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Ellen Laipson

Ellen Laipson is the director of the International Security program at the Schar School of Policy and Government at George Mason University. She joined GMU from the Stimson Center, where she was president and CEO (2002-2015) and continues as president emeritus and distinguished fellow. Her tenure at Stimson followed a quarter century of government service. She serves on a number of academic and other non-governmental boards related to international security and diplomacy, and is a weekly columnist for worldpoliticsreview.com. Her last post in government was vice chair of the National Intelligence Council (1997-2002). She also worked on the State Department’s policy planning staff, the National Security Council staff and the Congressional Research Service. A member of the Council on Foreign Relations, she currently serves on the advisory councils of the International Institute of Strategic Studies, the Chicago Council on Global Affairs, Georgetown University’s Institute for the Study of Diplomacy and the Notre Dame International Security Center, and on the board of the Diplomacy Center Foundation. From 2003 to 2015, she was a member of the board of the Asia Foundation. She was a member of the CIA External Advisory Panel from 2006-2009, President Obama’s Intelligence Advisory Board from 2009-2013, and on the Secretary of State’s Foreign Affairs Policy Board 2011-2014. Laipson has an MA from the School of Advanced International Studies, Johns Hopkins University and an AB from Cornell University.

Articles By Ellen Laipson

The UAE-Israel Agreement Is a ‘Win-Win-Win,’ But Not for the Palestinians By Ellen Laipson - Aug 17, 2020

Three countries can celebrate the surprise decision by Israel and the United Arab Emirates to establish formal, normal relations. For Israel, official recognition by a major Arab country is an important achievement. The UAE, for its part, has demonstrated its leadership capabilities by getting out front and setting the agenda for Gulf countries, a few … Continue reading “The UAE-Israel Agreement Is a ‘Win-Win-Win,’ But Not for the Palestinians”

How to See Russia’s Bounty on US Troops: Historical Payback or White House Incompetence? By Ellen Laipson - Jul 12, 2020

If we are to properly understand the significance of the claim that Russia paid Taliban fighters a bounty for killing American soldiers in Afghanistan, we must acknowledge that the US had used similar tactics against Soviet troops. The difference between then and now is not what nations do to further their interests, but what they … Continue reading “How to See Russia’s Bounty on US Troops: Historical Payback or White House Incompetence?”

As Washington Downsizes Its Troop Presence in Germany, Trump Risks a ‘Steady Erosion of US Credibility and Influence’ By Ellen Laipson - Jun 11, 2020

The Trump administration has announced its intention to downsize the US military presence in Germany from 34,000 to 25,000 troops. The decision is not yet formal or finalized. It appears to have been driven by Trump’s pique at German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s refusal to attend the planned G-7 summit in the US in June, which … Continue reading “As Washington Downsizes Its Troop Presence in Germany, Trump Risks a ‘Steady Erosion of US Credibility and Influence’”

After the Pandemic: Covid-19 Exposes the Threat of Biological Warfare By Ellen Laipson - Apr 12, 2020

The global pandemic caused by the novel coronavirus, Covid-19, has shaken confidence in the capacity of governments to respond to threats that the scientific and health communities have long been well aware of. From Asia to Europe to North America, health authorities are struggling to cope. This will not have escaped the notice of states … Continue reading “After the Pandemic: Covid-19 Exposes the Threat of Biological Warfare”