Mr. Leo Michel is a Senior Research Fellow at the Institute for National Strategic Studies—the strategic “think tank” of National Defense University (Fort McNair, Washington, DC)—where he concentrates on transatlantic security issues. Before joining INSS in July 2002, Mr. Michel was Director for NATO Policy within the Office of the Secretary of Defense (OSD). His office was responsible for policy support to the Secretary and other senior Defense officials in areas such as NATO defense planning and capabilities, operations, enlargement, Partnership for Peace, and NATO-European Union relations.
During more than 17 years of service in OSD’s Policy directorate, Mr. Michel’s positions included:
- first OSD representative seconded to the senior faculty of the Geneva Centre for Security Policy in Switzerland (1996-1999);
- Director for Non-Nuclear Arms Control Policy (1993-1996); and
- Deputy Director for Verification Policy and Secretary of Defense Representative to U.S.-Russia Bilateral Consultative Commission (on nuclear testing verification) (1989-1992).
From 1980 until joining OSD in 1986, Mr. Michel served in CIA’s Directorate for Intelligence. During the 1970s, he worked as a legislative aide for foreign and defense affairs for a Member of Congress and as a reporter for French media. He served in the U.S. Navy as a Lieutenant (jg) communications officer during 1969-1972.
Mr. Michel, a career civil servant, was promoted to the Senior Executive Service in 2000. He holds a Master’s degree from Johns Hopkins School for Advanced International Studies (1975) and a Bachelor’s degree with high honors from Princeton University (1969).