Names: Pakistan personnel shift at the NSC
The NSC is getting a new Pakistan director following the departure of Shamila Chaudhary, who left this last week after over a decade in government to join the private sector. She will be replaced by career Foreign Service officer Dawn Schrepel, who most recently worked for former Deputy Secretary Jim Steinberg as his special assistant ...
The NSC is getting a new Pakistan director following the departure of Shamila Chaudhary, who left this last week after over a decade in government to join the private sector. She will be replaced by career Foreign Service officer Dawn Schrepel, who most recently worked for former Deputy Secretary Jim Steinberg as his special assistant on South and Central Asia issues.
Chaudhary gave up one job to take two new ones, starting today as an analyst for the Eurasia Group as well as senior South Asia Fellow at the New America Foundation. She worked for years as a self-described backbencher at the State Department, before catching Secretary of State Hillary Clinton‘s attention after the two debated the wisdom of engaging non-governmental centers of power in Pakistan. Soon afterwards, Clinton promoted her to State Department’s policy planning staff. She had joined the NSC in April 2010.
"We are thrilled that Shamila is joining our South Asia team at New America," New America President Steve Coll said in a release. "She has worked all of the hard issues on the inside of government and yet retains a fresh, creative, energized and inter-disciplinary perspective. "
"I am delighted to welcome Shamila to the firm," said Eurasia Group Head of Research David Gordon in another release. "Her analytical strength and depth of regional expertise will be a true asset to our Asia coverage."
By choosing Schrepel as Chaudhary’s replacement, the NSC can maintain its links to the State Department on Pakistan issues, especially with the office of Special Representative for Afghanistan and Pakistan Marc Grossman. Chaudhary was a key interlocutor between the NSC and SRAP.
Grossman will be in Pakistan Tuesday for a meeting with his Pakistani and Afghan counterparts.
Schrepel has a solid reputation and, although she is not seen as a Pakistan expert per se, she was posted in Karachi for a year. She reports to Jeff Eggers, the active duty Navy SEAL who was recently was named senior director for Afghanistan and Pakistan following the retirement of Bush administration holdover John Tien.
Eggers now leads a team of six directors at the NSC — three on Pakistan, three on Afghanistan. On Pakistan, there’s Schrepel, Phil Reiner from OSD Policy, and Tamanna Salikuddin. The Afghanistan directors are Abigail Friedman, Stan Byers, and Jeff Hayes.
All of them still report up to Gen. Doug Lute, the deputy national security advisor for Iraq and Afghanistan, who is still in place despite months of reports that he was on the way out. The Washington Post‘s Al Kamen reported last week that Lute told his staff he is staying "indefinitely." We’re told that the White House has had trouble finding a suitable replacement for Lute, who still represents a valuable link to the military. Meanwhile, Lute seems content to keep up with the daily grind of Af-Pak policy despite the fact that he has never been a core member of the Obama clique.
Meanwhile, there’s still no permanent replacement for departed India Senior Director Anish Goel. His job is being done for the time being by Acting Senior Director Michael Newbill, who accompanied Clinton on her recent trip to India. Newbill reports to Special Advisor Dennis Ross, and India remains on an entirely different bureaucratic branch from Af-Pak in the NSC, as it does at the State Department.
Josh Rogin covers national security and foreign policy and writes the daily Web column The Cable. His column appears bi-weekly in the print edition of The Washington Post. He can be reached for comments or tips at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Previously, Josh covered defense and foreign policy as a staff writer for Congressional Quarterly, writing extensively on Iraq, Afghanistan, Guantánamo Bay, U.S.-Asia relations, defense budgeting and appropriations, and the defense lobbying and contracting industries. Prior to that, he covered military modernization, cyber warfare, space, and missile defense for Federal Computer Week Magazine. He has also served as Pentagon Staff Reporter for the Asahi Shimbun, Japan's leading daily newspaper, in its Washington, D.C., bureau, where he reported on U.S.-Japan relations, Chinese military modernization, the North Korean nuclear crisis, and more.
A graduate of George Washington University's Elliott School of International Affairs, Josh lived in Yokohama, Japan, and studied at Tokyo's Sophia University. He speaks conversational Japanese and has reported from the region. He has also worked at the House International Relations Committee, the Embassy of Japan, and the Brookings Institution.
Josh's reporting has been featured on CNN, MSNBC, C-Span, CBS, ABC, NPR, WTOP, and several other outlets. He was a 2008-2009 National Press Foundation's Paul Miller Washington Reporting Fellow, 2009 military reporting fellow with the Knight Center for Specialized Journalism and the 2011 recipient of the InterAction Award for Excellence in International Reporting. He hails from Philadelphia and lives in Washington, D.C. Twitter: @joshrogin
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