Carnegie Mellon University

Maren Leed, Defense Challenges of the Next Decade

Thursday, November 7, 2013, 4:15-5:15pm, Gates Hillman Center 4307

Defense policymakers face a wide array of challenges, from uncertain but falling budgets to complex and geographically disparate threats to divergent views on the relevance of military power in contemporary conflicts.  Leaders are attempting to identify relevant lessons from the past decade of war while reposturing U.S. capabilities for the future, while at the same time preserving a force of citizen volunteers.  This talk will examine some of these trends and their implications for the future, examining areas of particular tension and risk in defense policy for the coming decade.


Maren Leed is senior adviser with the Harold Brown Chair in Defense Policy Studies, where she works on a variety of defense-related issues. From 2011 to 2012, she served as senior adviser to the chief of staff of the U.S. Army. From 2009 to 2011, she was a senior fellow and director of the New Defense Approaches Project at CSIS, where she led projects on topics as diverse as military personnel costs, the future of ground forces, reforming the military personnel system, strategic forecasting, organizing for electromagnetic spectrum control, amphibious capabilities’ contributions to deterrence and shaping missions, and service cultures. She also supported the U.S. Department of Defense (DOD) inquiry into the shootings at Fort Hood. She previously served as an analyst at the RAND Corporation, where she led projects relating to intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance (ISR) and countering improvised explosive devices (IEDs). From 2005 to 2008, she was assigned as a special assistant to the vice chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and was responsible for a range of issues including IEDs, ISR, cyber operations, biometrics, rapid acquisition, and Iraq policy. From 2001 to 2005, she was a professional staff member on the Senate Armed Services Committee, where she handled the operation and maintenance accounts and conducted oversight of military readiness, training, logistics, and maintenance for committee members. She was an analyst in the Economic and Manpower Analysis Division of the Office of Program Analysis and Evaluation in the Office of the Secretary of Defense from 2000 to 2001, where she conducted macroeconomic analyses relating to military manpower and coordinated DOD performance contracts with defense agencies. She was a doctoral fellow at RAND from 1995 to 1999, analyzing military manpower issues, training for operations other than war, and leader development, and providing strategic planning support for the military and private-sector organizations. Dr. Leed received her A.B. in political science from Occidental College and her Ph.D. in quantitative policy analysis from the RAND Graduate School.

Sponsored by the Center for International Relations and Politics.