NSI Experts Appointed to Key Biden Administration Roles

June 17, 2021
Contact: Maeve Cronin

NSI Experts Appointed to Key Biden Administration Roles

Arlington, VA – Earlier this year, President Biden announced the appointments and nominations of several members of the George Mason University Law School’s National Security Institute (NSI) Advisory Board and as well as its visiting fellows and experts to serve in the Biden Administration.  Among those appointed to key Administration posts were:

  • Bishop Garrison, NSI Visiting Fellow, appointed as Senior Advisor for Human Capital and Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion, Department of Defense
  • Noreen Kassam, NSI Visiting Fellow, appointed as Deputy Director of Presidential Advance
  • Dana Stroul, NSI Fault Lines Podcast Co-Host, appointed as Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for the Middle East, Department of Defense

Bishop Garrison

Prior to his appointment as Senior Advisor on Human Capital and Diversity, Equity and Inclusion, in the Department of Defense, Bishop Garrison served as a Visiting Fellow at NSI, as Director of National Security Outreach at Human Rights First, and co-Founder and President of the Joseph Rainey Center for Public Policy.  Mr. Garrison also previously served as the Deputy Foreign Policy Adviser on Hillary Clinton’s 2016 presidential campaign and was an Advisor to the Science and Technology Directorate at the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) in the Obama Administration.  Mr. Garrison is a graduate of the U.S. Military Academy at West Point and William & Mary Law School, and is a veteran of Operation Iraqi Freedom.  During his service in the military, Mr. Garrison was awarded two Bronze Stars, a Combat Action Badge, and a Meritorious Service Medal.  In addition, Mr. Garrison previously received the Office of the Secretary of Defense Medal for Exceptional Public Service, the DHS S&T Under Secretary’s Award for Outstanding Collaboration.

“Bishop Garrison is the consummate national security professional, having served with honor and distinction in the military and as a civilian leader in government,” said Jamil N. Jaffer, NSI and Executive Director.  “His new role at DoD is a critical one, particularly at this challenging moment in our nation’s history, and while I expect that he’ll do a terrific job in this position, I also believe Bishop is destined for significantly more senior roles, and I look forward to his next move,” said Jaffer.

Mr. Garrison’s full biography can be found here.

Noreen Kassam

Prior to her appointment as Deputy Director of Presidential Advance in the White House, Noreen Kassam served as an NSI Visiting Fellow and as the Founder and former Managing Director of NAAK Global, a security consulting firm.  Prior to her work in the private sector, Ms. Kassam spent nearly a decade in public service, holding key roles at the White House, Department of State, Department of Homeland Security, and the Central Intelligence Agency.  Her service to our nation has included intelligence operations and analysis, foreign government engagement, law enforcement and security agency coordination, risk evaluation, and security operations and strategy.

“Noreen Kassam is exactly who you want in a job as central to the President’s role as helping lead his advance team,” said Jamil N. Jaffer.  “Noreen’s years of experience managing operational efforts and working with cross-functional teams across the government will serve her well in this new role and the President is lucky to have her,” said Jaffer.

Ms. Kassam’s full biography can be found here.

Dana Stroul

Prior to her appointment as Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for the Middle East, Dana Stroul served as a co-host of NSI’s Fault Lines podcast and as the Shelly and Michael Kassen Fellow at the Washington Institute for Near East Policy.  In her role at the Washington Institute, Ms. Stroul published research, delivered briefings, and testified before Congress on a variety of Middle East policy areas.  Prior to her time at the Washington Institute, Ms. Stroul served on the staff of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee as a senior professional staff member, where she oversaw and created legislation focused on U.S. foreign assistance and weapons sales.  Ms. Stroul also served in the Middle East policy office of the Secretary of Defense, at the U.S. Embassy in Cairo, at the U.S. Institute of Peace, and at the National Democratic Institute on Gulf Affairs.

“Dana Stroul’s experience at senior levels of both the legislative and executive branches of the U.S. government, as well as her background as a key expert at the Washington Institute make her a terrific pick to be the Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense focused on a critical region of our globe in the Middle East,” said Jamil N. Jaffer.  “Dana’s expertise and ability to bring people to consensus around the right policy for our nation will serve her well in the critically important job and I expect she’ll lead our efforts to get U.S. policy right in the region,” said Jaffer.

About the National Security Institute
The National Security Institute serves as a platform for research, teaching, scholarship, and policy development that incorporates a realistic assessment of the threats facing the United States and its allies, as well as an appreciation of the legal and practical challenges facing U.S. intelligence, defense, law enforcement, homeland security, and cybersecurity communities.  NSI draws on the experience of its fellows, as well as its highly distinguished advisory board and faculty, to produce timely research and policy materials that deliver insightful analysis and actionable recommendations to senior policymakers in the White House and key departments and agencies, as well as those on Capitol Hill.

About the Scalia Law School
The Antonin Scalia Law School at George Mason University is defined by three words: Learn. Challenge. Lead.  Students receive an outstanding legal education (Learn), are taught to critically evaluate prevailing orthodoxy and pursue new ideas (Challenge), and, ultimately, are well prepared to distinguish themselves in their chosen fields (Lead).  It has been one of America’s top-ranked law schools for the last fifteen years.

About George Mason University
George Mason University is Virginia’s largest public research university.  Located near Washington, D.C., Mason enrolls more than 33,000 students from 130 countries and all 50 states.  Mason has grown rapidly over the past half-century and is recognized for its innovation and entrepreneurship, remarkable diversity, and commitment to accessibility.