Advisory Board

The Medill National Security Journalism Initiative is honored to draw on the expertise of leading practitioners of national security journalism as well as experienced journalism educators.

The advisory boards meet regularly with the Initiative’s staff to help direct activities from professional development to existing Medill undergraduate and graduate classes.

Elisabeth Bumiller
Washington Bureau Chief, New York Times 

ebumiller@nytimes.comElisabeth Bumiller is the Washington Bureau chief and former Pentagon correspondent in the Washington bureau of The New York Times. In 2008 she covered the presidential campaign of Senator John McCain. Previously, from Sept. 10, 2001 to 2006, Ms. Bumiller was a Times White House correspondent who also wrote a weekly column, White House Letter, about the people and behind-the-scenes events of the presidency. Before moving to Washington, from 1999 to 2001, Elisabeth was the Times City Hall Bureau chief responsible for covering Mayor Rudolph W. Giuliani and his Senate race against Hillary Rodham Clinton. From 1979 to 1985, she worked for The Washington Post in Washington, New Delhi, Tokyo and New York. Her first job in journalism was in the Naples bureau of The Miami Herald. Elisabeth is also the author of three books: Condoleezza Rice: An American Life; May You Be the Mother of a Hundred Sons: A Journey Among the Women of India and The Secrets of Mariko: A Year in the Life of a Japanese Woman and Her Family.
Maj. Gen. Andrew B. (Drew) Davis
National Defense University, Director, CAPSTONE
mgendrewdavis@gmail.comDrew Davis assumed the duties of senior director of Capstone, Pinnacle and Keystone courses at the National Defense University in October 2015. He retired from the Marine Corps in October 2008 after a 38-year military career as an infantry officer including tours in three wars: Vietnam, Desert Storm and the global war on terrorism. He has combined careers as a as a Marine officer, journalist, media executive, educator and professional association CEO. Most recently, he retired from a three-year tour as executive director of the Reserve Officers Association of the United States, the congressionally-chartered policy advocate for all uniformed services of the United States. Davis commanded Marines at all levels from rifle platoon to infantry battalion to combatant command component force. He was the director of Marine Corps Public Affairs at the Pentagon from 2001 to 2003. There, he led the development of the embedding program for frontline journalists in the Afghanistan and Iraq conflicts. Davis subsequently commanded U.S. Marine Corps Forces Europe and Africa from 2005 to 2007, and then the Marine Corps Mobilization Command until his retirement. Executive Director, Reserve Officers Association.
 Caroline Drees
Global Head of Reuters Communications (interim) at Thomson Reuters; Global Editor, Editorial Events  

Caroline Dress is a longtime Reuters journalist.  Previously, she was currently Middle East editor and then managing editor, Middle East and Africa, based in Dubai. Drees had been Middle East editor since late 2008, and ran editorial operations in the region throughout the economic downturn, the Gaza conflict in late 2008/early 2009, and the aftermath of Iran’s elections last year. Drees joined Reuters in 1994, and has worked for the company throughout the Middle East, Europe and in the United States. On secondment to the Reuters Foundation in 2006/7, she ran a project to help set up Iraq’s first independent news agency, Aswat al-Iraq. Drees speaks Arabic, French and German.
Anne Gearan
Diplomatic Correspondent
The Washington Post
anne.gearan@washpost.comAnne Gearan is the diplomatic correspondent for The Washington Post. She covers foreign affairs, national security and U.S. security policy and travels extensively with the U.S. secretary of state. She has visited more than 80 countries on six continents while covering the State Department, Pentagon and White House. Gearan writes frequently about U.S. policy and engagement overseas, with particular emphasis on Syria, Iran, Libya, Russia, North Korea and China. Gearan has also focused on Afghanistan and Pakistan, and on Iraq. Gearan joined the Post in 2012 after more than 20 years with The Associated Press, including 10 covering national security issues from Washington. Gearan was the chief diplomatic correspondent for the wire service from 2004 to 2009, and the chief Pentagon correspondent from 2009 to 2011. Gearan was the senior foreign affairs specialist on the White House team for AP prior to joining the Post. She served three times as national security editor in the Washington bureau. Gearan grew up in Rochester, N.Y. as the daughter of a newspaper editor and a former reporter. Her first job was delivering the Rochester Democrat & Chronicle. She lives in Washington with her husband and daughter.
Kelly Kennedy
Author, independent journalist
Kelly Kennedy is the best-selling author of “They Fought for Each Other: The Triumph and Tragedy of the Hardest Hit Unit in Iraq,” published by St. Martin’s Press. She is working on two military non-fiction projects, as well as a rewrite of her first novel. In the past, she has covered health policy,Congress and veterans issues for USA TODAY, as well as military medical and veterans’ issues for the Military Times papers, including Army Times. She served in the United States Army from 1987 to 1993, including tours in the Middle East during Desert Storm, and in Mogadishu, Somalia. After earning her journalism degree at Colorado State University in 1997, she began her writing career as an education reporter for the Ogden Standard-Examiner in Utah, a criminal justice reporter at The Salt Lake Tribune, and a family and education reporter with the Oregonian in Portland. While earning a master’s degree in journalism at the University of Colorado, Kennedy taught journalism classes at both her alma mater and the University of Northern Colorado. In 2010, she received an Honorary Mention John B. Oakes award for her reporting on burn pits in Iraq and Afghanistan. In 2008, she was named a finalist for the Michael Kelly Award for a series, “Blood Brothers,” about a unit she embedded with in Iraq. She is past-president of Military Reporters & Editors. In her spare time, she dances ballet and completely loses her military bearing.
Steven Komarow
Vice President and News Director
CQ Roll Call
steven.komarow@gmail.comSteven Komarow is vice president and news director for CQ Roll Call. was a news correspondent with extensive background in Washington, Europe, and the Middle East. He has covered major U.S. military operations of the past two decades, including Panama, Haiti, the Balkans, Iraq, and Afghanistan.Komarow, 53, began his career as a local news reporter in Washington on the AP’s Metro Desk in 1979. He covered then-Mayor Marion Barry and local government issues before moving to Capitol Hill in 1985. He covered the presidential campaigns in 1988 and in 1992.In 1993, Komarow moved to USA Today as a full-time defense correspondent, covering three secretaries of defense and troops in the field. He was the first reporter to cover a cruise missile launch from inside a B-52 bomber. He accompanied the first ground troops into Bosnia, Kosovo, and Haiti.In 2000, Komarow opened USA Today’s bureau in Berlin, Germany, and wrote news and feature stories from Central and Eastern Europe. After Sept. 11, 2001, he covered the U.S.-led military campaigns in Afghanistan and Iraq.He was embedded with the Army during the invasion of Iraq and went on to cover the capture and trial of Saddam Hussein, reconstruction efforts and the insurgency. He also has reported from across Europe and in Afghanistan, Pakistan, Tajikistan, Yemen, Djibouti, Lebanon and the Persian Gulf states.Komarow returned to USA Today’s Washington bureau in 2003, splitting his time between national security coverage in Washington and reporting from Iraq.In 2006, he returned to the AP as deputy international editor, based at AP headquarters in New York.In April, 2008, he was named deputy bureau chief in Washington, helping manage a team of more than 100 news gatherers and support staff. He was then a senior editor at Bloomberg, overseeing the White House and national security, before joining CQ/Roll Call. Komarow lives in McLean, Virginia and holds a B.A. in political science from George Washington University.
Ellen Nakashima
National Security Reporter, The Washington Post
Ellen.Nakashima@washpost.comEllen Nakashima focuses on issues relating to intelligence, technology and civil liberties. She previously served as a Southeast Asia correspondent for the paper. She wrote about the presidential candidacy of Al Gore and co-authored a biography of Gore, and has also covered federal agencies, Virginia state politics and local affairs. She joined the Post in 1995.
Noah Shachtman
Executive Editor, the Daily Beast

noah.shachtman@gmail.comNoah Shachtman is the Daily Beast’s executive editor, overseeing all of the online magazine’s coverage but specializing  in international security, intelligence, and global affairs. A Non-Resident Fellow at the Brookings Institution’s Center for 21st Century Security and Intelligence, he’s reported from Afghanistan, Israel, Iraq, and Russia. He’s written about technology and defense for The New York Times Magazine, The Wall Street Journal, The Washington Post, Slate, Salon, and The Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists, among others. Previously, Shachtman was a top editor at Foreign Policy and contributing editor at Wired magazine, where he co-founded and edited its national security blog, Danger Room.
Eileen Sullivan
Special Projects/Counterterrorism writer Associated Press

esullivan@ap.orgEileen Sullivan covers counterterrorism for The Associated Press. She previously covered the Department of Homeland Security for the AP and for Congressional Quarterly and Federal Times. In 2012, Sullivan and three other AP reporters won the Pulitzer, Goldsmith and Polk awards for a series of stories that revealed the New York Police Department’s secret programs to spy on Muslims throughout the Northeast since Sept. 11, 2001. Sullivan began her career with the Courier-Post in Cherry Hill, N.J. She graduated from Villanova University in 1999 with a degree in English.
David Tretler
Dean, professor

National Defense University
tretlerd@ndu.eduDavid Tretler is a Professor of Strategy at the National War College in Washington, where he teaches graduate courses in the fundamentals of strategy, military theory, military strategy, and civil-military relations to senior professional military officers and government officials. He retired from the Air Force as a colonel in 1998 after thirty years active service. He flew 250 combat missions in the F-4D Phantom during the Vietnam War, was an instructor pilot in the T-38 jet trainer, served in the plans directorates at both the USAF Air Training Command and USAF headquarters, and was Deputy Chief of Air Force History before joining the faculty at National War College.
John Walcott
Foreign Affairs and National Security Editor, Reuters

jwalcott71@gmail.comJohn Walcott recently joined Reuters as Foreign Affairs and National Security Editor. Prior to that, John held a similar position at Bloomberg News in Washington. He previously was the top editor at SmartBrief and Washington bureau chief for McClatchy and Knight Ridder; national and foreign editor of U.S. News & World Report; national security correspondent for The Wall Street Journal and chief diplomatic correspondent at Newsweek.John is on the faculty of the Walsh School of Foreign Service at Georgetown University and is a faculty associate at Georgetown’s Institute for the Study of Diplomacy. In 2008, Walcott was the inaugural recipient of the I.F. Stone Medal for Journalistic Independence from the Nieman Foundation at Harvard University for Knight Ridder’s critical questioning of the Bush administration’s allegations about Saddam Hussein’s ties to terrorism and weapons of mass destruction. In 2005,he led a Knight Ridder team that won a National Headliner Award for “How the Bush Administration Went to War in Iraq.” His work also has won the Edwin Weintal Prize from Georgetown University, the Edward M. Hood Award and the Freedom of the Press Award from the National Press Club.
David Wood
Chief Military Correspondent
Huffington Post
david.wood@huffingtonpost.comDavid is chief military correspondent at Huffington Post. He was the national security correspondent for, a news site of America Online. He has been a journalist since 1970, a staff correspondent successively for Time Magazine, the Los Angeles Times, Newhouse News Service and The Baltimore Sun. A birthright Quaker and former conscientious objector, he covers military issues, foreign affairs and combat operations, and has been a Pulitzer Prize finalist for national reporting.