Dr. Thomas G. Mahnken is currently a Senior Research Professor at the Philip Merrill Center for Strategic Studies at The Johns Hopkins University’s Paul H. Nitze School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS) and Jerome E. Levy Chair of Economic Geography and National Security the U.S. Naval War College. Dr. Mahnken served as the Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Policy Planning from 2006-2009. In that capacity, he was responsible for the Department’s major strategic planning functions, including the preparation of guidance for war plans and the development of the defense planning scenarios.
Dr. Mahnken has held positions in both the government and the private sector. He served on the staff of the Quadrennial Defense Review Independent Panel and the Commission on the Intelligence Capabilities of the United States Regarding Weapons of Mass Destruction. He served in the Defense Department’s Office of Net Assessment and as a member of the Gulf War Air Power Survey.
Dr. Mahnken is the author of Strategy in Asia: The Past, Present and Future of Regional Security (Stanford University Press, 2014), Competitive Strategies for the 21st Century: Theory, History, and Practice (Stanford University Press, 2012), Technology and the American Way of War Since 1945 (Columbia University Press, 2008), and Uncovering Ways of War: U.S. Intelligence and Foreign Military Innovation, 1918-1941 (Cornell University Press, 2002), among other works.
Dr. Mahnken earned his master’s degree and doctorate in international affairs from SAIS and was a National Security Fellow at the John M. Olin Institute for Strategic Studies at Harvard University. He was a summa cum laude graduate of the University of Southern California with bachelor’s degrees in history and international relations (with highest honors) and a certificate in defense and strategic studies. In 2009, Dr. Mahnken received the Secretary of Defense Medal for Outstanding Public Service.