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Douglas A. Ollivant Joins The New America Foundation National Security Studies Program

Published:   May 10, 2011

The New America Foundation National Security Studies Program is pleased to announce that counterinsurgency expert Douglas A. Ollivant will be joining New America as a Senior National Security Studies Fellow. National Security Studies Program Director Peter Bergen says of Ollivant, “Doug is a first rate intellect who possesses a rare combination of much time on the ground in Iraq and Afghanistan,serving both as a U.S. Army officer and as a civilian advisor, combined with his experience in Washington as a director on the National Security Council, in addition to a rigorous academic background in the history of American political theory.”

Ollivant will bring his academic and real-world experience in the military and in Washington to bear on a number of security issues, focusing primarily on the war in Afghanistan and the future of counterinsurgency operations.

Ollivant most recently spent one year as the Senior Counterinsurgency Advisor to the Commander, Regional Command-East at Bagram Air Field , Afghanistan , returning to Washington this spring.  He is a recently retired Army officer whose last duty assignment was as Director for Iraq at the National Security Council during both the Bush and Obama Administrations.  Reporting to the Deputy National Security Advisor for Iraq and Afghanistan, he was responsible for coordinating all aspects of security and coalition operations among the interagency, including the orderly disbanding of the Iraq coalition, coordinating the plan for "change of mission" in August of 2010, and the transfer of police training responsibilities from Department of Defense to the Department of State.

Prior to his posting at the White House, Ollivant served in Iraq as the Chief of Plans for MultiNational Division Baghdad in 2006-2007.  During this time he led the planning team that designed the Baghdad Security Plan, the main effort of what later became known as the "Surge."  He was also a key player in the establishment of the "Sons of Iraq" in Baghdad province and was identified as a member of General Petraeus' "Brain Trust."  Ollivant also served an earlier tour in Iraq as a Battalion Operations Officer and is a veteran of the battles of Najaf Cemetery and Second Fallujah.

Ollivant holds an earned doctorate from Indiana University, is a graduate of the U.S. Army's School of Advanced Military Studies and has written essays and book reviews on a wide variety of topics.  He is a frequent television commentator on defense and Middle East issues.  A life member of the Council on Foreign Relations, the Veterans of Foreign Wars and American Political Science Association, he advises a number of companies on strategy and political risk.