Stephen J. Flanagan is a senior political scientist at the RAND Corporation. He served in several senior positions in government, most recently as special assistant to the president and senior director for defense policy and strategy at the National Security Council (NSC) Staff from 2013 to 2015. He has published six books and more than 60 reports and journal articles on transatlantic, international security and defense issues, and is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations. He earned an A.B. in political science from Columbia University and a Ph.D. in international relations from the Fletcher School, Tufts University.