Wendy R. Anderson

2017 Speaker

WENDY R. ANDERSON has more than 20 years’ experience in defense, foreign policy, homeland security, and intelligence. From 2010 to April 2015, Anderson served in the Obama administration in key leadership roles in the Departments of Defense and Commerce, including as deputy chief of staff to secretary of defense Chuck Hagel, chief of staff to deputy secretary of defense Ash Carter, and chief of staff to commerce secretary Penny Pritzker. While at the Defense Department, Anderson was twice awarded the Department of Defense Medal for Distinguished Public Service, the department’s highest civilian service award. From 2004 to 2010, she held senior positions in the US Senate, as professional staff on the Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee as well as with three US Senators on intelligence, foreign and defense affairs, and veterans’ issues.  Anderson currently serves as managing director of West Coast operations for RL Leaders. She is also a partner at Strong Eagle Media. She has two executive producer credits to her name, on films about the central role of the National Guard and Special Ops Forces in the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, titled “Citizen Soldier” and “Danger Close.” She is also an adjunct Senior Fellow of the Military, Veterans and Society program at the Center for a New American Security (CNAS) and is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations (CFR). She serves on the board of advisors of Team Rubicon Global, the Bentonville Film Festival board, and on the Military advisory board of the San Diego International Film Festival. She also serves on the board of trustees of her alma mater, Hendrix College. Anderson’s analysis and commentary has been featured by ABC News, FOX News, Foreign Policy, The New York Times, The Washington Post CNN.com, and POLITICO, among others. Anderson earned a B.A. from Hendrix College, and M.S. degrees from Harvard University and the School of International and Public Affairs at Columbia University. @wendyranderson

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