June 3, 2024

Truman Center and Truman National Security Project Announce New CEO

Truman Center and Truman National Security Project Announce New CEO

Special Assistant and Intelligence Advisor to the Deputy Secretary of Defense Tony Johnson Joins Truman on August 1, 2024

June 3, 2024, Washington, DC – Truman Center and Truman National Security Project are proud to announce the appointment of Anthony “Tony” Johnson as their new President and CEO, effective August 1, 2024. Johnson, a long-time member of Truman, brings with him a wealth of experience and a commitment to driving the organization forward into a new era of growth and inclusivity.

Stephen Bailey, Chair of Truman Center’s Board of Directors, expressed his enthusiasm for Johnson's appointment. "Tony Johnson's extensive background in national security and public service makes him the ideal person to lead Truman into the future. His roles as the Special Assistant and Intelligence Advisor to the Deputy Secretary of Defense, Senior Researcher at the Institute for Defense Analyses, Security Governance Initiative Country Lead at the U.S. Department of State, and Advisor for Special Operations and Irregular Warfare at the U.S. Department of Defense highlight his strategic acumen and leadership capabilities,” said Bailey.

“An incredible number of talented candidates were considered, but ultimately Tony's rich experience in national security, decades of experience as a leader of people and teams, and deep ties to the Truman community made him the standout choice to lead Truman,” said Bailey, “Tony not only co-founded the TruDiversity Initiative, but he embodies Truman's values. We are excited to see him lead Truman’s to a bold future."

Johnson is currently the Special Assistant and Intelligence Advisor to the Deputy Secretary of Defense. A 30-year veteran of the national security field, Johnson began his career in public service as a U.S. Navy Officer on the staff of Commander, U.S. Naval Forces Europe. Prior to joining the Biden-Harris Administration, Johnson led the Joint Advanced Warfighting Division’s Strategic Red Team at the Institute for Defense Analyses, and multi-year, U.S.-sponsored security sector transformation efforts with governments in Europe, South America, and West Africa. Previous assignments also include senior advisory and consultancy roles with the U.S. Department of State, DHS/CISA, NATO, and Treasury. Johnson has also advised senior military leadership at United States Naval Forces Europe, United States Special Operations Command, and United States Strategic Command.

Johnson is passionate about developing the next generation of public servants and military leaders. He co-founded TruDiversity to advocate for greater representation in the U.S. foreign and national security policy communities. Johnson has advised IPF Atid, a network of rising young Jewish and foreign policy professionals, and served as the DoD Senior Champion to IC Pride – the U.S. DoD and Intelligence Community’s LGBTQIA+ employee resource group. As the Chairman of the Board of Fellows for the College of Liberal Arts at Norwich University, he co-developed and led the university’s undergraduate National Security Scholars program which has enriched the educational experience of students for over 17-years, and counting.

Johnson earned a B.A. from Norwich University, the storied Military College of Vermont, founded in 1819, and the birthplace of America’s Reserve Officers’ Training Corps (ROTC); and an M.A. from Georgetown University, where he also teaches as Adjunct Professor in the Security Studies Program. In addition, Johnson is a graduate of the Harvard Kennedy School’s prestigious Senior Executives in National and International Security, where he also earned an Executive Diploma in Public Policy.

"For over 10 years, the Truman community has been one of the most rewarding experiences of my career," said Johnson. “I am deeply honored to take on the role of CEO. In close partnership with our members and stakeholders, we will advance Truman’s mission to develop smart national security solutions that inform and advance nonpartisan American global leadership. My vision is to grow Truman as an organization that promotes intelligent dialogue about our nation’s most urgent security challenges, recruits and nurtures the brightest minds, and positions a diverse cadre of national security leaders for tomorrow."

Tripp Adams, who has served as Truman’s Interim President and CEO for the past year, reflected on his tenure and the transition, saying, "Leading Truman has been a powerful and important experience. I am incredibly proud of what we have achieved together over the past year. As I pass the torch to Tony, I am confident that his leadership will usher in a new chapter of success and innovation for Truman. He is respected, highly qualified, and truly embodies the values we stand for."

Acting Truman Project Board Chair Mark Lindsay said, "Tony's impressive career and unwavering commitment to fostering diversity make him uniquely qualified to lead Truman. His vision and experience will undoubtedly steer the organization towards a future of enhanced impact and inclusivity. We are thrilled to welcome him as our new CEO."

Johnson will start as CEO on August 1, 2024. Truman looks forward to welcoming him into his new role and is excited for the future under his leadership.

About Truman: Leading the national security space for 20 years, the organization is made up of the Truman Center and Truman National Security Project.

The Truman Center is a nonpartisan organization committed to advancing principled solutions to complex national security challenges. Leveraging a diverse network of experts, policymakers, and stakeholders, we strive to redefine national security by promoting inclusive dialogue, innovative solutions, and principled leadership. Through our programs, advocacy, and engagement nationwide, we ensure that a broad spectrum of voices inform national security policies.

The Truman Project brings together leaders from diverse backgrounds to rethink national security by fostering inclusive dialogue, advancing innovative solutions, and building a strong, safe future. Through its network of experts, policymakers, and advocates, Truman empowers bold thinkers to address complex challenges and shape transformative policies for the benefit of all.