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School of Advanced Air and Space Studies Leadership and Faculty

  • Command and Leadership
  • Col Jeffrey Donnithorne

    Col Jeffrey W. Donnithorne

    Colonel Jeffrey Donnithorne is the Commandant and Dean of the School of Advanced Air and Space Studies (SAASS), Air University, Maxwell AFB, AL. SAASS is a selective one-year graduate school with 16 terminally credentialed faculty members and 45 Air Force, Department of Defense, and international students. The mission of SAASS is to educate strategists for the Air Force and nation.  Full Bio
  • Dr. Derrick V. Frazier

    Dr. Derrick V. Frazier

    Dr. Derrick V. Frazier is Deputy Commandant and Education Advisor for the School of Advanced Air and Space Studies (SAASS), Air University (AU), Maxwell Air Force Base (AFB), Alabama.  Full Bio  Curriculum Vitae
  • Faculty Members
  • Dr. Thomas A. Hughes

    Dr. Thomas A. Hughes

    Dr. Thomas Hughes is the Dean of Academics and Professor of Military History at the School of Advanced Air and Space Studies (SAASS).  He is a Professor of Strategy and Security Studies at the School of Advanced Air and Space Studies (SAASS).  His teaching expertise includes collegiate and graduate courses in American and European history, military history, aviation history, the history of strategy, security studies, and military doctrine.  Full Bio   Curriculum Vitae
  • Dr. David C. Benson

    Dr. David C. Benson

    Dr. David C. Benson is a Professor of Strategy and Security Studies at the School of Advanced Air and Space Studies (SAASS). His areas of expertise include online politics, cyber-security, international relations theory and China.  Full Bio  Curriculum Vitae
  • Lt Col Sarah Bakhtiari

    Lt. Col. Sarah N. Bakhtiari

    Lt Col Sarah N. Bakhtiari is a Professor of Strategy and Security Studies and Director of Staff at the School of Advanced Air and Space Studies (SAASS). Lt Col Bakhtiari graduated from Notre Dame in 2000 with a B.A. in Russian Language and English Literature. She holds an M.A. in Security Studies from Georgetown University and a PhD in International Studies from the University of Denver, with a research emphasis in political economy. Lt Col Bakhtiari is a career Intelligence officer with experience in unit support, technical intelligence, security cooperation, and intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance operations in Air Force and Joint commands.  Full Bio
  • Dr. Paige Cone

    Dr. Paige Cone

    Dr. Paige P. Cone is Assistant Professor of Strategy and Security Studies at the School of Advanced Air and Space Studies (SAASS). Dr. Cone received a MA in International Studies and a PhD in Political Science from the University of South Carolina and has a BA in Political Science from the University of North Carolina Wilmington where she double minored in English and International Relations. Her research focuses on issues of international security, nuclear security and nonproliferation, and strategic deterrence. Recent publications include articles on the impact of hypersonic weapons on nuclear deterrence, the role of positive and negative inducements in interstate relations, and an award-winning article on effective strategies for approaching North Korean nuclear weapons activity. She is currently working with the University of Chicago Press to publish her first book project, Bribing the Bomb: Inducements in Arms Control. Prior to coming to SAASS, Dr. Cone was an Assistant Professor with the Center for Strategic Deterrence Studies and was a postdoctoral fellow at The University of Chicago, serving as the Chicago Project and Security and Threats’ first ever nuclear proliferation fellow.  Curriculum Vitae
  • Dr. Robert Hutchinson

    Dr. Robert Hutchinson

    Dr. Robert Hutchinson is a Professor of Strategy and Security Studies at the School of Advanced Air and Space Studies (SAASS), Air University (AU), Maxwell Air Force Base (AFB), Alabama. Dr. Hutchinson received a BA in History from the University of Delaware and a PhD in Modern European History from the University of Maryland. His research focuses on 20th century European political and military history, intelligence studies, and Holocaust and genocide studies. He is the author of German Foreign Intelligence from Hitler’s War to the Cold War: Flawed Assumptions and Faulty Analysis (University Press of Kansas, 2019) and After Nuremberg: American Clemency for Nazi War Criminals, 1949-1958 (forthcoming, Yale). Prior to arriving at SAASS, Dr. Hutchinson was a postdoctoral fellow in the Strategy and Policy Department at the United States Naval War College in Newport, Rhode Island.  Curriculum Vitae
  • Lt Col Nate Huston

    Lt. Col. Nathaniel R. Huston

    Lt Col Nathaniel R. Huston is a Professor of Strategy and Security Studies at the School of Advanced Air and Space Studies (SAASS). Lt Col Huston graduated from Notre Dame in 1999 with a B.S. in Computer Engineering. He also holds an M.A. and a PhD in Political Science from the Notre Dame, with a focus on International Relations and the intersection of technology and organizational behavior. Lt Col Huston's career spans a variety of information and cyber operations mission sets, to include support to the ICBM force, intelligence collection and dissemination, and tactical communications in Air Force and joint commands. 
    Full Bio
  • James Kiras

    Dr. James Kiras 

    Dr. James Kiras is a Professor of Strategy and Security Studies at the School of Advanced Air and Space Studies (SAASS).  His academic background is in strategic studies with a specialization in irregular warfare and special operations.  He teaches courses in irregular warfare, military theory, and defense policy.
  • Lt Col Sean Klimek

    Lt. Col. Sean Klimek

    Lieutenant Colonel Sean P. Klimek is a Professor of Strategy and Security Studies at the School of Advanced Air and Space Studies (SAASS), Maxwell AFB, AL. He graduated from the Pennsylvania State University in 1998 with a BS in Secondary Education with minors in History and Geography and he received his commission as an Air Force officer in 1999.  Lt Col Klimek is a senior navigator with over 1,700 flying hours in C-130E/H and T-43A aircraft. He holds a PhD in History from Florida State University and an MA in International Relations from St. Mary’s University. Lt Col Klimek has commanded twice at the O-5 level and his research interests include military history, political theory, ethics, leadership, philosophy, and theology.   Full Bio
  • Dr. John Maurer

    Dr. John Maurer

    Dr. John D. Maurer is a Professor of Strategy and Security Studies at the School of Advanced Air and Space Studies. His research focuses on the history of American foreign policy in the Cold War, especially nuclear strategy, arms control, and national security. He previously served as a Henry Kissinger Postdoctoral Fellow at Yale University’s International Security Studies (ISS) and a Jeane Kirkpatrick Fellow at the American Enterprise Institute (AEI) in Washington, DC. He has a BS in international politics and an MA and Ph.D. in history from Georgetown University. His upcoming book, Competitive Arms Control, examines the origins of the Strategic Arms Limitation Talks (SALT) in the Nixon administration as part of the United States’ larger efforts to offset Soviet military capabilities.   Curriculum Vitae
  • Dr. Richard Muller

    Dr. Richard Muller

    Dr Richard R. Muller is Professor of Military History at the USAF School of Advanced Air and Space Studies (SAASS) at Maxwell AFB, Alabama. He joined the SAASS faculty in June 2005, and was Dean of Academics from 2008-2018. Prior to that, he spent 14 years on the faculty at the USAF Air Command and Staff College (ACSC). At ACSC, he served as course director, department chairman, and Dean of Education and Curriculum.  He is a military historian specializing in the history of air power and the Second World War. He is the author of The German Air War in Russia; The Luftwaffe’s Way of War 1911-1945 (with James S. Corum); and The Luftwaffe over Germany: Defense of the Reich (with Donald L. Caldwell), which received the Air Force Historical Foundation’s “Best Air Power History Book of 2008” prize, as well as many articles, book chapters and reviews. His latest article is “A Tale of Two Bomb Groups,” which appeared in the journal Air Power History in Spring 2019. He is currently writing a history of the 452nd Bomb Group. A proud native of New Jersey, Dr Muller received his BA in history (with honors) from Franklin and Marshall College, and his MA and PhD degrees in military history from The Ohio State University. He has held fellowship appointments at Yale University and the Smithsonian’s National Air and Space Museum, and was named the Air Force Civilian Educator of the Year for 2009.  Dr Muller and his wife Cindy have a 19-year old daughter, Lauren.  Full Bio  Curriculum Vitae 
  • Dr. James Tucci

    Dr. James Tucci

    Dr. James Tucci is a Professor of Strategy and Security Studies at the School of Advanced Air and Space Studies (SAASS).  Dr. Tucci is a graduate of Augustana College in Rock Island, Illinois where he read Greek and Latin for a Bachelor’s degree.  He also holds an M.A. in history from the University of Missouri at Columbia and a Ph.D. in Comparative World History from the University of Wisconsin at Madison. During his 22-year USAF career, Dr. Tucci served as an ICBM Flight Commander, flew over 1000 hours in both USAF and US Navy aircraft, and was Director of Military History in the USAF Academy History Department.  Dr. Tucci has taught history, strategy, literature, classical language, and security studies at the US Air Force Academy, the USAF Air Command and Staff College, Auburn University, the Netherlands Defense College, the United Arab Emirates Defense College, and SAASS.
  • Dr. Lina Svedin

    Dr. Lina Svedin 

    Dr. Lina Svedin is Visiting Professor of Strategy and Security Studies at the School of Advanced Air and Space Studies (SAASS). Dr. Svedin has a BA in English and Political Science, and an MA in International Relations from Stockholm University, Sweden. She received a PhD in political science at the Maxwell School, Syracuse University. Her research focuses on public policy, ethics, collaboration and governance challenges in crises. Recent publications include articles in the journals Pediatrics and Climate Risk Management. Books she has published include Accountability in Crises and Public Trust in Governing Institutions; Ethics and Risk Management; Ethics and Crisis Management; Risk Regulation in the European Union and the United States, and Organizational Cooperation in Crises. Dr. Svedin has previously worked in national government and as training director at the Swedish national center for Crisis Research and Training at the Swedish National Defence College. Dr. Svedin is on loan to SAASS from the University of Utah, where she is an Associate Professor of Political Science, teaching public administration, public policy and ethics.  Curriculum Vitae
  • Dr. Wendy Whitman-Cobb

    Dr. Wendy N. Whitman Cobb 

    Dr. Wendy N. Whitman Cobb is Associate Professor of Strategy and Security Studies at the School of Advanced Air and Space Studies (SAASS).  Dr. Whitman Cobb received a BA and MA from the University of Central Florida, both in political science, and a PhD in political science from the University of Florida.  Her research focuses on the political and institutional dynamics of space policy, public opinion of space exploration, and the influence of commerce on potential space conflict.  Prior to arriving at SAASS, Dr. Whitman Cobb was an associate professor of political science at Cameron University in Lawton, Oklahoma.  Curriculum Vitae

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