Kathleen H. Hicks

  • Kathleen Hicks is the Henry A. Kissinger Chair, the director of the International Security Program, and a senior vice president at CSIS. Dr. Hicks joined CSIS from the Department of Defense, where she served as principal deputy under secretary of defense for policy and deputy under secretary of defense for strategy, plans, and forces. As principal deputy under secretary for policy, Dr. Hicks was responsible for advising the under secretary of defense for policy and the secretary of defense on all matters pertaining to the development and execution of U.S. national defense policy and strategy. As deputy under secretary for strategy, plans, and forces, she led the development of the 2012 Defense Strategic Guidance and the 2010 Quadrennial Defense Review and oversaw the strategic guidance development, review, and assessment for military contingency plans and plans for the day-to-day military activities of combatant commanders.

    Prior to her service at the Department of Defense, Dr. Hicks was a senior fellow at CSIS, where she directed projects related to the future of U.S. defense policy and forces. She also codirected the CSIS Task Force on Nontraditional Security Assistance; led strategy, planning, and process assessments for the Project on National Security Reform; and assessed the national security community’s role in improving global health. From 1993 to August 2006, Dr. Hicks held a variety of career civil service positions within the Office of the Under Secretary of Defense for Policy, beginning as a presidential management intern and rising to the Senior Executive Service. She participated in the 1997 and 2005 Quadrennial Defense Reviews and authored follow-on planning guidance to implement the 1993 Bottom-Up Review and 2001 Quadrennial Defense Review. As director for policy planning, she was a lead developer of U.S. defense strategy and worked to improve long-range policy planning capability within the Department of Defense. In addition, as director for homeland defense strategic planning and program integration, she contributed extensively to DOD’s first-ever Strategy for Homeland Defense and Civil Support. Dr. Hicks holds a Ph.D. in political science from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, a master’s degree from the University of Maryland’s School of Public Affairs, and an A.B. magna cum laude from Mount Holyoke College.


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