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Department of International Security Studies

Department of International Security Studies

The Department of International Security Studies develops senior leaders who can evaluate today's complex, interdependent, and dynamic international system; develop and assess competing strategies for securing national objectives that integrate joint military, multinational, and multi-agency instruments of power; assess the context and content of the processes used in planning US national security policies; and be prepared to work effectively in the national security decision making arena. Our curriculum consists of three courses: National Security and Decision Making (NSDM), Regional Security Studies (RSS), and Global Security (GS).

Colonel Wayne W. Straw, USAF, Department Chair
Advising Interests: Afghanistan, innovation, teaching in JPME or PME, airpower
Degrees: MA, Air War College; MA, School of Advanced Air and Space Studies; MA, College of Naval Command and Staff; MBA, Florida State University; BS, Wake Forest University
Experience: Commandant, Squadron Officer School, 2016-2019; F-15E Weapon Systems Officer—2,000+ hours, 700 combat; Operations ENDURING FREEDOM; NORTHERN WATCH; SOUTHERN WATCH; 2 years in Afghanistan: AfPak Hand embedded with Green Berets; 455 Expeditionary Operations Support Squadron, Bagram Airfield.  CENTCOM and AFCENT tours.
Email: wayne.straw@au.af.edu  / wayne.straw@us.af.mil

Col Thomas Skrocki, USAF, Deputy Department Chair, Instructor
Advising Interests:  Leadership, Organizational Culture and Change, Air Mobility and Expeditionary Operations, Contingency Response, Partnership Development, Interagency, Humanitarian and Disaster Relief
Research Interests:  Goal Oriented Leadership Fundamentals
Degrees:  MA in National Security Resource Strategy with Supply Chain Concentration from the Industrial College of the Armed Forces, National Defense University; MA in Military Operational Art and Science from U.S. Air Force Air Command and Staff College, Air University; MA in Aeronautical Science from Emory Riddle University; BA in Business Administration from Texas A&M University
Experience:  Deputy Chief of Staff, US Pacific Command and J4 Division Chief for Logistics Readiness and Operations, US Pacific Command, HI; Vice Commander, 515 Air Mobility Operations Wing, HI; Deputy Director, CAPSTONE, National Defense University; Deputy Commander, 379 Expeditionary Operations Group, Qatar; and Commander, 817 Global Mobility Squadron, NJ. Master navigator with more than 2,900 flight hours in the KC-135A/R and C-130E/H, including combat and combat support missions beginning with Operation Desert Storm and concluding with Operation Enduring Freedom and Iraqi Freedom. While assigned to Air War College--served as Director, Air Force Culture and Language Center; Mobility Air Forces’ Chair; and Regional Security Studies Director. 
Email:  thomas.skrocki@au.af.edu  / thomas.skrocki@us.af.mil  

Dr. Anna Batta, Assistant Professor of International Security Studies, Global Security Course Director
Advising Interests: Russian foreign policy, Eastern European politics, Former Soviet States, Ethnicity and conflict, Authoritarian regimes, Secessionist civil wars, State building, Balkans
Research Interests: Russian politics, Former Soviet States, Post-Communist studies, Civil Wars, Conflict management, Ethnic minorities, Politics of new states, Unrecognized states
Degrees: PhD, Political Science, Conflict Studies, University of North Texas; MPA Public Administration, University of Texas at Arlington; Honors BA Political Science, University of Texas at Arlington; Associate Degree, Public Administration College Budapest, Hungary
Experience: 2013-2014 Southern Methodist University, Adjunct Lecturer of Political Science; 2014-2015 Eckerd College, Visiting Assistant Professor of Political Science; 2015-present Air War College, Assistant Professor of International Security Studies; Martin Heisler Graduate Student Research Paper Award ISA 2012; Language Program Liaison Air War College 2017-present
Email: anna.batta@au.af.edu 

Dr. Sean Braniff, Assistant Professor of International Security Studies
Advising and Research Interests: Political psychology, international relations theory, causes of war, power transitions, Middle East politics, qualitative research methodology
Degrees: Ph.D. in Political Science (University of Notre Dame), M.A. in Political Science (University of Notre Dame), M.A. in Arab Studies (Georgetown University), B.A. in History (Brigham Young University – Idaho)
Experience: School of Advanced Air and Space Studies (Post-doctoral fellow), Defense Language Institute Foreign Language Center (Assistant Professor), Near East South Asia Center for Strategic Studies (Research Associate)
Email: sean.braniff@au.af.edu
Website: https://seanpbraniff.weebly.com  

Dr. Stephen F. Burgess, Professor of International Security Studies
Advising Interests: African and Asian security issues, Peace and Stabilization Operations, and Weapons of Mass Destruction and US Grand Strategy and Foreign Policy Decision-making.
Research Interests: African and Asian security issues, Peace and Stabilization Operations, and Weapons of Mass Destruction.
Degrees: Ph.D., Michigan State University 
Experience: Faculty member at the University of Zambia, University of Zimbabwe, Vanderbilt University, and Hofstra University 
Email: stephen.burgess.1@au.af.edu

CAPT Bill Cox, USN, Instructor, Director of Regional Security Studies
Advising Interests: Anti-Submarine Warfare, Mine Warfare, NATO Defense Planning, Maritime Strategy, Satellite Operations, Pilot Training. 
Degrees: MBA, Mississippi State University; MS, International Relations, Troy University; BS Aerospace Engineering, US Naval Academy.   Graduate of Naval Command and Staff and Joint Forces Staff College.
Experience: Commanding Officer, Naval Satellite Operations Center; Strategic Analyst, NATO Allied Command Transformation; Navigator, USS George HW Bush (CVN 77); Commanding Officer, Training Squadron Twenty-Eight (VT-28). Seven operational deployments, two aircraft carrier tours, 4 squadron tours, 5,000 flight hours in P-3C, T-44A and T-34C.   
Email: willard.cox@au.af.edu  

Ms. Jennifer L. Duval, State Department Chair to Air University, Instructor
Advising Interests:
 Diplomacy and the uses of diplomatic power; foreign policy development, implementation, and effectiveness; democracy and governance; the role of civil society in democracy; values-based foreign policy; militarization of foreign policy; interagency functions and effectiveness; strategic communication and practical writing for senior leaders; women's role in national security.
Research Interests: Diplomacy; foreign policy development and implementation; interagency functions and effectiveness; women's role in national security; strategic communication; applied critical thinking; applied leadership.
Degrees: Masters of Strategic Studies, Army War College; Bachelor of Science in Economics, University of the Pacific, Stockton, CA; Associate of Arts in French (minor in Italian), West Valley College, CA.
Experience: 1998-present:  Foreign Service Officer, U.S. Department of State:  Key assignments:  Deputy Chief of Mission, U.S. Embassy Bujumbura (Burundi); Regional Director for the Trans-Sahel and Country Director for Burkina Faso, Mali, Mauritania, and Niger, Office of the Secretary of Defense for Policy/International Security Affairs, Africa (Pentagon); Senior Foreign Policy Advisor to the J5 Director of Strategy, Plans, and Programs, U.S. Africa Command (Stuttgart); Consul General, U.S. Embassy Dublin (Ireland); Management Officer, U.S. Embassy Baghdad (Iraq) during the surge; Deputy Consul General/Visa Services Chief and Cultural Affairs Officer, U.S. Embassy Port-au-Prince (Haiti) (two assignments); Multilateral Watch Officer, Nuclear Risk Reduction Center (Washington).  1987-1998:  Stakeholder, investor, and public relations in the high-technology private sector.  Extensive experience teaching targeted, practical writing skills.
Email: jennifer.duval@au.af.edu

Dr. Joshua R. Goodman, Assistant Professor of International Security Studies
Advising Interests: Civil-Military relations and executive branch politics; Irregular Warfare; Coercion and civilian victimization; Middle East politics and history; Saudi-Iran rivalry; Arab-Israeli Conflict. 
Research Interests: Civil-military relations and strategic planning; Intragovernmental and Bureaucratic Politics; Irregular warfare; Civilian victimization; Middle East politics and history; Colonialism; Arab-Israeli Conflict; Persian Gulf and US Foreign Policy; Tribe-State relations; Internal security and combat effectiveness.
Degrees: PhD, Yale University, Department of Political Science; MA, Tel Aviv University, Department of Modern Middle East History; BA, Emory University, International Studies.
Experience: 2018-2020, Visiting Assistant Professor, Government Department, St. Lawrence University
Email: joshua.goodman.11@au.af.edu 
Website: www.joshuargoodman.com  

Dr. Amit Gupta, Associate Professor of International Security Studies
Advising Interests: Globalization, Arms Production and Arms Transfers, Ethnicity and Politics, Diasporas, South Asian Politics, Australian Politics, Popular Culture and Politics, Sports and Politics, Media and Politics. 
Research Interests: Globalization, US-China Rivalry, Demography and Security, Peace Research 
Degrees: Ph.D. University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign; MA Australian National University Canberra. 
Experience: AWC since 2005 
Email Address:  agupta1856@gmail.com 

Mr. Charles E. Hans, Defense Intelligence Chair to Air University, Instructor
Advising Interests:  Intelligence analysis and production processes and methodologies; intelligence collections disciplines and methods; the US Intelligence Community; intelligence collaboration and cooperation; intelligence ethics and politicization; intelligence oversight; the global threat environment
Research Interests: Intelligence in war; intelligence analysis and production processes and methodologies; critical thinking; global terrorism
Degrees: Master of Strategic Studies, Air War College; Bachelor of Business Administration, University of Texas at Austin; Bachelor of Arts in Psychology, University of Texas at Austin
Experience: 1982-2004, United States Navy; 2004-Present, Civilian (Intelligence).  Key assignments:  Intelligence Officer, Strike-Fighter Squadron 34; Senior Intelligence Watch Officer, US Forces Korea; Terrorism Analysis Branch Chief, US Central Command; Senior Terrorism Analyst, US Special Operations Command; Chief of Terrorism Analysis, Joint Interagency Task Force, Afghanistan (multiple tours); Chief of Strategic Assessments, US Central Command; Commander’s Action Group (CAG), US Central Command.
Email: charles.hans.3@au.af.edu 

COL Johnathon M. Kupka, USA, PhD, Instructor
Advising Interests: Public Policy, Policy Decision Making, Civil-Military Relations
Research Interests: Voting Behavior, American Political Campaigns, Policy Attitudes, Civil-Military Relations
Degrees: PhD in Political Science (American Politics & Public Policy), University of Kansas; MS in National Resource Strategy (Supply Chain Management minor), Eisenhower School, National Defense University; MMAS, School of Advanced Military Studies; MPM, Georgetown University
Experience: Commander, 2nd Special Warfare Training Group (Airborne); Deputy J5, Combined Joint Special Operations Task Force – Afghanistan/NATO Special Operations Component Command – Afghanistan; Commander, Headquarters Battalion, U.S. Army; Commander, 39th Special Forces Detachment (Airborne); Junior Military Aide to the Deputy Secretary of Defense, Pentagon; Commander, Headquarters Support Company and Operational Detachment Alpha – 192, 3rd Battalion, 1st Special Forces Group (Airborne); Operational Experience: Operations ENDURING FREEDOM, IRAQI FREEDOM, RESOLUTE SUPPORT, FREEDOM’S SENTINEL
Email: johnathon.kupka@au.af.edu   

Dr. Carrie Lee, Assistant Professor of International Security Studies
Advising Interests: Civil-military relations, nuclear deterrence/nonproliferation, U.S. foreign policy, research that uses statistical or survey methodologies
Research Interests: Civil-military relations, domestic politics and U.S. foreign policy, technology and deterrence, public opinion, counterinsurgency strategy, diversity and military effectiveness.
Degrees: PhD, Political Science/International Relations, Stanford University; SB, Political Science, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Experience: 2015-16 Stanton Nuclear Security Fellow, RAND Corporation (Washington, DC); 2016-17 Postdoctoral scholar for Innovative Approaches to Grand Strategy, University of Notre Dame (South Bend, IN); 2018 Truman National Security Fellow
Email: carrie.lee.2@au.af.edu
Website: http://www.carrieannlee.com 

Dr. Dawn Murphy, Assistant Professor of International Security Studies, Course Director for Regional Security Studies
Advising Interests: China’s international relations, Chinese domestic politics, China-Middle East relations, China-Africa relations, China’s Belt and Road, China’s relations with the developing world, China and the international order, Sino-American relations
Research Interests: China’s international relations, China-Middle East relations, China-Africa relations, China’s Belt and Road, China’s relations with the developing World, China and the international order
Degrees: PhD, Political Science, The George Washington University; MIA, International Affairs, Columbia University; BS, Industrial and Labor Relations, Cornell University
Experience: 1995-2002 Ingersoll Rand, various roles in China and the U.S. in human resource management and information technology system implementations; 2004 Department of Commerce, Office of the Secretary, Presidential Management Fellow, Budget Analyst (Washington, DC); 2005-06 Seitz China, President (Changzhou, China); 2012-13 Princeton-Harvard China and the World Program, Postdoctoral Fellow (Princeton, NJ); 2013-14, The George Washington University, Visiting Assistant Professor of Political Science (Washington, DC)
Email: dawn.murphy@au.af.edu  

Col Christopher Paige, Surgeon General Chair to Air University, Instructor
Advising Interests: Medical Diplomacy; 25th Amendment of the Constitution (Presidential Succession); En-Route Patient Transport (point of injury to definitive care)
Research Interests: Patient Transport; Neuroplasticity/Cognitive Training/Speed of Processing
Degrees: Masters, Nursing, U of AL – Birmingham; Masters, Nursing, U of CO – Colorado Springs; Master of Strategic Studies, Air War College – Air University; Master of Military Operational Art and Science, Air Command and Staff College, Air University; BS, Nursing, Western CT St U
Experience: 1993-2000 Emergency Rm Nurse/Paramedic (Langley AFB/Shaw AFB/USAF Academy); 2000-2004 White House Medical Unit; 2004-2008 Aeromedical Evacuation, Assistant Director of Operations (Ramstein AB, Germany); 2008-2011 ACSC student/instructor/Director of Operations; 2011-2012 Flight Commander, Family Practice Clinic (Maxwell AFB); 2012-2014 Commander, Medical Operations Squadron (Robins AFB); 2014-2015 AWC student; 2015-2017 Commander, Medical Group (JB PH-Hickam); 2017-2018 Director/Command Nurse, Medical Operations Air Combat Command/AFSOC (Langley AFB); 2018-2020 Commander, Medical Group (Brooke Army Medical Center, JBSA) 
Email: christopher.paige@au.af.edu  

Dr. David S. Sorenson, Professor of International Security Studies
Advising Interests: Middle East politics and security; American defense policy-making, including military base closure, defense budget politics, defense acquisition. 
Research Interests: Middle East politics and security, including Middle East civil-military relations; American defense policy, defense economics 
Degrees: PhD, Graduate School of International Studies, (now the Korbel School of International Studies), University of Denver, MA, BA, California State University at Long Beach.
Experience: 1973-1991: Auburn University at Montgomery, Adjunct Professor of Political Science and Public Administration, 1994 – 2000; Denison University, 1975-1991, Department of Political Science, instructor - full professor; (Department Chair, 1986-1989); Mershon Center, The Ohio State University, Senior Faculty Research Associate, 1981-1991; University of Colorado at Denver, Instructor, 1974-1975.
Email: david.sorenson@au.af.edu  

Dr. Ashly Townsen, Assistant Professor of International Security Studies, National Security Decision Making Course Director
Advising Interests: Political Movements, Political Protest, Rebellion or Revolution, Psychology, Terrorism, Political and Violent Groups, African Politics, Peacekeeping Operations.
Research Interests: Subnational political violence and political behavior, usually involving experiments and/or spatial econometrics.
Degrees: PhD, Political Science, University of Illinois; BS Political Science, Sam Houston State University
Experience: 2015-18 Assistant Professor, Washington State University; 2018-current Assistant Professor, Air War College
Email: ashly.townsen@au.af.edu
Website: https://www.ashlytownsen.weebly.com

Col Jeremy Turner, USAF, PhD, Instructor 
Advising Interests: political psychology, decision making, and experimentation as a research method 
Research Interests: political psychology, decision making, and experimentation as a research method 
Degrees: PhD, Political Science - International Relations, Texas A&M University; MA, Air War College; MA, School of Advanced Military Studies; BS, United States Air Force Academy 
Experience: Commander, 449 Air Expeditionary Group, Camp Lemonnier, Djibouti; Commander, 41st Rescue Squadron, Moody AFB, GA; HH-60G Weapons Officer, 1900+ total flight hours -- Operations ENDURING FREEDOM – HORN OF AFRICA; NEW DAWN; ENDURING FREEDOM; IRAQI FREEDOM; NORTHERN WATCH; SOUTHERN WATCH; Headquarters Air Force, A3 staff; Office of the Secretary of Defense staff 
E-mail: jeremey.turner@au.af.edu   

Col Christian G. Watt, USAF, PhD, Instructor
Advising Interests: All things Soviet/Russia/Eastern Europe; foreign policy; postwar cooperation; strategic partnership; reconciliation; airpower theory and doctrine; operations; air warfare; rated issues; future technology
Research Interests: Postwar Cooperation; strategic partnership; reconciliation; political unification; Former Soviet Union (FSU) states
Degrees: PhD, Political Science (International Relations), University of North Carolina; MA Political Science (International Relations), University of North Carolina; MA, Air War College; MBA, City University; BA Russian, Portland State University; BA Mathematics, Portland State University; Command and General Staff College, Ft Leavenworth, KS
Experience: Commander, 321st Expeditionary Mission Support Advisory Group, 2009-2010; Commander, Detachment 15, ACC Training Support Squadron 2007-2008; F-15E Weapon Systems Officer—2,500+ hours, 600+ combat; Operations PROVIDE COMFORT; DENY FLIGHT; SOUTHERN WATCH; IRAQI FREEDOM; 2 years as USAFA faculty (Military Science, Russian Language, Flying); 1 year as a NATO Staff Officer (CAOC-6, Eskisehir, Turkey); 1 year as LeMay Center Director of Doctrine Development
Email: christian.watt@au.af.edu