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CSAT Faculty and Staff

  • Col Ben Phillips — Director of CSAT
    Colonel Ben "Dabs" Phillips (University of Missouri, BS Physics; Midwestern State, MA Political Science; MIT Sloan School of Management, MBA) is an Individual Mobilization Augmentee (IMA) assigned to the HQ USSOUTHCOM J3 as Director, Joint Operations & Intelligence Center.  His active military career included time as an air traffic control officer, F-15E pilot, and undergraduate pilot training instructor and flight examiner.  As a reserve officer, his experience includes acquisition program management with Air Force TENCAP, as the F-22 program element monitor, and most recently as Associate Director, Materials & Manufacturing Directorate at the Air Force Research Laboratory.  His civilian career includes experience in special program oversight, RDT&E technology portfolio management, and currently serves as a strategy consultant to firms large and small, from the Fortune 500 to founder-led startups.


  • Dr. Drew Wagstaff — Director of Blue Horizons
    Dr. William “Drew” Wagstaff (PhD, Emory University) is an Assistant Professor of International Security for the Blue Horizons Program within the USAF Center for Strategy and Technology at Maxwell AFB, AL. His responsibilities include providing instruction across an array of subjects, such as metacognition, East Asian politics, and strategy, conducting research relevant to both civilian academics and senior USAF leaders, and advising Fellows on an array of research topics. Dr. Wagstaff has a number of on-going research projects on terrorism, military effectiveness, peacekeeping, and Chinese politics. Some of this work has appeared in Foreign Policy Analysis and Terrorism & Political Violence.  His dissertation, “How Organizational Leaders Assess Subordinates,” uses formal modeling techniques coupled with qualitative and quantitative methods to demonstrate the conditions under which combat leaders may effectively evaluate their subordinates to improve combat performance.



  • Lt Col Rusty Allison – Deputy Director of CSAT
    Lt Col Rusty Allison (USAFA; MAS Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University; MIPP Johns Hopkins SAIS; MSS w/ Grand Strategy concentration, Air War College [highest academic distinction]) is the Deputy Director of the USAF Center for Strategy and Technology, Air University, Maxwell AFB, AL. Prior assignments include Commander, 12th Special Operations Squadron, Commander, 27th Expeditionary Special Operations Group, Deputy Commander, Joint Special Operations Air Component-Africa, and Deputy Director of USSOCOM Legislative Affairs on Capitol Hill. He is a command pilot with 875 combat hours in the AC-130U, and 800 combat support hours in the MQ-1 and MQ-9. Lt Col Allison is a Distinguished Graduate from C-130E Aircraft Commander School, MQ-1B Predator Pilot School, and the Department of Defense Joint Firepower Course.  He also served as an Air Force Fellow at The Johns Hopkins University School of Advanced International Studies, Washington D.C
  • Col Jeffrey W. Donnithorne — Adjunct Professor
    Col Jeff Donnithorne is Chief Academic Officer at Air University. He is a 1997 graduate of the Air Force ROTC program at Duke University. His Air Force career includes two operational assignments as an instructor weapon systems officer in the F-15E Strike Eagle, with over 300 combat hours in Iraq and Afghanistan. He also served as an Air Force intern, with experience on the Joint Staff, the Checkmate division of the Air Staff, and in the Air Force Legislative Liaison office. Following an instructor tour at undergraduate navigator training in Pensacola, FL. Col Donnithorne attended the School of Advanced Air and Space Studies (SAASS) at Maxwell AFB, AL. He then attended Georgetown University, where he earned a PhD in International Relations with a focus on American civil-military relations. Col Donnithorne commanded the 31st Student Squadron at Squadron Officer School (SOS), Maxwell AFB, AL, and served as director of the Center for Strategy and Technology before his appointment as Chief Academic Officer.


  • Dr. Dave Luginbuhl — Adjunct Professor
    Dr. Luginbuhl is the Air Force Research Lab Chair to Air University and was previously the Assistant Chief Scientist, 711th Human Performance Wing, Air Force Research Laboratory, Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Ohio. As such, Dr. Luginbuhl was responsible for the technical direction of a broad, multi-disciplinary research and development portfolio encompassing human-centric aspects of decision-making, forecasting, human performance and training. As AFRL Chair, he facilitates collaboration opportunities between AU and the Air Force Research Lab, and provide assistance to shape the AU curriculum to develop greater awareness of the application of science and technology (S&T) as a critical resource for Air Force leaders. Dr. Luginbuhl earned his Ph.D. in Computer Science from the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign.


  • Mr. John Carter — Deputy A3 and Director of Operations of Air University
    Mr. Carter directs the daytoday operations of Air University, working collaboratively with commanders, commandants, deans and directors in all activities related to the management and governance of education, research, outreach and doctrine development. He teaches leadership at both the Air War College and the Air Command and Staff College. Mr. Carter retired from the Air Force at the rank of colonel in January 2011 after completing more than 28 years of service. He spent the majority of his career in operations, accumulating over 3400 hours flying the O2, A10 and F16. His staff assignments included a tour as the director of the Commander’s Action Group for Air Combat Command and Chief of Space Requirements on the Air Staff. He served as the Commander of an A10 squadron, Commandant of the Air Force Weapons School, Vice Commander of a Fighter Wing in Korea and Vice Commandant of the Air War College. Mr. Carter holds a Bachelor’s degree from Duke University, Masters degrees from EmbryRiddle Aeronautical University and the School for Advanced Air and Space Studies, and he spent a year as a National Security Fellow at Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government.


Blue Horizons

USAF Center for Strategy and Technology
325 Chennault Circle
Maxwell AFB, AL 36112