Samuel J. Brannen

Samuel J. Brannen
  • Sam Brannen is a senior fellow in the International Security Program at the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS). His research focuses on U.S. defense and national security strategy and policy. He leads the International Security Program’s work on unmanned systems (“drones”) and recently authored Sustaining the U.S. Lead in Unmanned Systems: Military and Homeland Considerations through 2025 (CSIS, February 2014). He also studies conventional and nuclear deterrence strategy, NATO, and U.S. policy toward Turkey. He was project director and editor of The Turkey, Russia, Iran Nexus: Evolving Power Dynamics in the Middle East, the Caucasus, and Central Asia (CSIS, December 2013).

    Prior to rejoining CSIS in May 2013, Brannen served at the Pentagon as special assistant to the principal deputy under secretary of defense for policy. From July 2010 to September 2012, he was country director for Turkey, Cyprus, and Malta in the Office of Secretary of Defense. Prior to that, he was special assistant to the deputy under secretary of defense for strategy, plans, and forces and assisted in the process and drafting of the 2010 Quadrennial Defense Review. Before rejoining government at the start of the Obama administration, Brannen held various positions at CSIS from 2002 to 2009, including as fellow and deputy director of the International Security Program and as assistant director of the Global Strategy Institute. He holds a B.A. in political science from Trinity University (San Antonio, TX) and an M.A. in international affairs from the George Washington University. He has been awarded the Office of the Secretary of Defense Medal for Exceptional Public Service four times and also has received the Department of State Superior Service Award and Secretary of Defense Award for Excellence.