medal with three Oak Leaf Clusters; the National Defense Service Medal with star; the Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal; the Afghanistan Campaign Medal; the Iraq Campaign Medal; the Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary Medal; the Global War on Terrorism Service Medal; the Special Forces Tab; the Ranger Tab; the Combat Infantry Badge, and Senior Parachutist Badge.