Intelligence and Investigation Talent Moves (November 2020)

Ken Chan
3 min readDec 1, 2020

Last week, president-elect Joe Biden announced the nomination of Antony Blinken to the position of secretary of state. Tony served as deputy secretary of state (2015 to 2017) and deputy national security adviser (2013 to 2015) during the Obama administration.

For the position of defense secretary, Biden has yet to make a decision, but Michèle Flournoy is a likely pick. Michèle is a former under secretary of defense for policy (2009 to 2012).

Tony and Michèle launched the strategic consultancy WestExec Advisors LLC in 2017, together with two departing Obama officials Sergio Aguirre and Nitin Chadda. WestExec is loaded with other former top Democratic national security and foreign policy officials, and is said to be Biden’s cabinet-in-waiting. Avril Haines, a former WestExec employee, has been chosen by Biden as the national intelligence director.

The website of WestExec has a meet-the-team page, four founders in the first place, followed by other employees and senior advisors. We checked out the archived page, and noted a subtle yet interesting change:

Archived page dated 23 February 2020
Archived page dated 5 March 2020

Michèle Flournoy was originally placed first, followed by Antony Blinken. But since the beginning of March 2020, the sequence changed. Tony the first and Michèle the second.

Does the change reflect who is in charge of the company? Or it looks better and more legit to put secretary of state (to-be) in front of secretary of defense (to be), with reference to the US order of precedence? Any idea?

Next, we continue to look at some of the personnel changes in the intelligence, investigation and consultancy industry. The information is obtained through our sources as well as research of LinkedIn, Glassdoor, corporate and news websites etc.

  • In May, we reported that director general Alexis Loyer was leaving the the Paris-based influence firm ESL & Network. According to his LinkedIn profile, he…