Mackenzie Eaglen specializes in defense strategy, military readiness and the defense budget as research fellow for national security studies at The Heritage Foundation. Eaglen, a policy expert attached to Heritage's Allison Center for Foreign Policy Studies, also focuses on the defense industrial base and the size and structure of the nation's armed forces.
In 2010, Eaglen served as a staff member of the congressionally mandated Quadrennial Defense Review Independent Panel, a bipartisan, blue-ribbon commission established to assess the Pentagon's major defense strategy.
Her commentary and analysis have appeared in major newspapers such as The New York Times and The Washington Post, in military-focused publications such as Defense News and Army Times and in journals such as Armed Forces Journal, Proceedings, National Defense, Ripon Society Forum and Military Technology.
Eaglen also is a regular contributor to leading blogs, including GlobalSecurity's “SitRep,” NRO's “The Corner” and Time magazine’s “Battleland.”
Before joining Heritage in 2006, Eaglen was principal defense adviser to Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine), a senior member of the Senate Armed Services Committee and ranking member of the Homeland Security Committee. She previously served as legislative assistant to Rep. John E. Sweeney (R-NY).
Eaglen served for more than two years at the Pentagon as a Presidential Management Fellow. She researched and analyzed defense resources and budgeting, strategic planning, Iraqi reconstruction efforts and the U.S. defense industrial base. She wrote speeches for Air Force Gen. Richard B. Myers, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff following the September 11 attacks. Earlier, she was a national security analyst at the Association of the United States Army's Institute of Land Warfare.
She has lectured at the Army War College, National Defense University, American University, Georgetown University, George Washington University, University of Georgia, Indiana University and Hofstra University.
Eaglen has appeared on defense panels at venues such as the Foreign Policy Research Institute, National Guard Association, Reserve Officers Association, Federalist Society, National Defense Industrial Association, Center for Security Policy, CATO Institute and the Security Industry Association. She participated in the Department of Defense Executive Course on National and International Security and the Army G-8 leadership symposium.
Eaglen received her master's degree in national security studies in 2001 from Georgetown University. She graduated from Mercer University, in Macon, Ga., with a bachelor's degree in international affairs. She and her husband welcomed a son in 2010.