November 10, 2020


Making Gender Parity in Senior National Security Roles A Reality

American voters resoundingly shattered a glass ceiling with our country’s first female Vice President. During the campaign period, the Leadership Council for Women in National Security (LCWINS) urged all Presidential candidates to pledge that they would strive for gender parity in senior national security appointments. In this historic election, the American people chose two leaders in Joe Biden and Kamala Harris who signed that pledge and have together committed themselves to forming a government that looks like the people it serves.

LCWINS celebrates our country’s first female Vice President, the historic number of Republican women elected to Congress this year, and the all-women-of-color New Mexico House Delegation. We believe their election signals an unprecedented opportunity for women to lead from their seats at the national security decision making table and throughout the ranks of government.

Getting to this moment has been a remarkable achievement, but we have more work to do. This fall, LCWINS released best practices on political appointments and provided the Biden-Harris transition team with a database of over 800 women who are well-qualified and ready to serve in senior roles. Now we are preparing an addendum to that database to include additional well-qualified women.

We look forward to closely tracking the next Administration’s senior national security and foreign policy appointments. We expect the Biden-Harris Administration to do everything it can to meet its commitment to gender parity in national security and look forward to using our voice to encourage their progress all along the way. We applaud the important first step of announcing national security and foreign policy Agency Review Teams that include 59% women.

We’re here to help, not just keep track.  LCWINS will continue offering itself as a resource to the transition team, to help ensure the next Administration is able to develop a strong diverse national security leadership team.

We will also continue our mission of helping women successfully navigate the political appointment process, including women of color, as well as women from the LGBTQ and disability communities, and other underrepresented groups. We have hosted a series of webinars that provide women with expert guidance on the appointment process and look forward to continuing that series moving forward.

Our country is strongest when its leadership draws on the best talent America has to offer, and we are proud to press for women, in all their diversity, to have equal space at the policy-making table.


The Leadership Council for Women in National Security 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: | 703-795-1929