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I am a professor of international relations and political thought at Macalester College, a top-25 liberal arts college in Saint Paul, Minnesota.

I am also a non-resident fellow at Defense Priorities (a Washington think tank), a regular opinion contributor at The Hill, and Research Associate with the Centre for Defence and Security Studies in Winnipeg, Manitoba.

I received my B.A. and PhD from York University in Toronto, Canada and my M.A. from Queen’s University, Kingston, Canada (where I earned the Best Thesis in International Relations Award).  


Prior to arriving at Macalester in 1997, I was:


  • Assistant Director of the Centre for International and Security Studies, York University, Toronto;

  • Research Fellow with the Canadian Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade;

  • Lecturer at the Canadian Armed Forces School of Aerospace Studies (Winnipeg, Canada);

  • Lecturer at the University of Manitoba (where I earned a university-wide award for Teaching Excellence); and

  • Research Associate with the Centre for Defence and Security Studies (where I am still a non-resident fellow). 

I was also the beneficiary of a Canadian Department of National Defence "Military and Strategic Studies" graduate scholarship.


Since arriving at Macalester College in 1997, I have taught a variety of courses in the field of international relations, including:


  • Regional Conflict and Security (which has variously focused on Iraq; Iran, Pakistan and Afghanistan; and the Indo-Pacific Region);

  • US Foreign and Defense Policy,;

  • Strategic Studies;

  • Advanced International Theory;

  • Chinese Foreign Policy; and,

  • The Politics of the World Wars.


In addition to international relations, I am also interested in political thought.


In recent years I have taught courses such as Liberal and Conservative Political Thought, Medieval Political Thought, and Introduction to Political Theory, as well as a number of courses dealing with classical Islamic and Chinese political thought. I have also published in the field of Catholic international thought.



My education has both formal and informal elements. The informal element consisted of an “apprenticeship” with the Canadian Department of National Defence (DND) and the Canadian Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade (DFAIT, now known as Global Affairs Canada). My PhD was financed by DND through their Military and Strategic Studies Program, and by DFAIT and in the early years of my career I worked with both DND and DFAIT on issues such as non-proliferation, arms control and disarmament (NACD); the Revolution in Military Affairs; the campaign to ban landmines; and issues related to Chinese and Indian strategic culture. I worked not only in Ottawa and Toronto, but also had occasion to be part of several diplomatic delegations to NACD negotiations in Geneva, Switzerland. I also participated in a number of “familiarization tours” at NATO Headquarters, NORAD Headquarters, The Pentagon and US State Department, and Canadian Peacekeeping missions in the Middle East. During these years I learned a great deal about working with government officials and others in the public policy world. My time with DFAIT culminated in my appointment in 2004 as a Senior Policy Advisor responsible for space security.

My formal education consists of successful completion of the following degree programs.



York University, Canada

Major Field: International Relations


Minor Field: Political Theory


Dissertation Title: “From the ‘American System’ to ‘Military Postfordism’: A History of the US Arms Industry


Master of Arts

Queen’s University, Canada

Major Field: International Relations


Minor Field: Political Theory


Thesis Title: “Conflict and Competition in NATO: The Case of the Eurofighter”


Bachelor of Arts (Honours)

York University, Canada

Majors: Political Science and History

Awards, Scholarships and Grants


  • Nonproliferation, Arms Control and Disarmament Doctoral Research Fellowship, Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade, Canada, 1995-97.

  • Military and Strategic Studies Doctoral Fellowship, Department of National Defence, Canada, 1989/90, 1990/91.

  • Ontario Graduate Scholarship, Government of Ontario, Canada, 1988/89.

  • R.S. McLaughlin Graduate Fellowship, Queen’s University, Canada, 1986.

Grants Received

  • Charles Koch Foundation, “Managing Relations with China” research grant ($12,800) in support of my book project on China’s Grand Strategy: A History, 1950-2050, awarded Spring 2022.

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