Who is Monica Crowley, Trump's latest national security team addition?

Dr. Crowley is one of two key national security appointments announced Thursday.

Evan Vucci/AP
Monica Crowley smiles as she exits the elevator in the lobby of Trump Tower in New York, Thursday, Dec. 15, 2016.

Monica Crowley will be the senior director of strategic communications for the National Security Council (NSC), Donald Trump’s transition team announced Thursday.

Dr. Crowley, who holds a PhD in international relations from Columbia University in New York, began her career as a research assistant and confidante to former President Richard Nixon in 1990 until his passing in 1994. She has since been a Fox News analyst, hosted a conservative radio show, and authored several books as well as a column in The Washington Times.

Since its inception by President Harry Truman in 1947, the NSC has served as “the President’s principal forum for considering national security and foreign policy matters.”

President-elect Trump’s transition team also announced the appointment of Lt. Gen. Keith Kellogg Thursday to the position of NSC’s chief of staff and executive secretary. 

Lt. Gen. Kellogg and Crowley will serve under the council’s previously announced leaders: retired Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn as national security adviser and K.T. McFarland as deputy national security adviser.

As a figure in the conservative media, a vocal critic of President Obama, with little national leadership experience and outspoken support for Trump, Crowley fits the mold of the president-elect’s previous pattern of appointments and nominations.

Ms. McFarland and chief strategist Steve Bannon also have media-related resumes. Top cabinet nominees Ben Carson (for secretary of Housing and Urban Development), Rex Tillerson (for secretary of State), Rick Perry (for secretary of Energy), and Scott Pruitt (Environmental Protection Agency) all have shown similar levels of loyalty to Trump while clearly exhibiting indirect – or nontraditional – experience for their job assignments.

The Christian Science Monitor’s Peter Grier explained the pattern further, comparing Trump’s appointments to a season of "Survivor: Bureaucracy." 

But comparing Trump’s staff moves to casting a reality show is not totally over the top. Trump won a stunning victory in large part by providing the media a campaign story they could not resist, producing hundreds of millions of dollars worth of free coverage. Why should he stop the drama now?

But Crowley’s role is anything but insignificant. She will be replacing Ben Rhodes, Obama’s senior national security advisor, who has been "an influential player on foreign policy issues and a close advisor to the president," explains The Washington Post. 

As director of strategic communications, Mr. Rhodes ran the Iran-deal messaging campaign and negotiated the reopening of American-Cuban relations. He is the "single most influential voice shaping American foreign policy aside from POTUS himself," says The New York Times. Indeed, Rhodes had "a critical hand in shaping the administration’s global security policies and then selling those policies to the world," adds the Daily Beast

How Crowley will handle the role, however, is yet to be determined.

"I am deeply honored, humbled and grateful to be asked by the President-elect to join the extraordinary national security team he is assembling," said Crowley in a statement. "With vision, courage and moral clarity, he is committed fully to reestablishing America’s singular place in the world."

You've read  of  free articles. Subscribe to continue.

Dear Reader,

About a year ago, I happened upon this statement about the Monitor in the Harvard Business Review – under the charming heading of “do things that don’t interest you”:

“Many things that end up” being meaningful, writes social scientist Joseph Grenny, “have come from conference workshops, articles, or online videos that began as a chore and ended with an insight. My work in Kenya, for example, was heavily influenced by a Christian Science Monitor article I had forced myself to read 10 years earlier. Sometimes, we call things ‘boring’ simply because they lie outside the box we are currently in.”

If you were to come up with a punchline to a joke about the Monitor, that would probably be it. We’re seen as being global, fair, insightful, and perhaps a bit too earnest. We’re the bran muffin of journalism.

But you know what? We change lives. And I’m going to argue that we change lives precisely because we force open that too-small box that most human beings think they live in.

The Monitor is a peculiar little publication that’s hard for the world to figure out. We’re run by a church, but we’re not only for church members and we’re not about converting people. We’re known as being fair even as the world becomes as polarized as at any time since the newspaper’s founding in 1908.

We have a mission beyond circulation, we want to bridge divides. We’re about kicking down the door of thought everywhere and saying, “You are bigger and more capable than you realize. And we can prove it.”

If you’re looking for bran muffin journalism, you can subscribe to the Monitor for $15. You’ll get the Monitor Weekly magazine, the Monitor Daily email, and unlimited access to CSMonitor.com.

QR Code to Who is Monica Crowley, Trump's latest national security team addition?
Read this article in
QR Code to Subscription page
Start your subscription today