Seth G. Jones Named Director of CSIS International Security Program and Senior Vice President

WASHINGTON, January 8, 2021: The Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) is pleased to announce that Dr. Seth G. Jones has been named director of the CSIS International Security Program and a senior vice president. Since joining CSIS in 2018, Dr. Jones has served as Harold Brown Chair and director of the Transnational Threats Project, titles he will continue to hold. He also was a senior adviser with the International Security Program.

The International Security Program was previously led by Dr. Kathleen H. Hicks, who was recently selected to serve as deputy secretary of defense.

“Seth is one of the world’s leading defense policy scholars,” said CSIS president and CEO John J. Hamre. “Under his leadership, the Transnational Threats Project has become the preeminent source of analysis on the threat and evolution of terrorist networks and the irregular activities of U.S. adversaries. I know he will build on Kath’s tremendous work in his new role.”

Dr. Jones is a world-renowned expert on irregular warfare, counterterrorism, and covert action. He has testified in front of Congress more than a dozen times on issues such as U.S. policy in Afghanistan, irregular warfare, the U.S.-Pakistan relationship, and the evolution of terrorist organizations. His groundbreaking research into the trends of the domestic terrorism threat in the United States was cited in every major media outlet in 2020.

Dr. Jones is the author of Three Dangerous Men: Russia, China, Iran and the Rise of Irregular Warfare (W.W. Norton, forthcoming); A Covert Action: Reagan, the CIA, and the Cold War Struggle in Poland (W.W. Norton, 2018); Waging Insurgent Warfare (Oxford University Press, 2016); Hunting in the Shadows: The Pursuit of al Qa'ida after 9/11 (W.W. Norton, 2012); and In the Graveyard of Empires: America’s War in Afghanistan (W.W. Norton, 2009). He has also published articles in a range of journals, such as Foreign Affairs, Foreign Policy, and International Security, as well as newspapers and magazines like the New York Times, Washington Post, and Wall Street Journal.

Prior to joining CSIS, Dr. Jones was director of the International Security and Defense Policy Center at the RAND Corporation. He previously served as representative for the commander, U.S. Special Operations Command, to the assistant secretary of defense for special operations, and as a plans officer and adviser to the commanding general, U.S. Special Operations Forces, in Afghanistan (Combined Forces Special Operations Component Command–Afghanistan). In 2014, Dr. Jones served on a congressionally mandated panel that reviewed the FBI’s implementation of counterterrorism recommendations contained in the 9/11 Commission Report.

In addition to his position at CSIS, Dr. Jones teaches at Johns Hopkins University’s School of Advanced International Studies and the Center for Homeland Defense and Security at the U.S. Naval Postgraduate School. He is a graduate of Bowdoin College and received his M.A. and Ph.D. from the University of Chicago.


The Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) is a bipartisan, nonprofit policy research organization dedicated to advancing practical ideas to address the world’s greatest challenges.