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Brig. Gen. Michael T. Rawls is the Commandant, Air War College, Maxwell Air Force Base, Alabama. The Air War College is the Air Force’s senior professional military education institution, providing post-graduate senior leader development programs focused on joint, multinational, multi-agency warfighting and international security operations, air, space and cyberspace force strategy development and national security planning.
Brig. Gen. Rawls entered the Air Force in 1992 as a distinguished graduate of the University of Kentucky, receiving a Bachelor of Science in Electrical Engineering. He holds Master’s degrees from The George Washington University, Air University, U.S. Army War College and is a graduate of the U.S. Air Force Test Pilot School. Brig. Gen. Rawls has served in staff positions as the Junior Military Aide to the Deputy Secretary of Defense, Chief Air Planner, United States Military Delegation to the NATO Military Committee, Brussels Belgium and Senior Service Lead for F-35 development, Arlington, Virginia. He has been a Squadron Commander, Vice-Wing Commander, 435th Air Expeditionary Wing and 435th Air Ground Operations Wings Commander and is a four time member of the U.S. Military Pentathlon Team. As an operational pilot, Brig. Gen. Rawls flew the A-10A/C and F-15C with combat missions in Iraq supporting Operation Southern Watch. As a Test Pilot, he had assignments in the A-10C, F-15C, F-16 and numerous classified platforms conducting advanced weapons development. Prior to his current assignment, Brig. Gen. Rawls served as the Deputy Commander, NATO Mission Iraq, Baghdad.
Brig. Gen. Rawls is a command pilot and has accumulated more than 2,100 hours in 30 different aircraft.
Col Robert J. Rowell, Vice Commandant
Colonel Robert J. Rowell graduated from Auburn University in 1992 with a Bachelor of Arts degree in History, Central Missouri State University in 1995 with a Master of Arts degree in History, Air University in 2006 with a Master of Science degree in Military Arts and Science, and National Defense University (Eisenhower School) in 2013 with a Master of Science degree in National Resource Strategy. He is a career Space and Missile Operations officer with experience in ICBM ops, Space Control and Missile Warning Ops. He has commanded at the squadron level and served as Deputy Group Commander of the 321st Expeditionary Mission Support Advisory Group in Tikrit, Iraq. In addition, he has served in key staff positions at Headquarters Air Force Space Command, the Joint Chiefs of Staff, and Headquarters North American Aerospace Defense Command and United States Northern Command.
Col Theresa Weems, Dean of Students
Colonel Theresa Weems serves as the Dean of Students. She has an MS in International Affairs from Troy University; an MS in Military Operational Art and Science from Air Command & Staff College, and a BA in Political Science from Northwestern University. Her career has included the following roles: 1995-1999: Supply & Fuels Officer; 2000-2008: KC-10 Pilot (Evaluator), Flight Safety Officer, Sq/DO; 2009-2011: Pol-Military Affairs Specialist (SAF/IA); 2011-2014: Chief of Wing Safety, Squadron/CC, and Wing IG; 2014-2016: Deputy Director, SECAF/CSAF EAG & speechwriter; 2016-2017: Air Force Fellow with George C. Marshall European Center for Security Studies; 2017-2019: Operations Group Commander, Travis AFB. Col Weems has had multiple flying deployments for Operations SOUTHERN WATCH, ENDURING FREEDOM, and IRAQI FREEDOM; counter-drug ground deployments to Quito, Ecuador and Bogota, Colombia; Internship with Department of State’s Political & Economics Department at U.S. Embassy, Santiago, Chile; over 3600 hrs in KC-10A; also flown C-5M and C-17.
Colonel J. David Bottomlee, USAF, Dean of the Air War College
Col "Rock" Bottomlee serves as the Dean of the U.S. Air Force Air War College. He earned a PhD from Auburn University as an Air Force Institute of Technology fellow where his research focused on leadership in Public Administration. Prior to his PhD fellowship, Col Bottomlee served as the NATO Director of Air Operations in Kabul, Afghanistan. In this role, he was responsible for the planning and execution of all combat aviation flights including close air support, airlift, MEDIVAC, space, helicopter, and unmanned aerial vehicles.
Advising Interests: Leadership, Moral Courage, the Profession of Arms, Ethics, Moral Injury, Toxic Leadership, Organizational Culture and Change, Combat Airpower, Core Values, Strategic/Critical/Creative Thinking, Negotiations
Research Interests: Leadership, Moral Courage, Character Development, the Profession of Arms
Degrees: PhD in Political Science focused in Public Administration & Leadership from Auburn University (Waaar Eagle!); MA in Strategic Studies from the U.S. Army War College; MA in Counseling and Leadership Development from the University of Colorado; MA in Business Administration (MBA) from California State University; BA in Political Science from the U.S. Air Force Academy (Go Falcons!).
Experience: Director of Air Operations NATO headquarters, Kabul, Afghanistan; Commander of the 3rd Fighter Training Squadron; F-16 instructor pilot with Egyptian Air Force, Command pilot with 2500 flight hours in the F-16 and AT-38 as an instructor, evaluator, and mission commander including 107 combat missions on multiple deployments specializing in the Suppression of Enemy Air Defenses (SEAD) mission; Air Officer Commander at the U.S. Air Force Academy.
Dr. Corbin Williamson, Associate Dean
Advising Interests: Military History, Alliances/Coalitions, Naval Warfare, Congress, Acquisition, Logistics, Nuclear Weapons, Dept. of Defense Organization
Research Interests: Military History, Naval History, World War II, Korean War, Coalition Warfare, Antisubmarine Warfare, Expeditionary Warfare, Military Organizational Culture
Degrees: PhD, History, Ohio State University; MA, History, Texas Tech University; BA, Texas A&M University
Experience: 2014-2016, Historical Office of the Secretary of Defense; 2014-2016, Fleet Professor, College of Distance Education, U.S. Naval War College
Dr. Elizabeth D. Woodworth, Associate Professor of Strategic Communication, Director of Research and Electives
Advising Interests: Strategic communication, teaching in JPME or PME, writing or research in JPME or PME, resiliency, arts and the military, public speaking for the modern strategic leader, recruitment and retention, change theory, storytelling/memoir
Research Interests: Classical rhetoric and the modern warfighter, organizational development, change theory, poetry and war, instructional systems design, 19th century British literature, writing pedagogy
Degrees: PhD, English, Texas Christian University; MA English Composition, California State University, San Bernardino; BA English, Boise State University
Experience: 2008-18 Auburn University at Montgomery (Tenured Honors Associate Professor of English, Director of Composition, Founder and Director of the Master’s in Teaching Writing); 2007-08 Post-Doctoral Lecturer, Texas Christian University; 2000-07 K-12 education publishing (Washington, DC; Fort Worth, Texas; New York, NY).
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.
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.
Dr. Anna Batta, Associate 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
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: PhD in Political Science (University of Notre Dame), MA in Political Science (University of Notre Dame), MA in Arab Studies (Georgetown University), BA 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)
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: PhD, Michigan State University
Experience: Faculty member at the University of Zambia, University of Zimbabwe, Vanderbilt University, and Hofstra University
CAPT Bill Cox, USN, Instructor
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.
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.
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
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: firstname.lastname@example.org
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.
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
Dr. Dawn Murphy, Associate 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)
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)
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.
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
Col Jeremy Turner, USAF, PhD, Instructor, Director of Regional Security Studies
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
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
The Department of Leadership and Warfighting teaching three core courses: 1) Strategic Leadership and the Profession of Arms; 2) Airpower (Air, Space, & Cyber), Innovation & the Future; and 3) Theater Strategy and Campaigning. In the Strategic Leadership course, students analyze fundamental concepts, logic, and analytical frameworks used in the development and application of leadership at the senior level in a joint environment. Next, in the Airpower course, students examine how joint airpower, as a part of a joint, multi-domain, and multinational force, intends to innovate to prepare for the challenges of conflict in the future across the range of military operations -- to include special emphasis on the employment and sustainment of Air, Space and Cyberspace forces. Finally, in the Theater Strategy and Campaigning course students synthesize Campaign Design, Theater Campaign Plans, and the Joint Operational Planning Process through which combatant commanders set the military conditions for attaining national and coalition objectives as both a supported and supporting instrument of power.
Mr. William (Bill) Lewis, Colonel, USAF (ret.), Department Chair
Mr. Bill Lewis is the Department Chair for the Department of Leadership and Warfighting, an Assistant Professor of Leadership and Warfighting, and serves on the Airpower Research Task Force. Mr. Lewis holds a Master of Science in National Security Strategy from the National War College, Master of Airpower Art and Science from the School of Advance Air and Space Studies, Master of Military Operational Art from Air Command and Staff College, Master of Aeronautical Science from Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University, and a Bachelor of Science from the United States Air Force Academy. His primary teaching and research interests include emerging technologies, strategic planning, fighter/bomber/Remotely Piloted Aircraft planning and operations, command and control, multi-domain operations/joint all-domain operations, airpower history, directed energy, swarming technologies, and cyber, space and fighter aircraft in historic operations. Mr. Lewis’ experience includes various command and combat school and staff assignments (44th Fighter Squadron Commander, Director Pacific AOC Strategy Division, Asia Pacific Center Executive Course, Command and Control Warrior Advanced Course, Contingency Warfighter Planners Course, USAF Enterprise Leadership Seminar, Various flying assignments accumulating over 3,500 flying hours including over 2,500 in the F-15 with 250 combat hours); 2008-2010: Division Chief, The Joint Staff; 2010-2012: 48th Fighter Wing Vice Commander; and 2012-2016: Chief of Staff, USAF in Europe and Africa.
Col Richard S. Mendez, USAF, Deputy Department Chair, Air Force Global Strike Chair
Advising Interests: Strategic leadership, international relations, global precision strike and space operations.
Research Interests: Application of Artificial Intelligence capabilities, emerging space lift technologies and space based combat effects.
Degrees: MS International Relations, Troy State University, BS Education, Southern Illinois University
Experience: 2018-2019, Deputy Director, Systems Development, Air Force Technical Applications Center, Patrick AFB FL; 2018-2018, Commander, 709th Support Group, Air Force Technical Applications Center, Patrick AFB FL; 2017-2018: Director of Mission Support, Air Force Technical Applications Center, Patrick AFB FL; 2016-2017 Deputy Director, Nuclear Treaty Monitoring, Air Force Technical Applications Center, Patrick AFB FL; 2015-2016, Chief, Atmosphere and Space Division, Air Force Technical Applications Center, Patrick AFB FL; 2013-2015, Commander, 332d Recruiting Squadron, Nashville TN; 2011-2013, Deputy Chief, Current Operations Division, Air Force Space Command, Peterson CO
CAPT Casey B. Baker, USN, Instructor
Advising Interests: Strategic leadership, Great Power competition in history and in modern times, Power Transition Theory in international relations, Sea Power in both modern warfare and applications historically.
Research Interests: Sea Power in both modern warfare and historical, Space Force development and Space Policy.
Degrees: Master of Strategic Studies from Air War College, Master of Public Administration from Regent University, VA and a Bachelor of Science in Marine Transportation from the US Merchant Marine Academy in Kings Point.
Experience: May 2019–May 2020, Deputy Director Future Operations, Fifth Fleet, Manama, Bahrain; Aug 2017–Dec 2019, Commanding Officer, USS FARRAGUT (DDG 99), Mayport, FL; Feb 2015–May 2017, Executive Officer, USS FARRAGUT (DDG 99), Mayport, FL; Jul 2014–May 2015, Student, Air War College, Maxwell AFB, AL; Nov 2012–Jun 2014, Operations and Plans Officer (N3-5-7), Patrol Coastal Squadron One, Manama, Bahrain; May 2011–Jul 2012, Deputy Director and later Director of Tactical Document Media Exploitation Team - Afghanistan (TACDOMEX-A), Kabul, Afghanistan (as individual augmentee); Apr 2009–Nov 2012, J6 Joint Deployable Assessment Team (JDAT), Eglin AFB, FL. Jan 2007-Dec 2008, N4 Destroyer Squadron TWO SIX, Norfolk VA.
Col Christopher C. Berg, USAF, Air University SOF Chair; Strategic Leadership Course Director
Advising Interests: Strategic leadership, disruption innovation aimed at gaining a strategic advantage, Joint All-Domain Command and Control for modern warfare, application of special operations forces/capabilities to implement the NDS Great Power Competition objectives.
Research Interests: Increasing organizational effectiveness, application of Artificial Intelligence capabilities to improve human-to-machine interfaces, future of unmanned/remotely piloted aircraft technology across the spectrum of operations.
Degrees: Master of Strategic Studies, Air War College; Master of Military Operational Art and Science, Air Command and Staff College; BA Psychology, University of Kentucky
Experience: Jun 2019 – Jun 2020, Commander, 449th Air Expeditionary Group, Camp Lemonnier, Republic of Djibouti. Jun 2017 – Jun 2019, Deputy Commander, 27th Special Operations Group, Cannon AFB, NM. Jul 2016 – May 2017, Student, Air War College, Maxwell Air Force Base, AL. Aug 2014 – June 2016, Commander, 27th Special Operations Support Squadron, Cannon AFB, NM. May 2013 – Aug 2014, Operations Officer, 27th Special Operations Air Operations Squadron, Cannon AFB, NM. Jun 2012 – May 2013, Chief of Safety, 27th Special Operations Wing, Cannon, AFB, NM. June 2010 – June 2012, Chief, Joint Operations Division, Special Operations Command – South, Homestead ARB, FL.
Flight Information: Rating: Master Navigator; Flight Hours: 2500; Aircraft Flown: AC-130H, AC-130W, EC-130H, MQ-9
Col Ronnie A. Carson Jr, USMC, Instructor
Advising Interest: Aviation, Expeditionary Advanced Base Operations, leadership, amphibious warfare, south and east China Sea, humanitarian assistance disaster relief
Education: Master of Strategic Studies, Air War College; BS Finance, Louisiana Tech University
Experience: 26th Marine Expeditionary Unit; 15th Marine Expeditionary Unit; Director of Operations/Strike Advisor, J317, Airborne Command Post, USSTRATCOM; Commanding Officer, HMH-462; Instructor, Joint Forces Staff College; Deputy G-3, Air Officer, and AC/S Readiness, 3d Marine Division, Okinawa, Japan. Contingency, combat, and humanitarian assistance operations: JOINT ENDEAVOR, SILVER WAKE, GUARDIAN RETRIEVAL, NOBLE ANVIL, JTF SHINING HOPE, ALLIED FORCES, ALLIED HARBOUR, AVID RESPONSE, JOINT GUARDIAN, UNIFIED ASSISTANCE, OIF, and OEF.
Flight Information: Flight Hours: 3800, CH-53E
Lt Col Kathleen Crimmins, USAF, Director, Executive Leader Feedback Program
Advising Interests: Leadership, Emotional Intelligence, Human Performance, Resilience, and Suicide Prevention Research
Interests: Suicide Prevention, Resilience, Emotional Intelligence and Leadership
Degrees: PhD Clinical Psychology, University of Southern Mississippi, MS, Clinical Psychology, University of South Alabama; BA, Psychology, Auburn University
Experience: Chief of Mental Health Services; Geilenkirchen NATO Base, Geilenkirchen, GE; Suicide Prevention Program Manager, HAF/SG, Falls Church, VA; Mental Health Flight Commander Kadena AB, Japan; Mental Health Flight Commander, Luke AFB, AZ; Staff Psychologist Maxwell AFB, AL; Internship, Wilford Hall Medical Center, Lackland, AFB, TX.
Col Aaron Cunningham, USMC, Instructor
Advising and Research Interests: Planning and Campaigning - Joint Operations - environmental factors influence on leadership - ethics - organizational command climate.
Degrees: Master of Strategic Studies, Air War College; Master of Operational Studies, USMC School of Advanced Warfighting.
Experience: Planner at the Marine Expeditionary Unit (MEU), Marine Expeditionary Brigade (MEB), and Marine Expeditionary Force (MEF) level and at USEUCOM J5 as the Deputy Chief of Plans. Participated in humanitarian, contingency, and combat operations as an infantry platoon, company, and battalion commander. 2019-2020, G3 / Director of Operations-Training and Education Command; 2017-2019, Deputy Director MAGTF Staff Training Program; 2015-2017, Deputy Chief of Plans, USEUCOM J5; 2012-2014, Infantry Battalion Commander 2/6; 2011-2012, Planner II MEB / MEF; 2009-2010, Director-USMC Infantry Officer Course.
CAPT Steve Dradzynski, USN Advisor to Air University, Instructor
Advising & Research Interests: WW1 & WW2 Military History and Campaigns; Soviet Union/Russia/Europe Conflict/Competition/Cooperation; Strategic Leadership and Thinking; Nuclear Command and Control / Warfare; Naval Aviation; Maritime Strategy; Training; Cyber Operations.
Degrees: MS Strategic Studies, National War College; MA National Security, Naval War College; BS Quantitative Methods in Management, Oakland University
Experience: 30+ year military career beginning in the Michigan Army National Guard as a TOW Missile Gunner then as a Naval Flight Officer serving aboard the A-6E Intruder and E-6B TACAMO aircraft. Various sea and staff assignments with highlights being Commander, Fleet Air Reconnaissance Squadron Seven (VQ-7); Naval Forces Chief of Staff and Liaison Officer to U.S. Central Command; Operations Officer, Strategic Communications Wing One; Airborne Command Post (ABNCP) Communications Officer, U.S. Strategic Command; and Readiness Officer/Flag Aide, Commander, Naval Air Forces.
Dr. John P. Geis II, Colonel, USAF (ret.), Associate Professor of Leadership and Warfighting
Advising Interests: Airpower, Strategic Implications of Emerging Technology, Climate Issues, Long-range Strategic Planning, Foresight Analysis, Directed Energy, Artificial Intelligence, Swarming Technologies, and Additive Manufacturing
Research Interests: Foresight Analysis, Asymmetric Conflict, Climate Change, Directed Energy, Biotechnology, Nanotechnology, Swarming Technologies, International Relations
Degrees: BS Meteorology, University of Wisconsin--Madison; Master of Political Science, Auburn University--Montgomery; Master of Strategic Studies Air War College; PhD Political Science, University of Wisconsin—Madison.
Experience: Chief Meteorologist, WISC-TV; F-111 Instructor WSO; T-43A Instructor Navigator; AC-130 FCO; Chief, Strategic Planning, Doctrine and Force Integration -- AFSOC; Director, Blue Horizons Program/Center for Strategy and Technology; Deputy Director & Chief of Research, Air Force Research Institute
Col Timothy A. Goodroe, USAF, Instructor
Advising Interests: Missile defense; nuclear strategy/deterrence; Alliance and partner engagement, development, and support; international relations; military recruiting and retention;
Research Interests: Future of nuclear deterrence; development and application of Integrated Air and Missile Defense systems; NATO and Alliances/Partnerships; race in the military.
Degrees: MA Strategic Studies, Air War College; MA National Security Studies, Naval Postgraduate School; MA Curriculum and Instruction, Colorado Christian University
Experience: 2020-2021, Commander, Education Support Squadron, Maxwell AFB, AL; 2018-2020, Commander, 360th Recruiting Group, New Cumberland, PA; 2015-2018, Chief, Missile Defense Division, EUCOM J-5/8, Patch Barracks, DE; 2014-15, Student, Air War College, Maxwell AFB, AL; 2012-2014, Commander, 333rd Recruiting Squadron, Patrick AFB, FL; 2009-2012, Defense Foreign Liaison Officer, Defense Intelligence Agency, Washington, D.C; 2007-2008, Student, Naval Postgraduate School, Monterey, CA; 2005-2007, Chief, Congressional Communications and Executive Officer to the Director, SAF/LL, Pentagon; 2003-2005, Readiness Officer, Headquarters, USAF, Pentagon; 2000-2003, Space Instructor/Course Director, Det 1, 533rd Training Squadron, Schriever AFB, CO; 1999-2000, Space Control Officer, USSPACECOM/AFSPC, Cheyenne Mountain AS, CO; 1995-1999, Minuteman III Missile Launch Officer/Instructor, 742nd Missile Squadron/91st Operational Support Squadron, Minot AFB, ND.
COL Shanon Mosakowski, USA, Instructor
Advising Interest: ISR, Fires, C2
Research Interest: Targeting, the application joint fires, and mission command.
Degrees: MA in Management from Webster University, MSS from Air War College, BS in Biology, University of North Alabama.
Experience: 2016-2017, J34 Chief of Fires/FSCOORD, CJTF-OIR; 2013-2015 Instructor Air Command and Staff College, MAFB; 2011-2013, Battalion Commander 3-320th Field Artillery, 3/101st Airborne Division, FT Campbell, KY; 2010-2011, Deputy Commander, 4-25th BCT (Airborne) at FT Richardson, AK.
LtCol (GS) Christian Paust, GAF, German Air Force Advisor
Advising and Research Interests: Strategic Leadership, International Relations, Security Cooperation, Alliances and Partnerships, Nuclear Deterrence/Nuclear Burden-Sharing, Airpower, Air Operations, Great Power Competition
Degrees: MS Strategic Studies, Air War College, BS Aeronautical Science, A.C.E.I. Inc.
Experience: 2020-2021, International Fellow AWC AY 21, Montgomery, AL, USA; 2017-2020, Commander Operations Group Tactical Air Wing 33, Büchel, Germany; 2014-2017, Assistant Branch Chief, Defence Planning & Concepts Air, Space and Cyber Space, Federal Ministry of Defence, Bonn, Germany; 2012-2014, Department Head A5a/ A5Ia, Air Operations Command, Kalkar, Germany; 2011-2012, Assistant Air Attaché, German Embassy, Washington D.C., USA; 2009-2011, Head of the Intelligence Department, Air Transport Command, Münster, Germany; 2007-2009, General Staff College, Participant of the General and Admiral Staff Course 07, Hamburg, Germany; 2006-2007, Scheduling Officer/Scheduling Staff Officer, 2 Squadron Fighter Bomber Wing 31 „B“ Nörvenich, Germany; 2005-2006, Training and Tactics Group (TTG), Flying Group, Fighter Bomber Wing 31 „B“, Nörvenich, Germany; 2000-2005, Simulator and Flight Instructor, German Air Force Flying Training Center, Holloman AFB, NM, USA; 1997-2000, Fighter Bomber WSO Tornado, 2./ Fighter Bomber Wing 32 “ECR”, Lechfeld, Germany
Col Chris Richie, USMC Advisor to Air University, Director of “Hap” Arnold Executive Leadership Series; Art of Commandership Elective Co-Instructor
Advising Interests: Strategic leadership, international relations, aviation command and control, commandership, servant leadership, motivational/public speaking, ethics, humanitarian operations, organizational culture.
Research Interests: Servant Leadership, motivational speaking, Commandership, aviation C2.
Degrees: MBA, Regis University; MS Strategic Studies, Air University; MS Military Operational Art and Science, Air University; BS Business Administration, Auburn University.
Experience: 2017–2018, Director, Government & External Affairs, Marine Corps Installations-West, Camp Pendleton, CA; 2015–2017, Commander, Marine Air Control Group-38, Marine Corps Air Station Miramar, San Diego, CA; 2014–2015, Director, I MEF Red Team, Camp Pendleton, CA; 2012–2014, Deputy Director, U.S. Liaison Office, U.S. Embassy Abu Dhabi; 2009–2011, Commander, Marine Air Control Squadron-2, Cherry Point, N.C.; 2010–2010, Commander, Special Purpose Marine Air Ground Task Force, Operation CONTINUING PROMISE, USS Iwo Jima, SOUTHCOM AOR; 2005–2008, C3 Department Head, Marine Aviation Weapons and Tactics Squadron-1, MCAS Yuma, AZ.
Col Donald Sandberg, USAF, Instructor, Leadership and Warfighting
Advising Interests: The current and future application of airpower; the role of advanced technologies in warfare; contingency planning/operational planning/operational design
Research Interests: Air Force manpower policies, force structure, and fighting effectiveness; the military’s role in an increasingly corporatized world; and evolving Air Force organizational structures and its impact on warfighting.
Degrees: BS in Electrical Engineering, Masters in Aerospace/Aviation Science Technology, Masters in Military Operational Art and Science, Masters in National Security and Strategy Studies
Experience: A weapon systems officer with 2,800 F-15E flight hours who commanded at the squadron and group levels. Served in units responsible for combat operations, formal training, test and evaluation, international affairs, and acquisitions. Is a graduate of the F-15E Weapons Instructor Course (2006), the Air Command and Staff College (2012), and the Naval War College (2019) with experience in Operations SOUTHERN WATCH, IRAQI FREEDOM, ENDURING FREEDOM, and INHERENT RESOLVE.
COL Glenn C. Schmick, USA, US Army Advisor Group and Instructor, Leadership and Warfighting
Advising Interests: Strategic leadership, policing, military support to civilian authorities, commanding large formations, and affecting organizational culture.
Research Interests: Strategic leadership, commanding large formations, and affecting organizational culture.
Degrees: Master of Arts in Strategic Studies from Air War College, a Master of Arts in Military Operational Art and Science from Air Command and Staff College, and a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration from Appalachian State University.
Experience: 2017-2019, Brigade Commander, 18th MP BDE, Graffenwoehr, GE; 2016-2017, Senior Afghan Advisor, NATO, Kabul, AFG; 2015-2016, Executive Officer, OAA, Pentagon, VA; 2013-2014, Deputy Chief of Staff, JRTC & Fort Polk, LA; 2011-2013, Battalion Commander, 519th MP Battalion, Fort Polk, LA; 2009-2011, Division Provost Marshal, 1st Armored Division, Wiesbaden, GE and Iraq; 2007-2008, Executive Officer, 1st MEB, Fort Polk, LA; 2006-2007, Executive officer, 519th MP Battalion, Fort Polk, LA and Iraq; 2005-2006, Operations Officer, ARCENT, Arifjan, KU; 2002-2005, Company Commander, Monroe Recruiting Co, Monroe, LA; 2001-2002, Force Protection Officer, 1st TMCA, Kaiserslautern, GE; 1999-2001, Company Commander, 554th MP Company, Stuttgart, GE; 1997-1998, Company Commander, HHD, 519th MP Battalion, Fort Polk, LA; 1995-1997, Platoon Leader, 258th & 204th MP Companies, Fort Polk, LA and Haiti; 1990-1991, Infantryman, 120th IN, NCNG, Elkin, NC.
Dr. Daniel Strand, Professor of Ethics in Leadership and Warfighting
Advising Interests: Just War tradition and ethics in warfare, ethics and foreign policy, ethics and technology, profession of arms and officership, religion in war and foreign policy
Research Interests: History of Just War tradition; ethics of technology in warfare; St Augustine and Christian Realism; the role of religion in foreign affairs; medical ethics
Degrees: BA in Philosophy (University of Minnesota), Master's in Divinity (Gordon-Conwell); Doctor of Philosophy in Ethics and Religion (University of Chicago)
Mr. Chris Wilbeck, Colonel, USA (ret.), Professor of Joint Military Operations, Global Campaigning Course Director in Leadership and Warfighting
Advising Interests: Russia and China in relation to Great Power Conflict, Contingency Planning/Operational Planning/Operational Design, Mission Command, Joint Doctrine focused on the high end of the conflict continuum and/or Large Scale Combat Operations
Research Interests: World War II, Soviet Operational Art, The employment and evolution of Armor
Degrees: BS Business Administration, MBA, Masters in Military History, Masters in Military Arts and Science in Theater Operations (SAMS), Masters of Strategic Studies (Air War College).
Experience: Over 28 years of active duty service in the U.S. Army as an Armor Officer. Served in operational and planning positions from Squadron/Battalion to the Division and Joint Level with multiple deployments supporting named contingency operations, including: Operation Desert Shield/Desert Storm, Operation Iraqi Freedom, Operation New Dawn, and Operation Enduring Freedom.
The Department of Strategy recruits, retains, and develops quality faculty and staff to develop and deliver current and relevant graduate-level curriculum; to conduct and advise research and publications that are relevant to national security; and, to perform service and outreach that results in mission accomplishment and enhances strategic communications in order to educate and develop critical-thinking leaders to better serve our nation and our interests. The Department of Strategy (DES) teaches the longest of the core courses, Foundations of Strategy (FS). DES Faculty also develop and offer elective courses each year on topics such as command, ethics, leading change, civil military relations, coercive airpower, coalition warfare, irregular warfare, genocide, and military privatization.
COL Patrick Budjenska, USA, Department Chair
Degrees: Master in Strategic Studies, Bachelor of Arts in History
Experience: Major assignments include G1, 10th Mountain Division (Light Infantry), Ft. Drum, New York. While assigned to 10th Mountain, he deployed to Afghanistan as the CJTF – 10 CJ1 for Regional Command – East, Bagram Airfield. Prior to 10th Mountain, he served as the Deputy J1 for United States Forces – Afghanistan, Kabul. Colonel Budjenska served in the G1 section and as the Inspector General for United States Army South, Fort Sam Houston. He was assigned twice to the Army Deputy Chief of Staff G1 at the Pentagon, and also served as the 75th Ranger Regiment S1 during which he also deployed to Afghanistan. As an Infantry officer, Colonel Budjenska served in the 1st Infantry Division, Schweinfurt, Germany, and the 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault), Ft. Campbell, Kentucky. Colonel Budjenska’s military education includes Infantry Officer’s Basic and Advanced Courses, US Army Ranger School, Airborne School, Air Assault School, Pathfinder School, Intermediate Level Education (ILE) and the Air War College. Colonel Budjenska’s major deployments include three to Afghanistan, Haiti following the earthquake of 2010, and the Balkans.
Dr. Douglas Peifer, Professor of Strategy, Deputy Department Chair
Advising Interests: European security issues, particularly West, Central, and Northern Europe; Arctic Security; NATO and the European Union; Germany; Coercive Diplomacy; World Wars; Genocide, Intervention, and R2P; power transition theory.
Research Interests: causes of war; Trans-Atlantic relations; modern Germany history, politics, and society; Global Europe; memory, history, and identity; mutiny, desertion, and leadership; Select Publications (books): The Wehrmacht, Military Justice, and Desertion (Oxford U Press, 2021); Choosing War (Oxford University Press, 2016); Genocide, Airpower, and Intervention (Air University Press, 2008); The Three German Navies (University Press of Florida, 2002); over twenty chapters and articles in edited books and peer reviewed journals.
Degrees: PhD, Modern European History, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, 1996; MA, Modern European History, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, 1991; BA, History and Economics, Miami University of Ohio.
Experience: Have taught at Air War College since 2006; Have advised over 60 master’s level theses and research papers at the Air War College and Air Command and Staff College; have served as chair, deputy, and course director in the department of strategy; invited lecturer at the George C. Marshall Center for European Security Studies; faculty instructor and subject matter expert for Spring 2019, 2017, 2016, 2015, 2013, 2012, 2010, 2008, and 2007 Air War College Regional Studies courses/trips to UK, France, and Germany (2019), Germany, Denmark, Norway, and Iceland (2017); the UK, France, and Germany (2016); Germany, Poland, Sweden (2015 & 2010); the UK and France (2013 & 2012); Italy, France, Belgium (2008); and the UK, France, and Belgium (2007).
COL Gil Cardona, USA, Instructor
Advising Interests: Military History, Wargames, Training, DoD Organization, Plans & Campaigning
Research Interests: Military History, Military Organizational Culture
Degrees: MS, Industrial Engineering, University of Central Florida; MS, Strategic Studies, Air War College; BA, University of Alabama at Birmingham
Experience: Deputy Chief of Staff, Third US Army, Camp Arifjan, Kuwait; Wargaming Branch Chief, US European Command, Patch Barracks, Germany; and Director, US Army Special Operations Command, Fort Bragg, NC.
Col Mark "Gloves" Coggins, PhD, USAF, Seminar Director and Instructor
Advising Interests: Strategy, Education and Training, Weather and Weather Effects
Research Interests: Critical Thinking and Decision-making, Adult Education, Competencies
Degrees: PhD in Military Strategy from the Air Force Air University; MA in Airpower Art and Science from the Air Force School of Advanced Air and Space Studies; MA in Military Operational Art and Science from the Air Force Air Command and Staff College; BS in Liberal Studies from Regents College, State University of New York
Experience: Division Chief, Air Education and Training Command, TX; RAND Fellow, CA; Deputy Commander, 1st Weather Group, NE; Commander, 7th Weather Squadron, Germany. Master meteorologist providing weather support to a bomber wing, a theater Army, a combatant commander, an operational weather squadron, and the Combined Air and Space Operations Center. US Central Command Joint Operations Center executive officer, chief of the Operations Directorate Personnel Section, and strategic and dirty tricks war planner. Deployments include Joint Task Force-Bravo and Operations Desert Storm, Enduring Freedom, and Iraqi Freedom.
Dr. Howard M. Hensel, Professor of Politico-Military Affairs
Advising Interests: Soviet / Russian studies; Middle Eastern history; Indian Ocean history; American and European military history; military history of the American Civil War; “just war” theories; international humanitarian law.
Research Interests: Soviet history; Persian/Arabian Gulf history; Indian Ocean history; military history of the American Civil War; ancient, medieval, and early modern philosophy; “just war” theories; international humanitarian law.
Degrees: PhD, Government, University of Virginia; MA, Foreign Affairs, University of Virginia; BA, History, Texas A&M University.
Experience: Air War College Experience - Director of Strategy (2006-2009); Academic Director, Electives Program (1997-2001); Director of Strategy (1994-1995); Director of International Security Studies (1990-1992); and Director of Soviet Studies (1988-1990). Faculty experience prior to joining Air War College - Air Command and Staff College; Monterey Institute of International Studies; Naval Postgraduate School; University of Virginia; Marine Command and Staff College. Author/editor of twelve books and over 50 articles and book chapters.
Dr. Alexander N. Lassner, Associate Professor of Strategy, Academic Director for the Grand Strategy Program
He holds an MA and PhD in history from The Ohio State University where he specialized in modern military and central European history. As a Fulbright scholar in Austria, and, thereafter, as a Presidential Fellow at OSU, Dr. Lassner’s research focused on foreign affairs and international security policies in Europe during the Interwar Period (1920-1938). Prior to coming to the Air War College, he worked as a consultant to the Mershon Center for International Security and Foreign Policy Studies, and as an Assistant Professor of Comparative Military Studies at the Air Command and Staff College. During this period he published numerous articles and essays on modern military history, co-edited a book on the Dollfuss and Schuschnigg era in Austria, and undertook various research projects. Dr. Lassner has lectured at major conferences in the United States, and by invitation in Italy and Austria. During summer 2005 Dr. Lassner taught courses in modern military history while a Visiting Professor of History at the International Summer School in Innsbruck, Austria. He is currently revising his manuscript on European foreign and security policies in the 1930s for publication.
Dr. Brian McNeil, Assistant Professor of Strategy
Advising Interests: Diplomatic History, International History, U.S. History, American Politics, International Institutions
Research Interests: U.S. Foreign Policy, International History, Decolonization, Humanitarianism
Degrees: PhD, History, University of Texas at Austin; MA, History, Mississippi State University; BA, History, Auburn University
Experience: Assistant Professor of Strategy, 2017-present; Postdoctoral Fellow, Institute for Historical Studies, 2016-2017.
Dr. David D. Palkki, Associate Professor of Strategy
Advising Interests: Nuclear/Chem/Bio, Deterrence/Coercion, Arms Control, Middle East, US Foreign Policy, and Grand Strategy
Research Interests: Nuclear weapons, chemical weapons, deterrence/coercion, and Iraq
Degrees: PhD and MA, Political Science, University of California, Los Angeles; BA, Political Science, Brigham Young University
Experience: Analytical/Policy Experience: Council on Foreign Relations, Institute for Defense Analyses, Institute for National Strategic Studies, House Ways and Means Trade Subcommittee, and USG. Teaching Experience: Texas A&M University, UCLA, and Brigham Young University.
Col Scott W. Rizer, USAF, Instructor
Advising Interests: Security Cooperation, Foreign Military Sales, Air Mobility, Air Refueling, Strategy, Leadership
Degrees: BSBA, University of Nebraska at Omaha; MBA, University of South Dakota; Masters, Transportation Management, Air Force Institute of Technology; College of Naval Command and Staff; Air War College
Experience: KC-135 Navigator/Weapons Officer; Commander, Operations Support Squadron; Commander, Expeditionary Operations Support Squadron; Deputy Commander, Expeditionary Operations Group; Vice Wing Commander, Air Base Wing; Vice Wing Commander, Air Expeditionary Wing; Senior Defense Official/Defense Attaché – Kingdom of Bahrain; Commandant, International Officer School; Aircraft: KC-135R/T (3200 hours); Operations: Operation SOUTHERN WATCH; Operation PROVIDE COMFORT; Operation ALLIED FORCE; Operation NOBEL ANVIL; Operation IRAQI FREEDOM; Operation AFGHANISTAN FREEDOM
CAPT Paul Varnadore, USN, Instructor, CJCS Chair
Advising Interests: Strategic deterrence, nuclear weapons, maritime strategy, global integration and campaigning, defense management
Degrees: M.S. Applied Physics, Naval Postgraduate School; BS Physics, Auburn University; Joint Forces Staff College
Experience: Submarine Warfare Officer; Joint Qualified Officer; 2014-2016 Chief, Strategic Deterrence & Nuclear Policy, Joint Staff J-5; 2011-2014 Commanding Officer, ballistic missile submarine USS Louisiana; 2008-2010 Exchange Officer to the Australian Submarine Headquarters; 2006-2008 Executive Officer, USS Tennessee; 2004-2006 Staff Officer, Fleet Anti-Submarine Warfare Command; 2001-2004 Engineer Officer, USS Oklahoma City; Division Officer, USS Maine (1995-1999).
Dr. Will Waddell, Assistant Professor of Strategy, Joint Warrior Studies Seminar Academic Advisor
Advising Interests: Historical and contemporary Great Power War, historical campaigning, irregular warfare, campaign design, European history, European Union, NATO, Vietnam War
Research Interests: First Indochina War, French army, irregular warfare, wars of decolonization and empire, French history, European history
Degrees: PhD in Military History, the Ohio State University
Experience: 2016-Present, Faculty at Air War College
Mr Richard Samuels – Course Director
Mr Samuels joined the Air War College faculty in 2017, and he is the Director of the Grand Strategy Seminar. He retired from the USAF in May 2016 after 30 years of active duty service. Mr Samuels was a special operations aviator with over 3600 hours in several aircraft, and he served in multiple combat in operations from Just Cause to Iraqi Freedom. Mr Samuels commanded at the O4, O5 and O6 levels, and his staff tours included two Service major commands, a sub-unified command, and two tours on the Joint Staff. He holds a BS in Aeronautical Engineering, MS in Mechanical Engineering, and MA in Strategic Studies. His areas of expertise include command, command relations, national security decision making, strategy and operational design.
Prof. Gene Kamena – Course Director
Professor (Col. Ret.) Gene Kamena is the Director of the Joint Warrior Studies Seminar at the Air War College. He has published numerous articles in the area of leadership, ethics and mentoring. He previously served as the Chief of the Army Advisory Group and Senior Army Advisor to the Air University Commander. Kamena was commissioned a 2LT of Infantry in 1979 and has commanded from the platoon to the Brigade Combat Team level. His most significant assignments include Commander of the 2d Brigade Combat Team in Baumholder Germany, Director of Staff for U.S. Space Command at Peterson AFB, Chief of Staff for Northern Command at Peterson AFB, Chief of Staff for the 1st Infantry Division at Wurzburg Germany and Tikrit Iraq, Director of all Iraqi Security Forces, U.S. leader for an Iraqi Commando brigade, Chief of the Force Synchronization Division for ARCIC at Fort Monroe. The professor is a Graduate of Auburn University, the Army War College at Carlisle PA, Advanced Space Operations Course, and holds a Master of Military Arts and Science degree. His expertise are focused in the areas of senior leadership, ethics, Joint Warfighting, and Command and Control.
West Space Seminar
Col Douglas M. Drake, USSF, PhD, Director, West Space Seminar
Advising Interests: Education, training, leadership, irregular warfare, space, information operations
Degrees: MS Education, Montana State University-Northern; MS Joint Information Operations, Naval Postgraduate School; PhD Educational Psychology, University of Northern Colorado
Military: Space and Missile Operations; Deployed Oct 2014-15 Operation Enduring Freedom/Freedom’s Sentinel as Air Advisor
Dr. Ron Gurantz, Assistant Professor of Space Seminar
Advising Interests: International Relations, U.S. Foreign Policy, Nuclear Deterrence, Air & Space Power
Research Interests: Crisis Decision-Making, Causes of War, Nuclear Deterrence, Air & Space Power, International Relations Theory, U.S. Foreign Policy, Cold War History
Degrees: PhD, Political Science, University of California, Los Angeles; MA, Political Science, University of California, Los Angeles; BA, Political Economy, University of California, Berkeley
Experience: Assistant Professor, Department of Strategy, Air War College (2016-2021); Lecturer, Department of Political Science, UCLA (2014-2016)
Dr. R. Lincoln Hines, Assistant Professor of Space Seminar
Advising and Research Interests: China's space program, space security, China's foreign policy, international security, international relations theory, prestige, nationalism, domestic politics, qualitative research, surveys
Degrees: PhD in Government, Cornell University; MA in Government, Cornell University; MA in International Relations, American University School of International Service; BA in Foreign Affairs and East Asian Studies, University of Virginia
Experience: National Air and Space Museum (Predoctoral fellow), National Bureau of Asian Research (Bridge Award Fellow in Political and Security Affairs)