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Armed Services Committees Leadership Announces Selections for Commission on the Strategic Posture of the United States

Today, the bipartisan leadership of the Senate and House Armed Services Committees, U.S. Senators Jack Reed (D-RI) and Jim Inhofe (R-OK), Chairman and Ranking Member of the Senate Armed Services Committee (SASC), and U.S. Representatives Adam Smith (D-WA) and Mike Rogers (R-AL), Chairman and Ranking Member of the House Armed Services Committee (HASC), announced their appointments, pursuant to Sec. 1687 of the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) for Fiscal Year 2022, to the Congressional Commission on the Strategic Posture of the United States. 

The NDAA tasked the Commission with examining the long-term strategic posture of the United States. The review and assessment by the Commission will include a threat assessment, a detailed review of nuclear weapons policy and strategy of the United States, and recommendations as to the most appropriate strategic posture and most effective nuclear weapons strategy. Per the law, the Commission must submit its final report to Congress and the executive branch by December 31, 2022.

The 12-person Commission is composed of two appointments by the Majority and Minority Leaders of the Senate, two appointments by the Speaker and Minority Leader of the House, four appointments by the Chairs of the Senate and House Armed Services Committee, and four appointments by the Ranking Members of the Senate and House Armed Services Committees.

The appointments are as follows:

Chairman Reed selected:

  • Madelyn Creedon is a Research Professor of International Affairs and Chair of the Nuclear Security Working Group at the George Washington University. She served most recently as Principal Deputy Administrator of the National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA) from 2014 to 2017. She served as Assistant Secretary of Defense for Global Strategic Affairs from 2011 to 2014, overseeing policy for missile defense, nuclear security, cybersecurity, and space. Madelyn served as counsel for the U.S. Senate Committee on Armed Services for many years, beginning in 1990. She also served as Deputy Administrator for Defense Programs at the NNSA, Associate Deputy Secretary of Energy, and General Counsel for the Defense Base Closure and Realignment Commission. She started her career as a trial attorney at the Department of Energy. Following retirement from Federal Service in 2017, Madelyn established Green Marble Group, LLC, a consulting company, and currently serves on a number of advisory boards related to national security. She recently completed a fellowship at the United States Study Center at the University of Sydney and is currently a non-resident senior at The Brookings Institution. She holds a J.D. from St. Louis University School of Law, and a B.A. from the University of Evansville.

  • General (Ret.) John E. Hyten, USAF, served as the 11th Vice Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. In this capacity, he was the nation's second highest-ranking military officer and a member of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. Gen. Hyten attended Harvard University on an Air Force Reserve Officer Training Corps scholarship, graduated in 1981 with a bachelor’s degree in engineering and applied sciences, and was commissioned a second lieutenant. His career began in engineering and acquisition before transitioning to space operations. He has commanded at the squadron, group, wing and major command levels. In 2006, he deployed to Southwest Asia as Director of Space Forces for operations Enduring Freedom and Iraqi Freedom. He commanded Air Force Space Command, and prior to his current assignment, was the Commander of U.S. Strategic Command, one of 11 Combatant Commands under the Department of Defense.

Chairman Smith

  • The Honorable Rose Gottemoeller is the Steven C. Házy Lecturer at Stanford University's Freeman Spogli Institute for International Studies and its Center for International Security and Cooperation. Before joining Stanford, Gottemoeller was the Deputy Secretary General of NATO from 2016 to 2019. Prior to NATO, she served for nearly five years as the Under Secretary for Arms Control and International Security at the U.S. Department of State, advising the Secretary of State on arms control, nonproliferation and political-military affairs. While Assistant Secretary of State for Arms Control, Verification and Compliance in 2009 and 2010, she was the chief U.S. negotiator of the New Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (New START) with the Russian Federation. Prior to her government service, she was a senior associate with the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, with joint appointments to the Nonproliferation and Russia programs.

  • Ms. Leonor Tomero is an expert on nuclear deterrence, national security space, and missile defense, and has been a leader in applying innovative technologies and concepts in the context of strategic stability and deterrence. She served as Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Nuclear and Missile Defense Policy, where she was responsible for the United States’ nuclear deterrence policy. Prior to this role, she served for over a decade on the House Armed Services Committee as Counsel and Strategic Forces Subcommittee Staff Lead where she was responsible for oversight and policy of a portfolio that included national security space, nuclear weapons development and employment strategies, nuclear non-proliferation, nuclear clean-up, arms control, and missile defense. Before joining the Committee staff, she served as Director of Nuclear Non-Proliferation at the Center for Arms Control and Non-Proliferation and as President of the Lawyers Alliance for World Security.

Ranking Member Inhofe

  • Senator Jon Kyl served 18 years in the U.S. Senate, and before that, eight years in the U.S. House of Representatives. He was elected unanimously by his colleagues in 2008 to serve as Republican Whip, a position he held until his retirement in 2013. In addition to serving on the Armed Services Committee, he was a member of the Judiciary Committee from 1995-2013, and also served on the Finance Committee. Senator Kyl was active in the Senate consideration of the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty, New Start Treaty, and other arms limitation proposals, as well as strategic deterrence issues in numerous National Defense Authorization Acts. After retiring from the Senate, he served as a member of the Board of Directors of Sandia Laboratory for three years. In 2018, he was a member of the National Defense Strategy Commission. On September 5, 2018, Senator Kyl was appointed by Arizona Governor Doug Ducey to fill the seat of the late Senator John McCain through the end of 2018. He currently serves as Senior Advisor to a Washington, DC, law firm.

  • The Honorable Lisa Gordon-Hagerty is the Director for Strategic Programs for Westinghouse Government Services. From 2018 to 2020, Ms. Gordon-Hagerty served as the Administrator of the National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA) and Under Secretary for Nuclear Security at the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), where she was responsible for the management and operations of NNSA, including preservation of the safety, security, and effectiveness of the U.S. nuclear weapons stockpile; reduction in global dangers from weapons of mass destruction; provision of safe and effective nuclear propulsion to the U.S. Navy; and responses to nuclear and radiological emergencies in the U.S. and abroad. Prior to this position, Ms. Gordon-Hagerty served in various federal positions within the National Security Council staff, Department of Energy, U.S. House of Representatives, and Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, and held senior leadership positions across a number of national security-focused companies. Ms. Gordon-Hagerty holds a Master of Public Health in Health Physics and a Bachelor of Science, both from the University of Michigan. She is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations and the Health Physics Society.

Ranking Member Rogers

  • Rebeccah L. Heinrichs is a senior fellow at Hudson Institute specializing in US national defense policy with a focus on strategic deterrence. Ms. Heinrichs also serves as an adjunct professor at the Institute of World Politics where she teaches nuclear deterrence theory, and is a staff member of the Defense and Strategic Studies Program at Missouri State University. Ms. Heinrichs previously served in the U.S. House of Representatives as an adviser to former Congressman Trent Franks, where she focused on matters related to the Strategic Forces Subcommittee of the Armed Services Committee. She was instrumental in starting the Bipartisan Missile Defense Caucus.

  • Marshall S. Billingslea is a senior fellow at Hudson Institute, focusing on illicit finance and arms control with the Kleptocracy Initiative. Prior to joining Hudson Institute, Mr. Billingslea was the special presidential envoy for arms control at the U.S. Department of State, holding the rank of ambassador. In this capacity, he led arms control negotiations and worked with partners and allies in Europe and Asia on the development and deployment of defensive capabilities. Before joining the State Department, Mr. Billingslea served as the assistant secretary for terrorist financing at the U.S. Department of the Treasury, where he built international coalitions and led U.S. efforts to counter illicit financial activities around the globe. Earlier in his career, he served for more than six years as the senior professional staff member for national security affairs on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. Between 2001 and 2009, he served in several senior roles within the Department of Defense and at NATO, including as deputy undersecretary of the Navy and assistant secretary general for defense investment at NATO.

Under the law, the scope of the Commission includes: 


(1) REVIEW. The Commission shall conduct a review of the strategic posture of the United States, including a strategic threat assessment and a detailed review of nuclear weapons policy, strategy, and force structure and factors affecting the strategic stability of near-peer competitors of the United States.


(A) ASSESSMENT. The Commission shall assess:

(i) the benefits and risks associated with the current strategic posture and nuclear weapons policies of the United States;
(ii) factors affecting strategic stability that relate to the strategic posture; and
(iii) lessons learned from the findings and conclusions of the Congressional mission on the Strategic Posture of the United States established by section 1062 of the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2008 (Public Law 110–181; 122 Stat. 319) and other previous commissions and previous Nuclear Posture Reviews.

(B) RECOMMENDATIONS. The Commission shall make recommendations with respect to:

(i) the most appropriate strategic posture;
(ii) the extent to which capabilities other than nuclear weapons can contribute to or detract from strategic stability; and
(iii) the most effective nuclear weapons strategy for strategic posture and stability.


(1) IN GENERAL. Not later than December 31, 2022, the Commission shall submit to the President and the Committees on Armed Services of the Senate and the House of Representatives a report on the Commission’s findings, conclusions, and recommendations.

(2) ELEMENTS. The report required by paragraph (1) shall include:

(A) the recommendations required by subsection (c)(2)(B);
(B) a description of the military capabilities and force structure necessary to support the nuclear weapons strategy recommended under that subsection, including nuclear, non-nuclear kinetic, and nonkinetic capabilities that might support the strategy, and other factors that might affect strategic stability;
(C) a description of the nuclear infrastructure (that is, the size of the nuclear complex) required to support the strategy and the appropriate organizational structure for the nuclear security enterprise
(D) an assessment of the role of missile defenses in the strategy;
(E) an assessment of the role of cyber defense capabilities in the strategy;
(F) an assessment of the role of space systems in the strategy;
(G) an assessment of the role of nonproliferation programs in the strategy;
(H) an assessment of the role of nuclear arms control in the strategy;
(I) an assessment of the political and military implications of the strategy for the United States and its allies; and
(J) any other information or recommendations relating to the strategy (or to the strategic posture) that the Commission considers appropriate.