The National Security Network (NSN) was founded in June 2006 to revitalize America’s national security policy, bringing cohesion and strategic focus to the progressive national security community.
Rand Beers, Founder
Before founding the National Security Network, Rand Beers served as the National Security Adviser to the Kerry-Edwards 2004 campaign, and was for 35 years a civil servant. After serving as a Marine officer and rifle company commander in Vietnam, he entered the Foreign Service in 1971 and the Civil Service in 1983. From 1988-98, Mr. Beers served on the White House National Security Council Staff as Director for Counter-terrorism and Counter-narcotics, Director for Peacekeeping, and Senior Director for Intelligence Programs. From 1998-2003, he was Assistant Secretary of State for International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs. In 2002-03, he was Special Assistant to the President and Senior Director for Combating Terrorism at the National Security Council. Beers earned a BA from Dartmouth College and an MA from the University of Michigan.
NSN is dedicated to developing innovative national security solutions that are both pragmatic and principled. We believe in countering emerging threats by drawing on the best traditions of American foreign policy: a strong and flexible military combined with shrewd diplomacy, the effective use of alliances, and an unwavering commitment to America’s basic values.
Who We Are
The National Security Network (NSN) develops policy vision for exercising American power and addressing global challenges through its elite network and coalition work. NSN’s convening power promotes progressive national security solutions through advocacy and communications efforts. Weaving together policy, politics, messaging, and Hill engagement and education, we work with experts and activists, candidates and elected officials to connect decision-makers and opinion leaders with pragmatic and principled foreign policy options.
NSN is …
- A Washington staff with a wealth of experience and close relationships within diplomatic and military services, Capitol Hill, and political and advocacy campaigns;
- An Advisory Board led by Sandy Berger and Rand Beers with top-level experience in government service, business, and the non-profit sector;
- A convener tackling key foreign policy and national security challenges and identifying progressive solutions;
- A network of experts, foreign policy thinkers and leaders in Washington, DC and throughout the U.S.;
- A nimble organization that works on focus areas ranging from counter-terrorism, the Pentagon budget, and reaching a diplomatic solution to Iran’s nuclear program while simultaneously responding to and shaping the progressive foreign policy narrative on broader national security issues of cybersecurity, climate and human security, Asia and the Pacific, and economic statecraft.
What We Do
We challenge misguided, overly militarized conservative approaches to foreign policy by promoting a pragmatic international engagement that emphasizes diplomatic and economic tools, along with responsible use of military power, to ensure American’s security and promote American values through:
Policy analysis and development: NSN convenes top foreign policy experts and advocates to identify and develop progressive approaches to key foreign policy and national security challenges and distills it for various audiences to use, such as elected officials and coalition partners.
Messaging: NSN works with experts, advocacy groups, and candidates to develop and sharpen national security messages that will resonate with the right audience at the right time.
Building a strong progressive national security infrastructure: NSN offers substantive policy advice, builds bridges between diverse audiences, and shares resources to help progressives – from Capitol Hill to national advocacy campaigns to local community groups – turn shared basic principles into a consistently smart, savvy voice on national security.
NSN works with…
- Capitol Hill leadership, to identify progressive national security and foreign policy solutions and support them with winning messages that build public support;
- Party and political leadership, to educate and support candidates on national security issues;
- National and local media, to shape and frame the media narrative in coverage of national security and foreign policy;
- Traditional think tanks, to help drive their ideas into the media and public;
- Advocacy groups and campaigns, synergizing sophisticated policy analysis with legislative strategy and sharp messaging.