MR. AL MAURONI – DIRECTOR
Mr. Al Mauroni is the Director, U.S. Air Force Center for Strategic Deterrence Studies. In this position, he oversees education and research in counter-WMD policy and nuclear deterrence operations at the Air War College. He has more than 30 years of experience in Department of Defense (DoD) countering weapons of mass destruction (C-WMD) policy and program development. He has developed and coordinated joint concepts, strategic plans, information papers, budget analyses, and related briefings within the areas of passive defense, consequence management, and homeland defense/civil support. Over his career, he has worked C-WMD issues for the U.S. Air Force, U.S. Army, Defense Threat Reduction Agency, and Joint Chiefs of Staff. This has included supporting the initial stand-up and management of the DoD Chemical-Biological Defense Program; executing aspects of the DoD Domestic Preparedness Program; supporting counterproliferation policy and budget analysis for the Joint Staff J5 and J8; establishing the Joint Requirements Office for CBRN Defense; facilitating federal-state coordination within the Chemical Stockpile Emergency Preparedness Program; executing DTRA's non-medical CB defense science and technology research portfolio; and modernizing Air Force C-WMD capabilities. Mr. Mauroni served as a U.S. Army chemical officer for seven years before leaving active duty in 1992. He holds a master's degree in administration from Central Michigan University and a bachelor's degree in chemistry from Carnegie-Mellon University. He is the author of seven books and numerous journal articles. His latest book is Countering Weapons of Mass Destruction: Assessing U.S. Government Policy, Rowman & Littlefield, New York, 2016.
LT COL CHRISTOPHER M. LACEK – DEPUTY DIRECTOR
Lt Col Christopher Lacek is Deputy Director, U.S. Air Force Center for Strategic Deterrence Studies, Air War College, Maxwell Air Force Base, Alabama. Lt Col Lacek assists oversight of curriculum relating to nuclear, biological, and chemical weapons for Air War College and Air Command and Staff College students. Lt Col Lacek entered the Air Force in 1990 and received his commission in 2000 from Southwest Texas State University. He has commanded five times during his career while serving in various duty positions throughout the Security Forces career field.
MASTER SERGEANT DAVID W. BANKS II - SUPERINTENDENT
MSgt Banks serves as the Superintendent for the U.S. Air Force Center for Strategic Deterrence Studies. In addition to advising the Center Director on matters concerning 1,500 Air University students annually, MSgt Banks also supports instructors and administrative personnel of CSDS. In addition, he serves as Cost Center Manager and as an HAF/CBRN Modernization Working Group member. MSgt Banks grew up in Pensacola, Fla., and entered the Air Force in February 1999. He has been assigned to locations in Afghanistan, Diego Garcia, Louisiana, Mississippi, South Korea, Delaware, and Ohio. He has been deployed three times in support of Operations Enduring Freedom and Iraqi Freedom.
MR. PATRICK ELLIS
Mr. Ellis is a WMD/Homeland Security analyst at the USAF Center for Strategic Deterrence Studies located on Maxwell AFB, AL. He specializes in WMD terrorism, homeland security, and disaster/emergency management issues. He holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Maryland in Asian Studies/government and politics, a Master of Public Administration degree from the University of Oklahoma, and a Masters degree in International Relations. He completed specialized courses at the Defense Nuclear Weapons School, US Army Chemical School, and USAF Special Operations School. Mr. Ellis has developed and taught WMD and Asymmetric Warfare related topics for the Air Force Institute of Technology, Senior NCO Academy, and the Ira C. Eaker College for Professional Development's Air Force Incident Management course. As an Air War College faculty member he has taught elective courses such as Asymmetric Warfare Issues, International Rivals, and WMD Issues for the USAF. He was the course director for a two term Nuclear Threats, Countermeasures, and Enterprise research elective, and is currently the Homeland Security and Defense elective course director. His other interests are the study of globalization, the undeveloped world, irregular warfare, and homeland security. He co-edited the USAF Counterproliferation Center's 2011 book titled Tailored Deterrence: Influencing States and Groups of Concern, and authored a chapter on "National Resilience as a Deterrence Factor." He also co-authored with Randall J. Larsen a chapter titled "Securing the Homeland: The First Decade," found in the book Avoiding the Abyss: Progress, Shortfalls, and the Way Ahead in Combating the WMD Threat, published by Praeger Security International in 2006.
DR. JAMES E. PLATTE
Dr. James E. Platte is an Assistant Professor with the USAF Center for Strategic Deterrence Studies, where he is an instructor for the Deterrence Research Task Force elective course and conducts research on nuclear deterrence and proliferation. Prior to joining CSDS in 2017, Dr. Platte was an intelligence research specialist with the U.S. Department of Energy, and he also has worked on nuclear counterproliferation with the Defense Intelligence Agency and the National Nuclear Security Administration. He received his Ph.D. in International Relations from the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University and has held research fellowships with the East-West Center, Pacific Forum CSIS, the Council on Foreign Relations, and the Harvard Kennedy School. Dr. Platte broadly is interested in the military and commercial applications of nuclear energy, and his research particularly focuses on nuclear issues in East Asia, including North Korea's nuclear program, U.S. extended deterrence, and the proliferation of nuclear technology across the region.
GERARD GARINO - NNSA FACULTY CHAIR
Dr. Gerard Garino is the National Nuclear Security Administration Faculty Chair at the U.S. Air Force Center for Strategic Deterrence Studies. Dr. Garino comes to CSDS from the NNSA Office of Counterterrorism and Counterproliferation in Washington, D.C. He brings more than 20 years of national security science, policy and operations experience to his role in helping to educate the next generation of Air Force leaders. He has a Ph.D. in nuclear physics from Northwestern University and a master’s degree in National Resource Strategy from the Eisenhower School at the National Defense University.