June 6, 2022


Emily Perkins and Jen Stewart Join LCWINS in Key Leadership Roles  

The Leadership Council for Women in National Security (LCWINS) is proud to announce that Emily Perkins has been named the organization’s new Executive Director, effective immediately.

“As we confront the current and future challenges of reaching gender parity in America’s national security leadership, LCWINS is excited to add Emily’s impressive skills and energy to our mission,” said Shelly O’Neill Stoneman and Jamie Jones Miller, Co-Chairs of the LCWINS Executive Committee. “We are thrilled to have a deeply experienced and committed leader on board as we drive forward the next phase of our work on behalf of national security women of every background.”  

Ms. Perkins brings 20 years of experience as a senior leader of policy-focused nonprofit organizations with expertise in program management, development, and external relations. She most recently served as the Vice President of Development at the Joint Center for Political and EconomicStudies, where she helped “America’s Black think tank” create a multi-year development strategy and established operational best practices for the organization. Prior to the Joint Center, Ms. Perkins spent eight years at the Brookings Institution leading development strategy and operations for teams whose issues ranged from foreign policy to domestic political institutions. She has also held program management and development roles in the private sector. Ms. Perkins holds a Master of Laws degree from the University of Kent’sBrussels School of International Studies and a bachelor's degree in political science from Boston College.

“I am excited to jump in and carry forward the remarkable efforts of LCWINS. This team and the diverse group of women and allies supporting the organization have done great work advancing gender parity in national security leadership,” Ms. Perkins said. “I am honored to take on this position and look forward to joining the team to build on its incredible foundation of advocacy, leadership, and progress.”

LCWINS is also pleased to announce that Jen Stewart has joined the Executive Committee, which guides the strategy for the organization. Ms.Stewart is a Senior Vice President at WestExec Advisors and has over 19 years of public service, including over 15 consecutive years of serving in senior national security positions at the Department of Defense (DoD) and in Congress.

Prior to her role at WestExec Advisors, Ms. Stewart served as chief of staff to the Secretary of Defense Dr. Mark T. Esper. In this capacity, she was responsible for leading the Secretary’s executive staff, working with civilian executives and senior military leaders across DoD, and providing counsel and advice to the Secretary on all matters concerning the department. Previously, she served as both the majority and minority staff director at the House Committee on Armed Services for the Honorable William M. “Mac” Thornberry, the national security advisor to two Speakers of the House, and as a senior adviser to the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff General Joe Dunford.

“It has been a joy over the last year to work within a community of women continuing to invest in and contribute to our nation’s security. I am energized by this new chapter of my involvement with LCWINS as we continue to identify, develop, and support our members, all of whom are pathfinders committed to helping other pathfinders,” said Ms. Stewart on joining theExecutive Committee. “Jen’s experience and thoughtfulness is an immense contribution to the wonderful group of women implementing the vision for the organization,” Stoneman and Miller affirmed.  

Together, these new appointments help strengthen LCWINS’ ability to support our mission of improving national security by elevating more women to the decision-making table. 


The Leadership Council for Women in NationalSecurity improves national security by ensuring that women, in all their diversity, have equal space at the policy-making table. LCWINS is an organization of women and allies from across the political spectrum working to advance gender inclusion at the highest levels of the U.S. national security and foreign policy workforce.

For more information, contact: Press@lcwins.org | 703-795-1929