Victoria Coates Joins Center for Security Policy as a Senior Fellow

January 29, 2021

Washington, D.C. – This week, the Center for Security Policy announced that Dr. Victoria Coates has joined the Center as a Senior Fellow. Dr. Coates holds a BA from Trinity College, an MA from Williams College and a PhD from the University of Pennsylvania, all in art history. She is an established scholar in Italian Renaissance art who has taught at Penn, the University of Delaware, Washington College, and Dickinson College. In 2007, Dr. Coates left academia to become the Director of Research in (former) Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld’s personal office.

Dr. Coates joined then Governor of Texas Rick Perry’s primary campaign for President in 2011 as a senior advisor and continued as a consultant to Governor Perry on foreign policy until 2013, when she accepted the position of Senior Advisor for National Security in Senator Ted Cruz’s office.

Dr. Coates was appointed to the NSC as Special Assistant to the President and Senior Director for Strategic Communications under the Trump administration. Coates subsequently served as Senior Director for International Negotiations and for Middle Eastern Affairs, before being named Deputy Assistant to the President and Deputy National Security Advisor for Middle Eastern and North African Affairs in 2019. Coates assisted in establishing the NSC communication strategy, coordinated NSC policy related to the Middle East Peace Process, and supported the development of the National Security Strategy (announced December, 2017).

After moving to the Middle Eastern Affairs Directorate in 2018, Coates developed the concept of the Middle East Strategic Alliance (MESA), designed to unite Saudi Arabia, UAE, Oman, Bahrain, Qatar, Kuwait, Jordan and Egypt in security, economic and energy cooperation under U.S. leadership to expand U.S. regional influence and increase burden sharing. She maximized the historic U.S. investment in Israel, collaborating with Congress and the State Department to relocate the U.S. Embassy to Jerusalem and opposing attempts by malign actors to marginalize the Jewish state while working to integrate Israel into the Middle East, which culminated in the Abraham Accords with UAE and Bahrain.

In early 2020, Dr. Coates transferred to the Department of Energy to advise Secretary Brouillette on national security issues and act as his personal representative in the Middle East and North Africa. Before joining the Center for Security Policy, Dr. Coates was appointed President of MBN, a position that unites her interests in both strategic communications and the Middle East.

Dr. Coates is married with two children, and divides her time between Philadelphia and Washington, DC.

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