Watson Institute for International and Public Affairs

Advancing Role of Women in International Security

February 6, 2012

Watson Institute Senior Fellow Catherine McArdle Kelleher was one of only 37 women and three academics in attendance at the 48th Munich Security Conference, held earlier this month in Germany. The conference’s 450 esteemed attendees included US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and US Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta.

As part of the conference, Kelleher attended a breakfast in support of women in international security. Secretary of State Clinton spoke at the breakfast, saying more women should be involved in the international peacekeeping process – and recognizing Kelleher as the first president of Women in International Security, a global network dedicated to advancing women’s leadership in the international peace and security field.

Kelleher’s invitation to the Munich Security Conference was just the latest in a series of international honors, as she was selected last autumn to attend the December 2011 launch of the Women in Public Service Project and Colloquium at the US Department of State, an initiative bringing together women leaders from around the world, seeking to create the foundation for training institutes that are replicable and sustainable around the globe as part of the Women in Public Service initiative.

Kelleher, who earned her PhD from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, is professor emeritus of strategic research at the Naval War College in Newport, Rhode Island. She is the founder of the Center for International and Security Studies at the University of Maryland and a former senior fellow of foreign policy studies at the Brookings Institution. Kelleher also directed the Aspen Institute in Berlin.

Kelleher has served the US government in various capacities. Under the Clinton administration, she worked as deputy assistant secretary of defense for Russia, Ukraine, and Eurasia and as the secretary of defense's representative to NATO in Brussels. She was also on President Carter's National Security Council staff. In 2005, she completed 15 years of service as vice chair of the Committee on International Security and Arms Control of the National Academies of Sciences and directed annual policy dialogues with China, Russia, and India. In 2007, she became the second-ever recipient of the Joseph J. Kruzel Memorial Award for Public Service from the International Security Studies and Arms Control section of American Political Science Association, and she was named to the Naval Studies Board of the National Academies of Sciences. In 2009, the American Political Science Association honored her with its Hubert H. Humphrey Award in recognition of notable public service by a political scientist.

At the Watson Institute, Kelleher’s Dialogue among Americans, Russians, and Europeans (DARE) project has brought policymakers and academics together to discuss cooperation on security issues.