Department of Defense Analysis


Carter Malkasian, Ph.D.

Code DA, Root Hall, Room TBD

FAX (831) 656-2649

Associate Chair, Instruction

Michael Freeman

Code DA, Root Hall, Room 205B

(831) 656-3731, DSN 756-3731 

Associate Chair, Research

Tristan Volpe, Ph.D.

Code DA, Root Hall, Room 214

(831) 656-3754, DSN 756-3754

Deputy Chair, Operations

Brian Greenshields

Code DA, Root Hall, Room 209

(831) 656-3998, DSN 756-3998

Program Manager

Rebecca Lorentz

Code DA, Root Hall, Room 219

(831) 656-7788, DSN 756-7788

Program Officer

David Hawk, LTC, U.S. Army

Code DA, Root Hall, Room 203

(831) 656-1019, DSN 756-1019

* The year of joining the Naval Postgraduate School faculty is indicated in parentheses.

John Arquilla, Distinguished Professor (1993); Ph.D., Stanford University, 1991.

Leo Blanken, Associate Professor (2008); Ph.D., University of California, Davis, 2006.

Douglas Borer, Associate Professor (2004); Ph.D., Boston University, 1993.

Robert Burks, Associate Professor (2015); Ph.D., Air Force Institute of Technology, 2006.

Daniel Cunningham, Lecturer (2010); M.S., Middlebury Institute of International Studies, 2009.

Dorothy Denning, Distinguished Professor Emerita (2002); Ph.D., Purdue University, 1975.

Michael Donovan, National Intelligence Chair (2019); Ph.D., University of Edinburgh, 2000.

Sean Everton, Professor (2007); Ph.D., Stanford University, 2007.

Michael Freeman, Professor (2005); Ph.D., University of Chicago, 2001.

Frank Giordano, Professor Emeritus (2002); Ph.D., University of Arkansas, 1975.

Brian Greenshields, Senior Lecturer (2009); M.A., Naval Postgraduate School, 1989.

Shannon Houck, Assistant Professor (2020); Ph.D., University of Montana, 2015.

Ryan Maness, Assistant Professor (2017); Ph.D., University of Illinois, 2013. 

Gordon McCormick, Professor (1992); Ph.D., Johns Hopkins University, 1986.

Siamak Naficy, Senior Lecturer (2011); Ph.D., UCLA, 2010.

Wayne Porter, Senior Lecturer (2015); Ph.D., Naval Postgraduate School, 2014.

Nancy Roberts, Professor Emerita (1986); Ph.D., Stanford University, 1983.

Glenn Robinson, Associate Professor (1991); Ph.D., University of California at Berkeley, 1992.

Kalev Sepp, Senior Lecturer (2003); Ph.D., Harvard University, 2002.

Anna Simons, Professor Emerita (1998); Ph.D., Harvard University, 1992.

Bradley Strawser, Associate Professor (2012); Ph.D., University of Connecticut, 2012.

Kristen Tsolis, Lecturer (1999); M.S., Middlebury Institute of International Studies, 1999.

Tristan Volpe, Assistant Professor (2017); Ph.D., George Washington University, 2015. 

Timothy Camber Warren, Associate Professor (2012); Ph.D., Duke University, 2008.

Brief Overview

The Department of Defense Analysis is an interdisciplinary association of faculty, representing a wide range of academic and operational specialties. The Department has three curricula: the Special Operations/Irregular Warfare curriculum; the Information Strategy and Political Warfare curriculum; and the Applied Design for Innovation curriculum.

The Special Operations/Irregular Warfare curriculum provides a focused course of instruction in irregular warfare, sub-state conflict, terrorism and counterterrorism, and other "high leverage" operations in U.S. defense and foreign policy. The core program also provides every student with a strong background in strategic analysis, decision modeling, organization theory, and formal analytical methods. The student's program is built around a common set of core courses and a selected specialty track. Currently the tracks offered are: Irregular Warfare, Information Operations, Terrorist Operations and Financing, Strategic Forecasting and Decision making, Operations Analysis, Combat Systems, Financial Management, C4I Systems, and National Security Affairs (Regional Studies). The individual student, depending on his or her interests and academic background, chooses the specialty track. In selected cases, students are also able to develop a tailored area of specialization to satisfy a particular interest or requirement. Graduates are awarded a Master of Science in Defense Analysis, with their specialty track so specified.

While the Special Operations/Irregular Warfare curriculum is sponsored by U.S. Special Operations Command, the curriculum actively solicits student participation from across the services, regardless of branch or specialty code. International students are an important element of the program. Students are encouraged to apply for the Winter or Summer Quarter, permitting them to take maximum advantage of the program's sequenced course of instruction. Exceptions are approved by the Academic Associate. The program is 18 months long and requires a completed thesis.

The goal of the Information Strategy and Political Warfare curriculum is to educate military personnel and civilian officials of the United States and its Allies in the strategic and operational dimensions of information relative to the use of force as an instrument of statecraft.

The curriculum is designed for both the specialist who will be assigned to an information operations position and the generalist who will be assigned to an operations directorate. The curriculum includes a core of military art and operations, the human dimension of warfare emphasizing psychological warfare and military deception, analytical methods, and a technical sequence customized for each student that may include concentrations in cyber systems and operations, electronic warfare, intelligence support to Information Strategy and Political Warfare and computer network operations. Additional areas of concentration are available to meet specific student and organizational requirements. Finally, each student will write a thesis relevant to the field of information operations. The Information Strategy and Political Warfare curriculum is designed to develop the following competencies in its graduates:

  • Analyze the global information environment and assess its impact on national security strategy.
  • Analyze the role of information operations in national military strategy and maximize it contributions to national military power.
  • Analyze information operations’ role in national information strategy and maximize its contributions to the non-military elements of national power.
  • Evaluate the relationships, linkages and dependencies between intelligence and information operations.
  • Analyze the contributions of the interagency community to information operations and vice versa.
  • Analyze non-US approaches to, capabilities, and doctrines for information operations.
  • Analyze the use of information operations to achieve desired effects across the spectrum of national security threats.
  • Analyze how information operations are integrated to support the national military and security strategies and the interagency process.
  • Analyze how information operations apply at the operational and strategic levels of war and how they support the operations of a networked force.
  • Evaluate the national security technological environment as an enabler for current and future competitive advantage.
  • Detect enemy cyber fires and plan defensive and offensive cyber operations.
  • Analyze the principles, capabilities and limitations of information operations across the range of military operations, to include pre and post-conflict operations.

This program is open to all branches of the military, federal employees, international military officers and government sponsored civilians.

The goal of the Applied Design for Innovation curriculum is to provide students with experiential learning around the challenges of innovation. Students will use a blend of design-thinking and analytic social science methods to engage in the problem-framing, ideation, creative collaboration, and stakeholder engagement necessary for successful innovation. This curriculum is designed to meet the changing needs of Naval Special Warfare in the context of rapidly changing technology and Great Power Competition.         

Army, Air Force, Navy, and USMC graduates who also complete the approved 4-course Naval War College JPME curriculum also receive credit for JPME 1 and their Service-particular Intermediate Level Education (ILE/IDE).


Master of Science in Defense Analysis

Master of Science in Information Strategy and Political Warfare

Master of Science in Applied Design for Innovation

Defense Analysis Course Descriptions

DA Courses (p.362) (p.343)