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Fred Kempe

90 - Fred Kempe
President & CEO, Atlantic Council
When you can pick up the phone and talk to America’s defense secretary just about anytime, you’ve got influence. Do that with top movers and shakers around the world and build an all-star team, that includes such veterans like Brent Scowcroft and Zbigniew Brzezinski, then you’ve got a heavy-hitting organization. When Kempe — a former Wall Street Journal reporter and editor — took over the Atlantic Council, it was a sleepy but venerable think tank committed to supporting the Atlantic Alliance. But it has expanded dramatically, opening Middle East, Latin America, Asia and defense industry studies arms as well as shifting to new glitzy offices. Kempe hired National Security Council veteran Barry Pavel to direct the Council’s Scowcroft Center that includes former Pentagon industrial affairs chief Steve Grundman, and Shuja Nawaz, one of the town’s top South Asia analysts. It’s annual awards gala is widely regarded as the Oscars of national security, with luminaries from defense, industry and the arts converging on Washington for a star-studded evening.


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