Frances F. Townsend

Former Assistant to the U.S. President for Homeland Security and Counterterrorism

Frances Fragos Townsend currently runs her own independent consulting business. Until recently, she served as the executive vice president of corporate affairs, chief compliance officer, and corporate secretary at Activision Blizzard. Prior to that, she was vice chairman, general counsel, and chief administrative officer at MacAndrews & Forbes, Inc. In her ten years there, she focused internally on financial, legal, and personnel issues, as well as international, compliance, and business development across MacAndrews’ portfolio companies. Before her tenure at MacAndrews, she was a corporate partner with the law firm of Baker Botts LLP. From 2004 to 2008, Ms. Townsend served as assistant to President George W. Bush for homeland security and counterterrorism and chaired the Homeland Security Council. She also served as deputy national security advisor for combatting terrorism from May 2003 to May 2004. Ms. Townsend spent 13 years at the U.S. Department of Justice under the administrations of President George H. W. Bush, President Bill Clinton, and President George W. Bush. She has received numerous awards for her public service accomplishments. Ms. Townsend is a director on the Boards of three public companies: Chubb, Freeport-McMoRan and Leonardo DRS, where she chairs or serves on compliance, compensation, governance, corporate social responsibility, and executive committees. Ms. Townsend is the lead independent director of Leonardo DRS. She previously served on the public Boards of Scientific Games, SciPlay, SIGA, and Western Union. Ms. Townsend also serves on multiple private company Boards, where she is chairwoman of one and chairs all the compensation committees. For five years, Ms. Townsend was an on-air senior national security analyst for CBS News and, before that, she was at CNN for seven years. Ms. Townsend previously served on the Director of National Intelligence’s Senior Advisory Group, the CIA External Advisory Board and the U.S. President’s Intelligence Advisory Board.  Ms. Townsend is a trustee on the Boards of the Hospital for Special Surgery, the Atlantic Council, the Center for Strategic and International Studies, the Intrepid Sea, Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum, the McCain Institute, and the New York City Police Foundation. She also serves on the Board at the Council on Foreign Relations, on the Executive Committee of the Trilateral Commission, and the Board of the International Republican Institute. She is a member of the Aspen Strategy Group.