Luke Coffey

Director of the Foreign Policy Center at the Heritage Foundation

Luke Coffey oversees research on nations stretching from South America to the Middle East as director of the Allison Center for Foreign Policy Studies at The Heritage Foundation. Coffey, named to the post in December 2015, is responsible for directing policy research for the Middle East, Africa, Russia and the former Soviet Union, the Western Hemisphere, and the Arctic region. Coffey previously was Heritage’s Margaret Thatcher fellow, focusing on relations between the United States and the United Kingdom and on the role of NATO and the European Union in transatlantic and Eurasian security. Before joining the think tank’s Margaret Thatcher Center for Freedom in 2012, Coffey had served at the UK Ministry of Defence since 2010 as senior special adviser to then-British Defence Secretary Liam Fox. Coffey, a U.S. Army veteran, was the first non-UK citizen appointed by Prime Minister David Cameron to provide advice to senior British ministers. Among his duties was helping shape British defense policy in relation to transatlantic security, NATO, the European Union, and Afghanistan. Coffey previously worked in the House of Commons as an adviser on defense and security issues for the Conservative Party. He helped develop and implement policy initiatives on security and defense matters, in particular drafting the defense section of the party’s 2010 election manifesto. Coffey’s work in British politics followed his service to the United States as a commissioned officer in the Army. He spent his entire time on active duty overseas and was stationed in Italy with the Army’s Southern European Task Force. In 2005, Coffey deployed to Afghanistan for a year and was awarded the Bronze Star. Coffey’s commentary and analysis have been published and quoted in Great Britain’s Daily Telegraph, Daily Mail, Guardian, Express, Independent, and Sun newspapers, and, in the U.S., in publications as diverse as The New York Times, The Washington Times, Newsweek, Popular Mechanics, and The Week. Military-oriented media publishing or citing his work include Army Times, Marine Corps Times, Stars and Stripes, Defense News, and Small Wars Journal, and other overseas outlets include the Kyiv Post, Gibraltar Chronicle, and Steppe magazine. Digital outlets for his work include Huffington Post,,, Al Jazeera, The National Interest, The Daily Caller, Politico, National Review Online, and Merco Press. Coffey has been interviewed by BBC, Fox News Channel, MSNBC, Sky News, Sky Arabia, Fox Business Network, Bloomberg, Rudaw, Al Jazeera, British Forces Broadcasting Service, Voice of America, RT (previously Russia Today), and dozens of other radio and television stations across the U.S. and overseas. Coffey has testified before Congress on NATO and transatlantic security issues. He has provided written testimony to the UK’s House of Lords Committee on the Arctic. His research has been quoted in reports by the House of Commons Foreign Affairs Select Committee and the House of Lords Committee on the Arctic. Coffey received a master of science degree in the politics and government of the European Union from the London School of Economics. He holds a bachelor of arts degree in political science from the University of Missouri-St. Louis and studied African politics as a visiting undergraduate at the University of the Western Cape in South Africa. Coffey received an associate of arts degree in military science from Wentworth Military Academy in Lexington, Mo., and serves on the school’s Board of Trustees. An avid traveler, Coffey has lived on four continents and visited more than 60 countries. A native of Catawissa, Mo., he and his family currently reside in Northern Virginia.