Frances Fragos Townsend is the vice chairman, general counsel, and chief administration officer at MacAndrews & Forbes, Inc. She was formerly the executive vice president for worldwide government, legal, and business affairs, working across MacAndrew’s portfolio companies focusing on international, legal, compliance, and business development issues. Prior to that, she was a corporate partner with Baker Botts LLP. From 2004 to 2008, Townsend served as assistant to President George W. Bush for homeland security and counterterrorism and chaired the Homeland Security Council. She also served as deputy national security advisor for combating terrorism from 2003 to 2004. Townsend spent thirteen years at the U.S. Department of Justice under the administrations of Presidents George H.W. Bush, Bill Clinton, and George W. Bush.
Townsend is an on-air senior national security analyst for CBS News; before that, she was at CNN for seven years. She also serves on the Office of the Director of National Intelligence’s senior advisory group and previously served on the CIA external advisory board and the President’s Intelligence Advisory Board. She is a director on the boards of the public companies Freeport-McMoRan, Scientific Games, SciPlay, and Western Union; she also chairs or serves on the compliance, compensation, governance, corporate social responsibility, and executive committees of those companies. She serves on the boards of three private companies, one as chair; she also chairs the compensation committees of all three. Townsend is a member of the boards of the Atlantic Council; the Center for Strategic and International Studies; the International Republican Institute; the Intrepid Sea, Air, and Space Museum; and the New York City Police Foundation. She also serves on the executive committee of the Trilateral Commission. She is a member of the Aspen Strategy Group. Townsend has received numerous awards for her public service accomplishments. She is also the Co-Chair of the Council on Foreign Relations-sponsored Independent Task Force on Preparing for the Next Pandemic.