Ms. Laipson is president and CEO of the Stimson Center. She also directs the Middle East/Southwest Asia project, and focuses in particular on security issues in the Gulf region. Ms. Laipson joined Stimson in 2002, after 25 years of government service. Key positions included vice chair of the National Intelligence Council (NIC), and special assistant to the U.S. permanent representative to the United Nations. Ms. Laipson`s earlier government career focused on analysis and policymaking on Middle East and South Asian issues. Ms. Laipson is a frequent speaker on Middle East issues, and on U.S. foreign policy and global trends. She serves on President Obama’s President Intelligence Advisory Board and the Secretary of State’s Foreign Affairs Policy Board. She holds an M.A. from the School of Advanced International Studies at the Johns Hopkins University and a B.A. from Cornell University.