Center for Security Policy announces Lieutenant Colonel Tommy Waller as its incoming President and CEO

New generation of leadership, staff additions to strengthen organization    to meet intensifying foreign and domestic security challenges

August 23, 2022

WASHINGTON — The Center for Security Policy (centerforsecuritypolicy.org, Center) is proud to announce Lieutenant Colonel Tommy Waller, U.S. Marine Corps (Reserves), as its new President and CEO, effective January 1, 2023. Lt. Col. Waller currently serves as the Center’s Executive Vice President and his promotion comes amidst several enhancements to its team, including a new Director of China Policy, a Director of Russian Affairs and senior producer for the Center’s Broadcast Media operations.

Center for Security Policy Founder and Executive Chairman Frank Gaffney observed: “In the course of the Center’s thirty-five years of operations, there has never been a moment when America needed more the sort of tested, high-quality and energetic leadership for which Tommy Waller is renowned. The expertise and character he has developed over two decades as a Marine Officer in the Force Reconnaissance community and the skills he has honed during his ten years as the Director of the CSP-sponsored Secure the Grid Coalition and our Director of Infrastructure Security will ensure that the organization continues to achieve an outsized impact as ‘the Special Forces in the War of Ideas.’”

“The very precarious direction in which our country is headed, both at home and internationally, calls the Center to enhance its operations and products,” said Center Interim President and CEO Don Woodsmall, who is also a longtime member of the Center’s Board of Directors. “The selection of Lieutenant Colonel Tommy Waller to serve as its next President and CEO will immeasurably help our organization rise to the present challenge — and to lead the Center in the decades to come,” continued Woodsmall.

On August 1, Waller became the Center’s Executive Vice President to ensure an orderly transition by January. One of his first moves was to decentralize the Center’s operations to improve the organization’s flexibility, economic efficiency, and expand its reach into the states.

Waller said, “The Marines taught me a lot about decentralization and pushing resources and decision- making as far forward as possible. It no longer makes sense to have a large office two blocks from the White House when we can have greater creativity and impact by working remotely and increasing our support to state and local level policymakers. We’ll maintain a solid presence in Washington, but not under one roof.”

Waller served for two decades in the Marines with deployments to Afghanistan, Iraq, Africa, and South America. He recently successfully commanded the Corps’ only reserve Force Reconnaissance Company. He earned a degree in International Relations from Tulane University and an executive education certificate from the Wharton School.

The Center also is pleased to welcome three other, formidable additions to its team:

One of America’s preeminent experts on Communist China, Dr. Bradley Thayer, has become the Center’s Director of China Policy. Dr. Thayer is a widely published author with an extraordinarily strategic worldview and great acumen about the ominous character, ambitions and practices of the Chinese Communist Party. Thayer received his PhD from the University of Chicago. In addition, he is an authority on Marxist subversion and critical theory as they relate to national security.

Center for Security Policy Senior Fellow Dr. Andrei Illarionov has also been brought on as the Center’s Director of Russia Affairs. Dr. Illarionov is an internationally renowned economist who served as Chief Economic Advisor for three Russian Prime Ministers and to Russian President Vladimir Putin. He resigned in protest in 2005 and may be the only one of Putin’s harsh critics in the West who had for years worked closely with him. Dr. Illarionov brings to the Center extraordinary insights into Kremlin decision-making and Russian grand strategy.

Justin Johnson is the new Senior Producer of the Center’s Broadcast Media operations, including: a daily “Secure Freedom Minute” and its daily “Securing America” television and radio programs heard respectively on Real America’s Voice and American Family Network. Johnson brings over thirteen years of video-production experience supporting Fortune 500 companies, the federal government, the Food and NFL networks, major motion pictures and large advertising agencies.

The Center for Security Policy is a nonpartisan 501(c)(3) organization founded in 1988 to promote peace through strength to secure freedom for today’s and future generations.

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