Ellen Laipson is president and chief executive officer of the Stimson Center. She also directs the Middle East/Southwest Asia project, and focuses in particular on security issues in the Gulf region. Laipson joined Stimson in 2002, after 25 years of government service. Key positions included vice chair of the National Intelligence Council (NIC) (1997-2002), and special assistant to the U.S. permanent representative to the United Nations (1995-97). At the NIC, Laipson co-managed the interdisciplinary study "Global Trends 2015," and directed the NIC's outreach to think tanks and research organizations on a wide range of national security topics.
Laipson's earlier government career focused on analysis and policymaking on Middle East and South Asian issues. She was the director for Near East and South Asian Affairs for the National Security Council (1993-95), national intelligence officer for Near and South Asia (1990-93), a member of the State Department's policy planning staff (1986-87), and a specialist in Middle East affairs for the Congressional Research Service.
Laipson is a frequent speaker on Middle East issues, and on US foreign policy and global trends. She served on the board of Education for Employment from 2003 to 2011, and currently serves on the board of the Asia Foundation and the International Advisory Council of the International Institute for Strategic Studies (IISS). In late 2009, President Obama named Laipson to the President's Intelligence Advisory Board and in 2011, she was named to the Secretary of State’s Foreign Affairs Policy Board.
Laipson has an MA from the School of Advanced International Studies, Johns Hopkins University, and a BA from Cornell University.