Frances F. Townsend

CSIS Trustee

Frances Fragos Townsend is executive vice president for worldwide government, legal, and business affairs at MacAndrews and Forbes Incorporated. She works across MacAndrews’ portfolio companies focusing on international, legal, compliance, and business development issues. Prior to that, 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 adviser for combating terrorism from May 2003 to May 2004. Ms. Townsend spent 13 years at the U.S. Department of Justice under the administrations of Presidents George H.W. Bush, Bill Clinton, and George W. Bush. She has received numerous awards for her public service accomplishments. She is a director on the board of three public companies, where she serves on compliance, compensation, and governance committees. She also serves on three private company boards, where she chairs all three compensation committees and is the chairwoman of one board. She also serves on several government advisory and nonprofit boards. Ms. Townsend is a trustee of the New York City Police Foundation, the Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum, and the Center for Strategic and International Studies. She is also a member of the Council on Foreign Relations and the Trilateral Commission. She is an on-air analyst for CNN and has regularly appeared on network and cable television as a foreign policy, counterterrorism, and national and homeland security expert.