Students & Alumni

IWP mourns the passing of alumnus Shawn Brimley

Shawn Brimley speaking

Above: Shawn Brimley speaking at an IWP event when he was a student at the Institute.

We at The Institute of World Politics are saddened by the passing of former student Shawn Brimley, a military strategist and senior official at the White House and Pentagon.

Shawn dedicated much of his life to foreign and national security policy. He served for five years in the Canadian army before moving to D.C.  He began studying at IWP before we offered an M.A. program.

He served in the U.S. government from 2009 to 2012 in the Obama Administration as special adviser to the Under Secretary of Defense for Policy (the most senior defense policy making position under the Secretary of Defense), and Director of Strategic Planning at the National Security Council.

“We were very proud when we learned that Shawn was appointed as a strategist on President Obama’s NSC,” remembers IWP Founder and President John Lenczowski. “He was a very sound strategic thinker who was unfailing in his recognition of global strategic realities inimical to the vital interests of the United States.”

More recently, Shawn worked as the Executive Vice President and Director of Studies at the Center for a New American Security, a defense and security policy think tank located in Washington, D.C. of which he was a founding member.

He was awarded the Secretary of Defense Medal for Outstanding Public Service and the Office of the Secretary of Defense Medal for Exceptional Public Service. He was also instrumental in promoting the “third offset strategy” now utilized by the Pentagon for preemptive military strategy towards Russia and China.

Mr. Brimley is survived by his wife, Marjorie, and three children: Claire, age 8; Austin, age 6; and Tommy, age 3. Please click here to support the Brimley Children Education Fund.