Heather A. Conley is the sixth president of the German Marshall Fund. Ms. Conley arrives at GMF after 12 years at the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS), where she most recently served as senior vice president for Europe, Eurasia, and the Arctic and as director of the Europe, Russia, and Eurasia Program. At CSIS, Ms. Conley developed the acclaimed Kremlin Playbook series, a dedicated research effort that examined the doctrine and methodology of Russian malign economic behavior and its methodology across Europe. She also is a recognized expert on the Arctic region, focusing on the Russian Arctic, climate transformation and U.S. policy toward the region.
Ms. Conley previously served four years as executive director of the Office of the Chairman of the Board at the American National Red Cross, where she supported the first comprehensive reform of the governance structure of the American Red Cross Board since 1947, incorporating modern best-governance practices. She worked closely with the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) on the International Movement’s policies and programs in the Middle East and elsewhere.
From 2001 to 2005, Ms. Conley was deputy assistant secretary of state in the Bureau of European and Eurasian Affairs with responsibilities for U.S. bilateral relations with the countries of Northern and Central Europe. She co-led the U.S. interagency effort to enlarge NATO and secure Senate ratification of an Amended NATO Treaty, and she created a senior level U.S. dialogue with the eight Nordic and Baltic states, the Enhanced Partnership in Europe (e-PINE). Earlier in her career, she worked at an international consulting firm led by former U.S. deputy secretary of state Richard L. Armitage.
Ms. Conley began her career in the Bureau of Political-Military Affairs at the U.S. Department of State. She was selected to serve as special assistant to the coordinator of U.S. assistance to the newly independent states of the former Soviet Union, and she has received two State Department Meritorious Honor Awards. Conley frequently appears as a foreign policy analyst and Europe expert on CNN, MSNBC, BBC, NPR, and PBS, among other prominent media outlets. She received her B.A. in international studies from West Virginia Wesleyan College and her M.A. in international relations from the Johns Hopkins University School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS).