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November 28, 2017

An Open Letter to the National Security Community:

We, the women of the National Security community, come from all walks of life and all corners
of this great nation. Those of us who have worked for the United States have sworn an oath to
support and defend the Constitution. Diplomats and civil servants, defense civilians, members of
the military, development workers, and the locally employed staff workers and contractors who
support them brave challenging, at times life-threatening, conditions. Our commitment leads
many of us to spend extended time away from our families and loved ones in war-zones and
hostile locations in service of our nation.

We, too, are survivors of sexual harassment, assault, and abuse or know others who are.

This is not just a problem in Hollywood, Silicon Valley, newsrooms or Congress. It is

everywhere. These abuses are born of imbalances of power and environments that permit such
practices while silencing and shaming their survivors. Indeed, in our field, women comprise a
small fraction of the senior leadership roles30% or fewer in most federal agencies.

The pipeline is not the central problem in much of the national security community. Talented
women enter most of our agencies in equal numbers as their male counterparts, though this is
less true of the armed forces. At the State Department, female foreign service officers enter at
equal rates to their male colleagues. Yet, with each subsequent promotion, the numbers of
foreign service women decline, especially at senior levels. Women now comprise 15% of all
active duty militarya historic high, but the women who are already serving in senior ranks are
being promoted far less frequently than their peers.

Many women are held back or driven from this field by men who use their power to assault at
one end of the spectrum and perpetuate-sometimes unconsciously-environments that silence,
demean, belittle or neglect women at the other. Assault is the progression of the same behaviors
that permit us to be denigrated, interrupted, shut out, and shut up. These behaviors incubate a
permissive environment where sexual harassment and assault take hold.

And it's time to make it stop.

The institutions to which we belong or have served all have sexual harassment policies in place.
Yet, these policies are weak, under enforced, and can favor perpetrators. The existence of
policies, even good ones, is not enough.

We, the undersigned, call on the national security community, including the Department of
Defense, the Department of State, the U.S. Agency for International Development, the
Department of Homeland Security, the intelligence community, armed forces, National Security
Council, think tanks, universities, and contractors who support them to take a comprehensive set
of actions to reduce the incidence of sexual harassment and abuse in the workplace. These

Clear leadership from the very top that these behaviors are unacceptable;
Creating multiple, clear, private channels to report abuse without fear of retribution;
External, independent mechanisms to collect data on claims and publish them
Mandatory, regular training for all employees;
Mandatory exit interviews for all women leaving Federal service.

Finally, this community must also address the serious gender imbalances in senior leadership
positions because male-dominated teams have been found to be more prone to abuses and more
diverse teams are consistently linked to better outcomes. And we want to see leaders and
managers across the national security community held accountable for creating, nurturing, and
enforcing a workplace culture that respects and includes women as equal peers and colleagues.

We are proud to have served our nation and to have safeguarded its ideals, and we are proud to
have worked alongside the talented and dedicated men and women who make up America's
national security workforce. Imagine what more we could achieve together if we took steps to
ensure women could work free from fear and confident that their gender will not affect their

How will you protect, empower, and defend the women who serve our nation?


Ambassador Gina Abercrombie-Winstanely Dr. Deborah Avant

Professor, Josef Korbel School of
Ms. Iram Ali International Studies, University of Denver
Former Special Assistant to the Secretary of
Defense, U.S. Department of Defense Ambassador Liliana Ayalde
U.S. Southern Command
Ms. Wendy R. Anderson
Deputy Chief of Staff, Secretary of Defense, Ms. Amelia Ayers
Department of Defense*
Ms. Lindsay Barber
Ms. Lyla Andrews Bashan Southern Cone Regional Security Officer,
U.S. Agency for International Development U.S. Department of State*

Mrs. Jenna Arnold Ambassador (ret.) Shirley E. Barnes

Co-Founder, ORGANIZE
Ms. Ashley Bartlett
Ms. Miriam Asnes U.S. Department of State
Foreign Service Officer,
U.S. Department of State Ambassador Leslie Bassett
Ambassador (ret.) Denise Bauer Colonel (ret.) Susan Bryant
U.S. Army
Ms. Alexandra Bell
Senior Policy Director, Center for Arms Ms. Whitney Buchanan
Control and Non-Proliferation Founder, Middle East Collective

Ambassador (ret.) Colleen Bell Ms. Julia Burnell

Women Ambassadors Serving America
Dr. Nora Bensahel
American University and the Atlantic Ambassador (ret.) Prudence Bushnell
Ms. Kelsey L. Campbell
Ms. Jenna Ben-Yehuda U.S. Air Force* and
Founder, Women's Foreign Policy Network Department of Defense*

Ms. Annika Betancourt Ms. Pamela Campos

Foreign Service Officer, U.S. Air Force Intelligence*
U.S. Department of State Truman National Security Project Fellow

Dr. Federiga Bindi Ms. Claire Casey

Senior. Fellow, The FP Group
SAIS Johns Hopkins University
Ms. Lynn Cassel
Ambassador (ret.) Aurelia Brazeal Foreign Service Officer,
U.S. Department of State*
Ms. Laura Bridge
Director of External Relations, Halifax Ms. Asha Castleberry
International Security Forum* Combat Veteran, U.S. Army

Ambassador (ret.) Pamela Bridgewater Ms. Elisa Catalano Ewers

U.S. Department of State*
Ms. Erin Bromaghim National Security Council*
Senior Program Manager, U.S. Air Force
Ms. Anna Cave
Ms. Rosa Brooks Director of African Affairs,
Counselor to the Undersecretary of Defense National Security Council*
for Policy, U.S. Department of Defense*
Ms. Kimberly Cernak
Ms. Liana Brooks-Rubin U.S. Agency for International
U.S. Department of State* Development*

Ambassador (ret.) Sue K. Brown Ambassador (ret.) Wendy Chamberlin

Dr. Katherine Brown Ms. Stephanie Chetraru

Executive Director, U.S. Advisory Foreign Service Officer,
Commission on Public Diplomacy* U.S. Agency for International Development
Ms. Grace Choi Ms. Elizabeth Cutler
Global Womens Issues, Contractor, U.S. Department of State
U.S. Department of State*
Ms. Lauren DAmore, MSc.
Ms. Erin Clancy
Foreign Service Officer, Ms. Melissa Dalton
U.S. Department of State Special Assistant to the Under Secretary of
Defense for Policy*
Ms. Alina Clay
U.S. Fulbright Researcher Career Ambassador (ret.) Ruth A. Davis
Vice President of Black American
Dr. Kathryn McNabb Cochran Ambassadors (ABAA)
Good Judgment
Dr. Jennifer Davis
Ms. Jennifer Cohen Associate Professor,
U.S. Department of State National Intelligence University

Ms. Beth Cole Ms. Lisa Davis

Director, Office of Civilian Military Analyst, Office of the Secretary of Defense*
Cooperation, U.S. Agency for International
Development* Dr. Chantal de Jonge Oudraat
Dr. Frances Coln Women In International Security (WIIS)
Former Deputy Science and Technology
Adviser, U.S. Department of State* Ms. Loren DeJonge Schulman
Senior Advisor to National Security Advisor
Ambassador (ret.) Elinor G. Constable Susan Rice*; Deputy Director of Studies,
Center for a New American Security
Ms. Marissa Conway
Founding Director, Ms. Anastasia Dellaccio
Centre for Feminist Foreign Policy
Adj. Professor Tanya L. Domi
Ambassador (ret.) Frances D. Cook Councelor & Spokesperson, OSCE Mission
to Bosnia and Herzegovina*
Ms. Morgan Courtney
U.S. Department of State* Ms. Bess Dopkeen
Analyst and Program Manager, Office of the
Ambassador (ret.) Ertharin Cousin Secretary of Defense

Ms. Susannah Cunningham Ms. Theresa Drake

Security Fellow, U.S. Department of State
Truman National Security Project
Ms. Liz Drew
Dr. Mary Curtin Director for Human Rights and Gender,
Humphrey School of Public Affairs; Foreign National Security Council*
Service Officer, U.S. Department of State*
Ms. Naz Durakoglu Ms. Mary Ellen T. Gilroy
U.S. Department of State* Minister Counselor,
U.S. Department of State*
Ms. Kimberly Eggerton
Foreign Service Officer, Ms. Jennifer Goldstein
U.S. Department of State U.S. Department of State

Ms. Abbey Einspahr Ms. Sherri Goodman

U.S. Department of State Deputy Undersecretary of Defense*

Ambassador (ret.) Harriet L. Elam-Thomas Major Jessica Gott

U.S. Air Force
Ambassador (ret.) Nancy Ely-Raphel
Ms. Kate Gould
Ms. Dianna English Legislative Director for Middle East Policy,
Foreign Affairs Officer, Friends Committee on National Legislation
U.S. Department of State*
Colonel (ret.) Lynda Granfield
Ms. Mieke Eoyang U.S. Army
Vice President for National Security,
Third Way Ms. Laura Gritz
U.S. Department of State
Ms. Cori Fleser
Defense Consultant Ambassador (ret.) Nina Hachigian
Co-founder, Women Ambassadors Serving
Professor Page Fortna America
Harold Brown Professor of US National and
Security Policy, Columbia University Ambassador (ret.) Pamela Hamamoto

Dr. Sylvia Frain Ms. Melissa Hanham

University of Otago * James Martin Center for Nonproliferation
Ms. Meaghan Fulco
Council on Foreign Relations Ms. Nayyera Haq
Senior Advisor, U.S. Department of State*,
Ms. Andrea F. Gastaldo White House Senior Director*
Foreign Policy Advisor,
U.S. Department of State Ambassador (ret.) Patricia M. Haslach

Ms. Suzy George Ambassador (ret.) Patricia M. Hawkins

Deputy Assistant to the President,
Chief of Staff and Executive Secretary, Ms. Calandra Hersrud
National Security Council* Foreign Service Officer,
U.S. Department of State
Ambassador (ret.) Tatiana C. Gfoeller-
Volkoff Ambassador (ret.) Heather Hodges
Ms. Sarah Holewinski Ms. Kristin Judge
Center for a New American Security CEO & President,
Cybercrime Support Network
Ambassador (ret.) Laura Holgate
Special Assistant to the President for WMD- Ms. Alexandra Kahan
Terrorism & Threat Reduction* National Security Council* and
U.S. Department of State*
Ms. Mary Tyler Holmes
Foreign Service Officer, Ms. Leila Kamgar
U.S. Agency for International Development U.S. Department of State

Ambassador (ret.) Donna Hrinak Ms. Erica Kaster

Ms. Jessie Huaracayo Ms. Teri Keas

U.S. Department of State Foreign Service Officer,
U.S. Department of State
Ambassador (ret.) Miriam K. Hughes
Ambassador Kelly Keiderling
Ms. Heather Hurlburt
Special Assistant to the President* Ms. Lorelei Kelly
Senior Fellow, Beeck Center for Social
Dr Radha Iyengar Plumb Impact + Innovation, Georgetown
Director of Defense Personnel, Readiness University
and Partnerships at National Security
Council* and Senior Economist RAND* Ambassador (ret.) Laura Kennedy

Ms. Rose Jackson Career Ambassador (ret.) Kristie Kenney

Chief of Staff, Bureau of Democracy,
Human Rights, and Labor, Dr. Rachel Kleinfeld
U.S. Department of State Department* Senior Fellow, Carnegie Endowment for
International Peace
Ms. Sara Jacobs
Conflict and Stabilization Policy Officer, Ms. Lyla Kohistany
U.S. Department of State* U.S. Navy* and President/Co-Founder,
Ambassador Roberta Jacobson
Ambassador (ret.) Eleni Kounalakis
Ambassador (ret.) Linda Jewell
Ms. Madeline Krahn
Colonel (ret.) M. Tia Johnson Special Inspector General for Afghanistan
Department of Defense* Reconstruction

Ambassador (ret.) Suzan Johnson Cook Ambassador (ret.) Lisa Kubiske

Ambassador (ret.) Deborah K. Jones

Dr. Patricia Kushlis Ambassador Deborah Malac
Foreign Service Officer
U.S. Department of State* Dr. Tara Maller
Military Analyst, CIA*
Ms. Courtney La Bau
Senior Advisor, Ambassador (ret.) Eileen A. Malloy
Department of Homeland Security*
Ms. Michele Manatt
Ambassador Helen La Lime Senior Policy Advisor to the Assistant
Secretary of State for Western Hemisphere
Ms. Jessica Lapenn Affairs, U.S. Department of State*
Foreign Service Officer,
U.S. Department of State Ms. Diane Mars
National Security Consultancy
Ambassador (ret.) Joyce E. Leader
Ms. Shannon Marsh
Ms. Elizabeth "Betsy" Lederer Health Officer and Senior Technical
Defense Acquisition University, Learning Advisor, U.S. Agency for International
Director, Foundational Learning Development*
Ms. Diana Marvin
Ms. Alyssa Leggoe Senior Advisor, Arms Control,
Foreign Service Officer, U.S. Department of State
U.S. Agency for International Development
Mrs. Sara Mathews
Ms. Amanda Levin U.S. Department of State
National Security Network*
Ambassador (ret.) Dennise Mathieu
Ambassador (ret.) Suzan LeVine
Dr. Gale Mattox
Ambassador (ret.) Dawn Liberi President, Women in International Security*

Dr. Karen Lips Ambassador (ret.) Nancy McEldowney

University of Maryland
Ambassador (ret.) Patricia Moller
Ms. Allison Lombardo
U.S. Department of State Ms. Julie Montgomery

Ambassador (ret.) Carmen Lomellin Lieutenant Elizabeth Morin

U.S. Navy
Dr. Kristin Lord
President and CEO, IREX Ms. Sarah Moss
Special Assistant to the Attorney General,
Ms. Kelly Magsamen U.S. Department of Justice*
Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary of
Mrs. Ana Janaina Nelson Ms. Vera Ranola
Southern Cone Regional Security Officer, Council on Foreign Relations
U.S. Department of State*
Ambassador (ret.) Wanda L. Nesbitt Dr. Mira Rapp-Hooper
Yale Law School
Ambassador (ret.) Crystal Nix-Hines
Ambassador Eunice Reddick
Ms. Suzanne Nossel
Executive Director, PEN America Ms. Alissa Redmond
Foreign Service Officer,
Ms. Nneoma Veronica Nwogu U.S. Department of State
Adjunct Professor of Law, Washington
College of Law, American University Ms. Susan Reichle
Career Minister,
Dr. Olga Oliker U.S. Agency for International
Center for Strategic and International Development*
Ms. Emily Renard
Ms. Kimberly Olson U.S. Departments of Defense and State*
U.S. Department of State*
Ms. Brenan Richards
Ambassador (ret.) Adrienne S. O'Neal Department of Defense

Ms. Won Palisoul Ms. Rachel Rizzo

Founder, Women Veterans and Families Center for a New American Security
Network (WVFN)
Ms. Erin S. Robertson
Ms. Michelle Parker U.S. Department of State
Foreign Service Officer,
U.S. Agency for International Development Colonel (retired) Kabrena Rodda
U.S. Air Force
Ms. Susan Parker-Burns
Foreign Service Officer, Ms. Lisa Roman
U.S. Department of State U.S. Department of State*

Ms. Mira Patel Ambassador (ret.) Doria Rosen

Secretary's Policy Planning Staff,
U.S. Department of State* Ms. Laura Rosenberger
U.S. Department of State* and National
Ambassador (ret.) Cynthia Shepard Perry Security Council*

Ms. Heather Peterson Ms. Carey Rudell

RAND Corporation* Foreign Service Officer,
U.S. Department of State*
Ms. Shainell Pruitt
Ambassador (ret.) Robin Sanders
Ambassador (ret.) Janet A. Sanderson Ms. Erin Soto
Senior Foreign Service,
Ambassador (ret.) Teresita Schaffer U.S. Agency for International
Ambassador (ret.) Brenda Brown
Schoonover Ms. Monica Stein-Olson
Career Minister,
Dr. Tammy S. Schultz U.S. Agency for International Development
Marine Corps War College
Ms. Mary Stickles
Ms. Sarah Sewall Foreign Service Officer,
Under Secretary of State* U.S. Department of State

Captain Margaret Seymour Ambassador (ret.) Cynthia Stroum

U.S. Marine Corps Reserves
Ms. Kelsey Suemnicht
Mrs. Rina Shah Founder, The Foreign Policy Project
Founder, The Prigova Group
Ms. Caroline Tess
Ambassador (ret.) Dana Shell Smith Special Assistant to the President*

Ms. Lindsey Sheppard Ambassador (ret.) Linda Thomas-Greenfield

Ms. Christine Trostle
Ms. Jolynn Shoemaker
Executive Director, Women In International Ms. Paula Uribe
Security (WIIS)* Senior Advisor to the Assistant Secretary of
State for Western Hemisphere Affairs,
Ms. Joan Sinclair U.S. Department of State*
Foreign Service Officer,
U.S. Department of State Ms. Toni Verstandig
Deputy Assistant Secretary of State Bureau
Dr. Amanda Sloat of Near Eastern Affairs,
U.S. Department of State* U.S. Department of State*

Ms. Julie Smith Ambassador (ret.) Marcelle M. Wahba

Deputy National Security Advisor to the The Arab Gulf States Institute in
Vice President* Washington
Dr. Nancy J. Walker
Ms. Lachlyn Soper Director, Africa Center for Strategic Studies,
Foreign Service Officer, Department of Defense*
U.S. Department of State
Ms. Roslyn Warren
Ms. Rachel Sorey Georgetown Institute for Women, Peace and
Foreign Service Officer, Security*
U.S. Agency for International Development
Ms. Lynne Weil Dr. Jaime Yassif
U.S. Department of State* and Broadcasting Department of Defense*
Board of Governors*
Dr. Sarah Yerkes
Dr. Sharon White U.S. Department of State*
Senior Foreign Service Officer,
U.S. Department of State* Ms. Vera Zakem

Ambassador (ret.) Bisa Williams Ms. Michelle Ziegler

Analyst, Department of Defense and
Dr. Tamara Wittes Department of Homeland Security
The Brookings Institution

Affiliations are for identification purposes only and do not represent organizational views or
positions of the U.S. Government

* Indicates former affiliation or title, as appropriate