The Network

Mary Beth Long
Former Assistant Secretary of Defense for International Security Affairs

Mary Beth Long served as Assistant Secretary of Defense for International Security Affairs — the first woman confirmed by the Senate as assistant secretary of defense – and is the first woman to chair NATO’s highest-level nuclear policy body, the High Level Group (HLG). She represented the Secretary of Defense with his foreign counterparts as well as at the White House and NSC’s Deputies Committee meetings. While at Defense, Long also served in senior policy positions responsible for the Middle East, Western Hemisphere, Asia, and Southeast Asia; and was the Deputy Secretary of Defense for Counternarco-terrorism with a budget of over $1 billion. From 2013-2016 she served as a senior subject matter expert for the Supreme Allied Commander of NATO and the Minister of Defense of Colombia.

She adds to those credentials more than a decade of CIA operational experience (1986–99) and is the recipient of a number of intelligence awards, including for excellence in covert action. Her ongoing bipartisan policy endeavors include the Harvard-sponsored U.S.-Israel Track II Iran negotiations, the Council on Foreign Relation’s North Korea “Sharper Choice” report, Common Ground’s U.S-Russia-Turkey talks, the Bi-partisan Policy Center’s Syria and Middle East Project, and CSIS’s Task Force on Global Forced Migration.