The Department of Defense, in consultation with the Secretary of the Army, announced Mr. Michael McNerney as the Director of the Civilian Protection Center of Excellence. McNerney previously served at the RAND Corporation as a senior international and defense researcher and has published extensively on civilian protection issues.
McNerney served in both the public and private sectors, including more than 15 years with the U.S. government focused on national security strategy development and planning, civil-military coordination, international security sector reform, decision making in conflict, and international relations.
As director, McNerney will oversee the efforts to establish the institution which will help advance the Department’s approach to civilian harm mitigation and response.
In January 2022, Secretary Austin directed the Under Secretary of Defense for Policy to develop a the Civilian Harm Mitigation and Response Action Plan (CHMR-AP) which outlines the steps the Department of Defense will take, and resources required, to improve its approach to civilian harm mitigation and response. Subsequently, the Secretary of Defense released the CHMR-AP on August 2022 directing the Secretary of the Army to create the Civilian Protection Center of Excellence to “expedite and institutional the advancement of knowledge, practice, and tools for preventing, mitigating, and responding to civilian harm.”
The Secretary of Defense and the Secretary of the Army have full confidence in Mr. McNerney’s ability to oversee the standup of the Civilian Protection Center of Excellence.