Interview with Michèle Flournoy

Interview with Michèle Flournoy

International relations alumni Michael Fullilove, Executive Director of the Lowy Institute in Sydney, interviews fellow alumni and leading US figure on security and defence policy Michèle Flournoy for the Institute’s latest Director’s Chair podcast.


Michael studied for a MPhil in International Relations at Balliol and DPhil in International Relations at Nuffield, while Michèle studied for a Master’s degree in International Relations at Balliol.

The Director’s Chair focuses on discussions with political leaders, policy makers and commentators to make sense of world events. Michael has interviewed figures such as other Oxford alumni Jake Sullivan and David Miliband.

In the latest podcast, Michael and Michèle discuss Michèle’s experiences growing up in L.A, her time spent at Oxford, the Bush administration’s decision to invade Iraq and the rise of China, among other areas.

Michèle has had a distinguished career working on defence and foreign policy issues. She served in the Clinton administration as Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defence for Strategy.

She also served in the Obama administration as the Undersecretary of Defence for Policy, which made her the highest ranking female at the time in the history of the Pentagon.

She is now the head of WestExec, a Washington, D.C-based geopolitical and strategic consulting firm and the Chair of the Centre For a New American Security.

Further reading:


Dr Michael Fullilove is Executive Director of the Lowy Institute in Sydney.

Professor Michèle Flournoy is head of WestExec.