Leadership

Hon. Mark T. Esper

Hon. Mark T. Esper

Distinguished Chair

Dr. Mark T. Esper served as United States secretary of defense from July 2019 to November 2020. From November 2017 to June 2019, he served as secretary of the Army. He is currently the Distinguished Chair of the Modern War Institute at West Point.

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Patrick Howell

Patrick Howell

Director

Col. Patrick Howell is the Director of the Modern War Institute at West Point. A career Engineer and Strategic/Operational Planner, he has deployed in support of combat operations to Afghanistan, Iraq, and East Africa.

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Charles Faint

Charles Faint

Deputy Director

Lt. Col. Charles Faint currently serves as Deputy Director of the Modern War Institute at West Point and as an Assistant Professor, teaching Comparative Defense Policy. A military intelligence officer, he holds five undergraduate and graduate degrees, the most recent of which is from Yale University. Published in a number of blogs and professional journals, Lt. Col. Faint is also the coauthor of Violence of Action: The Untold Stories of the 75th Ranger Regiment in the War on Terror.

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Full-Time Staff

John Amble

John Amble

Editorial Director

John Amble is the editorial director of the Modern War Institute at West Point. He is a military intelligence officer in the US Army Reserve and a veteran of both Iraq and Afghanistan. He writes on terrorism, intelligence, the military, and the Middle East.

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Jeff Bender

Jeff Bender

Operations Officer

Capt. Jeff Bender is the Operations Officer of the Modern War Institute. He also serves as an instructor of DS350 Persuasive Communication.

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Timothy Heck

Timothy Heck

Deputy Editorial Director

Timothy Heck is the deputy editorial director of the Modern War Institute at West Point. He is an artillery officer in the US Marine Corps Reserve and a veteran of both Iraq and Afghanistan. He writes on military history, amphibious operations, operational art, and the Cold War. He teaches courses in the Defense & Strategic Studies program.

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Max Margulies

Max Margulies

Director of Research

Dr. Max Margulies is the Director of Research and an Assistant Professor at the Modern War Institute at West Point. He also serves as the course director for the thesis and capstone programs in West Point’s Defense and Strategic Studies program. He holds a PhD in Political Science from the University of Pennsylvania, an MA in Political Science from Columbia University, and a BA in Political Science (Honors) from McGill University.

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Donald Patton

Donald Patton

NCOIC

Sgt. 1st Class Donald Patton currently serves as the NCOIC of the Modern War Institute. He is also the NCOIC of the Irregular Warfare Group club and an officer representative with the wrestling team and the dive club.

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Matt Schardt

Matt Schardt

Executive Officer

Maj. Matt Schardt serves as the Executive Officer of the Modern War Institute and teaches DS455 Comparative Defense Policy.

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Scott Woodbrey

Scott Woodbrey

Air Force Liaison Officer

Lt. Col. Scott Woodbrey is the Air Force Liaison Officer to the United States Military Academy at West Point and teaches DS485, Sea and Air Power.

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John Spencer

John Spencer

Chair of Urban Warfare Studies

Maj. (ret) John W. Spencer is the Chair of Urban Warfare Studies at the Modern War Institute at West Point and Co-Director of MWI’s Urban Warfare Project.

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Senior Fellows

Max Brooks

Max Brooks

Senior Fellow

Max Brooks is the best-selling author of The Zombie Survival GuideWorld War Z, and The Zombie Survival Guide: Recorded Attacks, among other books. An advocate of challenging old ways of thinking and encourage mental agility and flexibility for problem solvers and leaders, he is frequently sought out to speak to audiences across the defense and national security community.

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ML Cavanaugh

ML Cavanaugh

Senior Fellow

Matt Cavanaugh is an active duty US Army strategist with global experience and assignments ranging from the Pentagon to Korea and West Point to the Middle East. He earned his master’s degree at Victoria University in Wellington, New Zealand and his PhD under Professor Emeritus Colin Gray at the University of Reading (UK). His writings have been featured in the New York TimesWashington Post, and Wall Street Journal, among other outlets.

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Nancy Collins

Nancy Collins

Senior Fellow

Nancy Collins is a senior fellow of the Modern War Institute at West Point. Collins writes about US defense, national security, and military technology. She is the chair of the Columbia Seminar on Defense and Security. Her essays and commentaries have appeared in a range of media outlets, including Forbes, the New York TimesTIMEUS News and World Report, and the Wall Street Journal. She is the author of Grey Wars (Yale University Press, 2021).

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Steve Leonard

Steve Leonard

Senior Fellow

Steve Leonard joined the University of Kansas School of Business as the Director of the graduate program in Business and Organizational Leadership following a twenty-eight-year career in the US Army. He is a former senior military strategist and the creative force behind Doctrine Man!! He is also the co-founder of Divergent Options, a founding member of the Military Writers Guild, and a frequent contributor to the Atlantic Council’s Art of Future Warfare Project.

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