Colonel Fernando Lujan is a U.S. Army Special Forces Officer and Foreign Area Specialist. He most recently served with the State Department as a member of the U.S. negotiating team seeking a political settlement in Afghanistan. From 2014 to 2017, he was Director for Afghanistan, then Senior Director for South Asia on the National Security Council at the White House, where he helped lead interagency planning for the South Asia Strategy and regional counterterrorism efforts. As a member of the CJCS “Af-Pak Hands” program, Fernando was trained in Dari and embedded with various Afghan military units throughout southern Afghanistan, then later served as the Deputy Commander of the Commando Special Operations Advisory Group at Camp Morehead. Over a 23-year military career, he deployed with special operations forces throughout Latin America, South Asia, and the Middle East. His writing on Afghanistan and irregular warfare has been published in Foreign Affairs, Foreign Policy, the New York Times, the Washington Post, and Small Wars Journal. Fernando was selected as a Council on Foreign Relations International Affairs Fellow, where he researched small-scale approaches to counterterrorism, culminating in the Center for New American Security report “Light Footprints: The Future of American Military Intervention.” He holds a bachelor's degree (in physics) from West Point, and a master’s degree (in public policy) from Harvard. Fernando is currently a Ph.D. student at the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies, where he is researching the strategic use of social media by competing state actors to advance their foreign policy objectives in the developing world.
Functional Expertise: Disinformation, Influence Warfare, Counterterrorism, Irregular Warfare
Regional Expertise: South Asia