News Release

For Immediate Release
Contact: John Stimpson, Communications Associate

Mary Lou Leary and Linda Petrone Join CNA's Board of Trustees

Arlington, Va. — CNA President and CEO Katherine McGrady has welcomed Mary Lou Leary and Linda Petrone to the CNA Board of Trustees. They join an unparalleled team of professionals in national security and public research.

“I am very excited to have these two outstanding professionals join the CNA Board of Trustees,” said McGrady. “Their backgrounds are in perfect alignment with our research priorities and areas of focus. CNA’s ongoing efforts to protect the safety and security of our nation, whether it’s our work with the Navy and Marine Corps, or the projects we are engaged with in the law enforcement arena, will be enhanced by the insights they will bring to the table. We are excited to welcome them to our CNA family,” said McGrady.

Leary has 30 years of criminal justice experience at the federal, state and local levels, with an extensive background in criminal prosecutions, government leadership and victim advocacy. She currently serves as an independent public policy consultant on issues of criminal justice, public safety and drug abuse. During the Obama administration, she was the deputy director of the Office of National Drug Control Policy, where she oversaw its Office of Policy, Research and Budget. Previously, she was the acting assistant attorney general for the Office of Justice Programs. Her career has included extensive trial and grand jury experience as an assistant U.S. attorney in the District of Columbia and assistant district attorney in Middlesex County, Massachusetts. Leary was also the executive director of the National Center for Victims of Crime, a leading victim advocacy organization in Washington, D.C.

Petrone has 38 years of experience in the intelligence community, where she is widely recognized as an engaging collaborator with a proven ability to break through entrenched organizational and cultural barriers to find common ground. She most recently served as a senior executive in the Office of the Secretary of Defense as the director of Intelligence Strategy, Policy, and Integration. She was responsible for strategic oversight of eight defense intelligence organizations, development of a broad range of policy guidance, and ensuring the alignment and integration of defense and national intelligence priorities. Previously, Petrone served at the National Reconnaissance Office, the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency, and as an intelligence program analyst at the Defense Intelligence Agency. As a naval intelligence officer, she served as a briefer for the Secretary of Defense and the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. She was also the special assistant to the director of the Naval Reserve Intelligence Program.

Leary received her law degree from Northeastern University School of Law, master’s degree in education from Ohio State University, and bachelor’s degree in English literature from Syracuse University. Petrone earned a master’s degree in National Security and Strategic Studies from the Naval War College and a bachelor’s degree from the United States Naval Academy.

“We are delighted to welcome two new trustees whose distinguished public service reflects upon key areas of engagement for CNA,” said CNA Board Chair Roderick von Lipsey. “Mary Lou Leary brings an important perspective to our engagement with the nation’s law enforcement community at the federal, state and local levels. Linda Petrone’s extensive work in the intelligence and national security communities brings a breadth and depth of experience in mission areas key to our primary FFRDC sponsors,” he said.

CNA is a nonprofit research and analysis organization dedicated to the safety and security of the nation. It operates the Center for Naval Analyses — the only Federally Funded Research and Development Center (FFRDC) serving the Department of the Navy — as well as the Institute for Public Research. CNA is dedicated to developing actionable solutions to complex problems of national importance. With nearly 700 scientists, analysts and professional staff, CNA takes a real-world approach to gathering data. Its one-of-a-kind field program places analysts on carriers and military bases, in squad rooms and crisis centers, working side-by-side with operators and decision-makers around the world. CNA supports naval operations, fleet readiness and great power competition. Its non-defense research portfolio includes criminal justice, homeland security and data management.

Note to writers and editors: CNA is not an acronym and is correctly referenced as "CNA, a research organization in Arlington, VA."


Elizabeth Cutler
Communications Program Manager

Liza Cordeiro
Senior Advisor Marketing