Employment Is Job One, but Foreign Policy Could Boost Romney

Announcement could offer another boost as GOP front-runner rebounds.

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Jobs will be the No. 1 issue this presidential election season, but with turmoil in the Middle East, a rising power in China, and wars in Iraq and Afghanistan winding down, those hoping to be commander-in-chief will have to prove their foreign policy know-how. Or, at the very least, show voters that they've got friends with foreign policy experience

[Read: Will foreign policy experience matter in 2012?]

Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, who's re-emerging as the front-runner as others implode around him, is doing just that. He released the roster for his foreign policy team Thursday morning, in advance of a speech on international matters scheduled for Friday at the Citadel in South Carolina. "America and our allies are facing a series of complex threats. To shape them before they explode into conflict, our foreign policy will have to be guided by a strategy of American strength," Romney said in a statement released by the campaign. "I am deeply honored to have the counsel of this extraordinary group of diplomats, experts, and statesmen. Their remarkable experience, wisdom, and depth of knowledge will be critical to ensuring that the 21st century is another American Century."

[See a collection of political cartoons on Afghanistan.]

His team of about 40 people is a diverse mix of academics, think-tank scholars, former top Defense Department officials, and diplomats. He's also got some bigger names, like former Central Intelligence Agency Director Michael Hayden and former Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff, who are both on his working group for counterterrorism and intelligence.

Though others in the GOP race, like former Utah Gov. Jon Huntsman, who also served as ambassador to China before launching his presidential campaign, have better on-paper experience working abroad, Romney's demonstrated in debates and speeches that he's got a vision for how America should approach the rest of the world­â€”and it's going to be different from President Obama's. On his website, it reads: "Instead of apologizing for America abroad and 'leading from behind,' Mitt Romney will pursue a strategy of American strength."

[Read about Republicans going dovish on Afghanistan.]

By leading the pack on forming a foreign policy team, Romney could gain a greater edge over other candidates. It shows that he's more prepared than others like businessman Herman Cain, for instance, who's seen a recent rise in polls but continues to struggle with a limited staff. Texas Gov. Rick Perry, considered another major contender, has faltered in debates on foreign policy issues.

Here's a list, provided by the Romney campaign, of his new team:

SPECIAL ADVISERS

Cofer Black

Vice President of Blackbird Technologies; Director of the CIA Counter-Terrorism Center (1999-2002); United States Department of State Coordinator for Counter-Terrorism (2002-2004)

Christopher Burnham

Vice Chairman of Deutsche Bank Asset Management; United Nations Under-Secretary-General for Management (2005-2006); United States Under Secretary of State for Management (2001-2005)

Michael Chertoff

Chairman of the Chertoff Group; United States Secretary of Homeland Security (2005-2009); Judge on the United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit (2003-2005)

Eliot Cohen

Director of the Strategic Studies Program at the School of Advanced International Studies, Johns Hopkins University; Counselor to the United States Department of State (2007-2009); Defense Policy Advisory Board Member (2001-2009)

Norm Coleman

Chairman of the Board, American Action Network; Adviser to the Republican Jewish Coalition; United States Senator (Republican, -MN) (2003-2009)

John Danilovich

Member of the Trilantic European Advisory Council; CEO of Millennium Challenge Corporation (2005-2009); Ambassador to Brazil (2004-2005); Ambassador to Costa Rica (2001-2004)

Paula Dobriansky

Senior Fellow at the John F. Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University; Under Secretary of State for Democracy and Global Affairs (2001-2009)

Eric Edelman

Visiting Scholar at School of Advanced International Studies at Johns Hopkins University; Under Secretary of Defense for Policy (2005-2009); Principal Deputy Assistant to the Vice President for National Security Affairs (2001-2003)

Michael Hayden

Principal of the Chertoff Group; Director of the Central Intelligence Agency (2006-2009); Director of the National Security Agency (1999-2005)

Kerry Healey

President, Friends of the Public-Private Partnership for Justice Reform in Afghanistan; Lieutenant Governor of Massachusetts (2003-2007); Trustee, American University of Afghanistan

Kim Holmes

Vice President of Foreign and Defense Policy Studies at the Heritage Foundation; Assistant Secretary of State for International Organization Affairs (2001-2005)

Robert Joseph

Senior Scholar at the National Institute for Public Policy; Under Secretary of State for Arms Control and International Security (2005-2007)

Robert Kagan

Syndicated Columnist; Senior Fellow at the Brookings Institution in the Center on United States and Europe; Board Member of the Foreign Policy Initiative

John Lehman

Chairman and Founding Partner, J. F. Lehman & Co.; National Security Advisory Counsel for the Center for Security Policy; Secretary of the Navy (1981-1987); Member of the 9/11 Commission

Walid Phares

Professor of Global Strategies at the National Defense University in Washington; Member of the Advisory Board of the Task Force on Future Terrorism at the Department of Homeland Security (2006-2007)

Pierre Prosper

Partner at Arent Fox; United States Ambassador-at-Large for War Crimes Issues (2001-2005); Special Counsel and Policy Adviser to the Ambassador-at-Large for War Crimes Issues (1999-2001)

Mitchell Reiss

President of Washington College; Director of Policy Planning at State Department (2001-2005); Special Envoy for Northern Ireland (2005-2007)

Daniel Senor

Partner at Rosemont Capital; Coalition Provisional Authority Spokesman and Senior Advisor (2003-2004); Director and Co-Founder, Foreign Policy Initiative

Jim Talent

Distinguished Fellow at the Heritage Foundation; United States Senator (R-MO) (2002-2007)

Vin Weber

Managing Partner, Clark & Weinstock; Member of the United States House of Representatives (R-MN) (1981-1993)

Richard Williamson

Partner at Winston & Strawn; United States Ambassador to the United Nations Commission on Human Rights (2004); Special Envoy to Sudan (2008-2009); Assistant Secretary of State for International Organization Affairs (1988-1989)

Dov Zakheim

Senior Advisor at the Center for Strategic and International Studies; Under Secretary of Defense (Comptroller) (2001-2004); Deputy Undersecretary of Defense for Planning and Resources (1985-1987)

WORKING GROUP CHAIRS AND CO-CHAIRS

Afghanistan & Pakistan

James Shinn, Co-Chair

Lecturer at Princeton University; Assistant Secretary of Defense for Asian and Pacific Security Affairs (2007-2008)

Ashley Tellis, Co-Chair

Senior Associate at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace; Senior Adviser to the Undersecretary of State for Political Affairs (2003)

Africa

Tibor Nagy, Chair

Vice Provost for International Affairs at Texas Tech University; Ambassador to Ethiopia (1999-2002); Ambassador to Guinea (1996-1999)

Asia-Pacific

Evan Feigenbaum, Co-Chair

Executive Director of the Paulson Institute; Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for South and Central Asia (2006-2009); Member for East Asia, Secretary of State's Policy Planning Staff (2001-2006)

Aaron Friedberg, Co-Chair

Professor of Politics and International Affairs at Princeton University; Deputy Assistant for National Security Affairs and Director of Policy Planning, Office of the Vice President (2003-2005)

Kent Lucken, Co-Chair

Director at Citigroup Private Bank in Boston; Former Foreign Service Officer; Board Member for the US-Asia Institute

Counter-Proliferation

Eric Edelman, Co-Chair

Visiting Scholar at School of Advanced International Studies at Johns Hopkins University; Under Secretary of Defense for Policy (2005-2009); Principal Deputy Assistant to the Vice President for National Security Affairs (2001-2003)

Robert Joseph, Co-Chair

Senior Scholar at the National Institute for Public Policy; Under Secretary of State for Arms Control and International Security (2005-2007)

Stephen Rademaker, Co-Chair

Principal at Podesta Group; Assistant Secretary of State for International Security and Nonproliferation (2002-2006); Policy Director for National Security Affairs and Senior Counsel to Senator Bill Frist (2006-2007)

Counterterrorism & Intelligence

Michael Chertoff, Co-Chair

Chairman of the Chertoff Group; Secretary of Homeland Security (2005-2009); Judge on the United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit (2003-2005)

Michael Hayden, Co-Chair

Principal of the Chertoff Group; Director of the Central Intelligence Agency (2006-2009); Director of the National Security Agency (1999-2005)

Defense

John Lehman, Co-Chair

Chairman and Founding Partner, J.F. Lehman & Co.; National Security Advisory Council for the Center for Security Policy; Secretary of the Navy (1981-1987); Member of the 9/11 Commission

Roger Zakheim, Co-Chair

Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense (2008-2009)

Europe

Nile Gardiner, Co-Chair

Director of the Heritage Foundation's Margaret Thatcher Center for Freedom; Foreign Policy Researcher for British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher (2000-2002)

Kristen Silverberg, Co-Chair

Chief Operating Officer at Vorbeck Materials; Ambassador to the European Union (2008-2009); Assistant Secretary of State for International Organization Affairs (2005-2008)

Human Rights

Pierre Prosper, Chair

Partner at Arent Fox; United States Ambassador-at-Large for War Crimes Issues (2001-2005); Special Counsel and Policy Adviser to the Ambassador-at-Large for War Crimes Issues (1999-2001)

International Assistance

Grant Aldonas, Co-Chair

Senior Adviser at Center for Strategic and International Studies; Under Secretary for International Trade at the Commerce Department (2001-2005); Member of the Board of the Overseas Private Investment Corporation (2001-2005)

Daniel Runde, Co-Chair

Director of Prosperity and Development at Center for Strategic and International Studies; Former Director of the Office of Global Development Alliances at USAID (2005-2007); Head of Philanthropy Relations at the International Finance Corporation (2007-2010)

International Organizations

Christopher Burnham, Co-Chair

Vice Chairman Deutsche Bank Asset Management; United Nations Under-Secretary-General for Management (2005-2006); United States Under Secretary of State for Management (2001-2005)

Paula Dobriansky, Co-Chair

Senior Fellow at the Harvard University John F. Kennedy School of Government; Under Secretary of State for Democracy and Global Affairs (2001-2009)

Robert O'Brien, Co-Chair

Partner at Arent Fox; US Alternate Representative to the 60th session of the United Nations General Assembly (2005-2006); Former legal officer with the United Nations Security Council (Compensation Commission) (2006-2008)

Latin America

Clifford Sobel, Co-Chair

Ambassador to Brazil (2006-2009); Ambassador to the Netherlands (2001-2005); Member United States Holocaust Memorial Council (1994-1998)

Ray Walser, Co-Chair

Senior Policy Analyst at the Heritage Foundation; Director of the Foreign Service Institute's Western Hemisphere Area Studies program (2005-2007); 27-year Foreign Service Officer

Middle East & North Africa

Mary Beth Long, Co-Chair

Senior Vice President at Neural IQ Government Services; Assistant Secretary of Defense for International Security Affairs (2007-2009)

Meghan O'Sullivan, Co-Chair

Lecturer at Kennedy School of Government; Special Assistant to President George W. Bush and Deputy National Security Advisor for Iraq and Afghanistan (2004-2007)

Walid Phares, Co-Chair

Professor of Global Strategies at the National Defense University in Washington; Member of the Advisory Board of the Task Force on Future Terrorism at the Department of Homeland Security (2006-2007)

Russia

Leon Aron, Co-Chair

Resident Scholar and Director of Russian Studies at the American Enterprise Institute; Author of Yeltsin: A Revolutionary Life and other noted works; Contributed to The New Russian Foreign Policy

William Martel, Co-Chair

Associate Professor of International Security Studies at the Fletcher School, Tufts University

  • Read: Will Foreign Policy Experience Matter in 2012?
  • Read about Republicans going dovish on Afghanistan.
  • See a collection of political cartoons on Afghanistan.