Part-time and Adjunct Faculty

The Elliott School's part-time and adjunct faculty is comprised of superb scholars whose research makes important contributions to our understanding of the world. Being in the heart of Washington, DC enables us to draw on the tremendous intellectual firepower that abounds in the policy community, think tanks, NGOs, and international organizations.


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Thomas Parker: Lecturer
Dr. Thomas Parker worked in the Executive Office of the President, the Office of the Secretary of Defense, the State Department's Policy Planning Staff, the Intelligence Community and the U.S. Congress during the past thirty years. He has taught at the Universities of Haifa and Paris and lectured at the institute for National Security Studies in Tel Aviv and the Marine corps University in Quantico, Virginia. He currently teaches a course on military power and diplomacy at the George Washington University. He has published numerous journal articles and a book on foreign policy and defense issues.

Trita Parsi

Trita Parsi: Professorial Lecturer
Trita Parsi is an award winning author and the 2010 recipient of the Grawemeyer Award for Ideas Improving World Order. He is the founder and president of the National Iranian American Council and an expert on US-Iranian relations, Iranian foreign politics, and the geopolitics of the Middle East. He is the author of Treacherous Alliance: The Secret Dealings of Iran, Israel and the United States (Yale University Press 2007), for which he conducted more than 130 interviews with senior Israeli, Iranian and American decision-makers. Treacherous Alliance is the silver medal winner of the 2008 Arthur Ross Book Award from the Council on Foreign Relations.

Parsi studied for his Doctoral thesis on Israeli-Iranian relations under Professor Francis Fukuyama at Johns Hopkins University School of Advanced International Studies. In addition to his PhD, he holds a Master's Degree in International Relations from Uppsala University and a Master's Degree in Economics from the Stockholm School of Economics. He has served as an adjunct professor of International Relations at Johns Hopkins University SAIS, an adjunct scholar at the Middle East Institute and as a Policy Fellow at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars in Washington DC.

He is fluent in Persian/Farsi, English, and Swedish. Parsi's articles on Middle East affairs have been published in the Washington Post, Wall Street Journal, New York Times, Los Angeles Times, Financial Times, Jane's Intelligence Review, the Nation, The American Conservative, the Jerusalem Post, The Forward, and others. He is a frequent guest on CNN, PBS's Newshour with Jim Lehrer, NPR, the BBC, and Al Jazeera.

Rebecca Patterson: Professorial Lecturer
Rebecca Patterson is an advisor in the Office of Peacekeeping, Sanctions, and Counterterrorism in the Bureau of International Organization Affairs at the State Department. An active duty LTC in the U.S. Army, her military specialty is Strategic Plans and Policy.  Prior to her assignment at the State Department, she served as an Associate Professor and Associate Dean of Curriculum and Faculty Development at the National Defense University (NDU).  From 2011-2012, Dr. Patterson was a Strategic Advisor in the Commander’s Initiatives Group, Headquarters, International Security Assistance Force, Afghanistan.  From 2010-2011, she was a Council on Foreign Relations International Affairs Fellow.  During this fellowship, she split her time between the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation and the World Bank’s Independent Evaluation Group. 

Patterson’s recently published book is titled The Challenges of Nation-Building: Implementing Effective Innovation in the U.S. Army from World War II to the Iraq War (Rowman & Littlefield).  Her previous military assignments include: Deputy, Director's Initiatives Group, Department of the Army Office of Business Transformation (2010), Staff Officer, Department of the Army Office of Institutional Adaptation (2009), economic advisor to the 1st Armored Division (MND-N) while deployed to Iraq (2008), command of an Army mechanized engineer unit in South Korea (2001-2003), platoon leader and executive officer at Fort Lewis, Washington where she supervised construction projects in Thailand (1997), Texas (1998) where she worked with Joint Task Force and the United States Border Patrol, and New York (1999) where she worked with the New York Police Department, and the Corps of Engineers. 

She holds a Ph.D. from The George Washington University in National Security Policy, a M.S. in Engineering Management from University of Missouri-Rolla; and a B.S. in Economics from the United States Military Academy at West Point.  She is a term member of the Council on Foreign Relations and an Aspen Institute Scholar.


Rubén M. Perina Professorial Lecturer

Dr. Rubén M. Perina currently teaches at the Latin American and Hemisphere Program of the Elliott School of International Affairs of the George Washington University and has previously taught at the Center for Latin American Studies, Edmund A. Walsh School of Foreign Service, Georgetown University. He is also a political consultant and a columnist on current hemispheric issues related to democracy in Latin America.  Between 1994 and 2010 he directed technical assistance programs on democracy promotion (legislative modernization, decentralization and local governance, and democratic values and practices).  He also served as Chief of OAS Electoral Observation Missions in the Dominican Republic (2006), Venezuela (2005 and 2000), Guatemala (1996), Colombia (1994), Paraguay (1991-1993), and as Coordinator of  the OAS Demining Program in Central America (1994-2000). He was a Special Advisor to the Secretary General of the OAS between 1990 and 1994 and one of founding members of the Unit for the Promotion of Democracy.   Between 1980 and 1990, he directed a program to encourage the development of international studies in Latin American universities. Dr. Perina has published on the role of the OAS in the promotion of democracy, the role of legislatures in democracy and integration processes; leadership and "governability", separation of powers and "governability", electoral systems, the role of political culture in the consolidation of democracy, and on the military and politics in Argentina. He holds a Ph. D. in International Relations from the University of Pennsylvania; he is a native of Argentina and resides in Washington, D.C. since 1980. 


Judy Philipson Professorial Lecturer

Dr. Philipson is a senior operational psychologist with over 15 years of experience consulting on a broad range of operational, investigative, research and training activities to manage and counter terrorist, criminal and insider threats.  She specializes in the application of psychological science to the understanding and prediction of human behavior in complex operational environments.  She served as the Central Intelligence Agency’s first Social Influence Advisor for the CounterTerrorism Center in support of its efforts to systematically identify, profile and degrade foreign intelligence and terrorist threats.  She published a number of classified papers, primers and guides on social influence tactics, behavioral profiling, terrorist indoctrination tactics, deception detection and interviewing strategies.  Since 2005, Dr. Philipson has been a consultant to the Central Intelligence Agency, Department of Energy and the Department of Defense.  She is a subject matter expert in behavioral profiling, psychological tradecraft, counterintelligence assessment, threat assessment, identity development, and research methodology in high-risk environments. She received her Ph.D. from Drexel University in clinical psychology and her B.A. from Union College in political science. 



Eric Pierce: Lecturer
Eric Pierce is a Fellow at the Center for a New American Security (CNAS) where he works on a variety of issues related to U.S. foreign policy and national security strategy. Prior to joining CNAS, he served as Defense and Foreign Policy Adviser to Senator Ben Nelson (D-NE), a member of the Senate Appropriations and Armed Services Committees. In the Senate, his primary areas of concentration included the war on terrorism, military personnel matters, strategic issues, and emerging threats. Previously, Mr. Pierce was a U.S. Defense Department Fellow serving on the National Security Council as a Director of Transnational Threats, at the Department of Defense in the Office of Special Operations and Low Intensity Conflict, and for the Department of the Navy in the Office of Program Appraisal. In 2000, he was awarded the Department of Defense Award for Outstanding Achievement. Mr. Pierce is a member of the D.C. Chapter of the Council for Emerging National Security Affairs, and a member of the Congressional Advisory Committee of the Truman National Security Project. He holds a B.A. in history from Louisiana State University, and as a college student served in the AmeriCorps pilot program. Additionally, he holds a M.I.P.P., with a focus on the Middle East, from the School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS) at Johns Hopkins University.

Paul Pitman: Professorial Lecturer
Paul M. Pitman is a historian with the Office of the Historian of the US Department of State, where he compiles volumes in the Foreign Relations of the United States series. Before joining the Office of the Historian, he taught history, international relations, and strategy at a number of universities, including the University of California at Berkeley and Santa Cruz and the Naval Postgraduate School in Monterey. He has also worked as an analyst at the Library of Congress, the Berkeley Roundtable on the International Economy (BRIE) at UC Berkeley, and the Miller Center of Public Affairs at the University of Virginia.

Pitman's research focuses on the interplay between economic and security policies in transatlantic relations. He has published a number of essays on related topics, including "'A General Named Eisenhower': Atlantic Crisis and European Integration," in America and Europe: The Cold War Years, ed. Marc Trachtenberg (Rowman and Littlefield, 2003) and "The Suez Crisis: Consequences for the Atlantic System." In Les Occidentaux et la Crise de Suez: une Relecture Politico-Militaire, ed. Martin Alexander, Robert Frank, Scott Lucas, Philippe Vial (Paris: Presses de la Sorbonne, forthcoming). Pitman earned his Ph.D. in History from Columbia University in 1997. He also holds a Diplôme d'études approfondies from the Institut d'études politiques de Paris, an M.A. in International Relations from the School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS) of the Johns Hopkins University, and a B.A. in from the University of California at Santa Cruz.

Anita Plotinsky

Anita Plotinsky: Professorial Lecturer
Anita Plotinsky brings to her grant proposal writing course more than 20 years' experience in the nonprofit sector. She was affiliated for many years with the Indiana University Center on Philanthropy, where she developed academic programs and taught courses in nonprofit management and philanthropic studies. Currently a consultant to national and international nonprofits, she specializes in proposal writing and foundation relations, and has written successful proposals to dozens of foundations and agencies, including large international funders. Dr. Plotinsky has served as executive director of the Association for Research on Nonprofit Organizations and Voluntary Action (ARNOVA) and as director of the Foundation Center-Washington, DC.

Daniel Potter

Daniel Potter: Professorial Lecturer
Daniel Potter is a senior researcher at the American Institute of Research (AIR), where he works on multiple projects, including the Early Childhood Longitudinal Studies, Kindergarten class of 2010-2011 (ECLS-k:2011) and the Middle Grades Longitudinal Study of 2016-2017 (MGLS:2017). Dr. Potter has authored a number of publications and presentations at the national and regional conferences in the field of sociology and educational research. Prior to joining AIR, Dr. Potter was a Graduate Research Assistant at the University of Virginia, where he conducted and supported various projects examining the intersection of social and education inequality among children and adolescents. Dr. Potter earned his Ph.D. in sociology from the University of Virginia.


Andrea Powell

Andrea Powell: Lecturer
Andrea Powell (Executive Director) co-founded FAIR Girls in 2003 and currently serves as Executive Director. Since that time, Andrea has led FAIR Girls' efforts to prevent the sex trafficking and exploitation of girls in the United States and in FAIR Girls' global programs in Bosnia, Serbia, Montenegro, Russia, and Uganda. In her current position at FAIR Girls, Andrea over-sees all operational, programmatic, and developmental aspects of FAIR Girls. Andrea currently serves as the FAIR Girls' chief liaison to the D.C. Anti Trafficking Task Force and has trained hundreds of U.S. and international audiences, including federal and local law enforcement, service providers, state and federal policy makers, teachers, how to identify and assist child victims of sex and forced labor trafficking. In 2009, Ms. Powell served as co-investigator to a Department of Justice funded study on commercial sexual exploitation of children in the United States. Ms. Powell currently acts as an adjunct professor at the Elliott School of International Affairs at George Washington University teaching courses in global sex trafficking and girl's empowerment. Her efforts to stop the trafficking of youth have been featured in media outlets including Marie Claire, CNN, the BBC, the Washington Post, the Boston Globe, the Wall Street Journal, and Voice of America. In 2012, Ms. Powell was one of four selected women for the Diane Von Furstenberg's People Choice Award. Her work has been published in the Huffington Post, FAIR Observer, and the Washington Post.

Bruce Powers: Professorial Lecturer
Bruce Powers has taught at GWU since 1993. He also teaches at the Naval Postgraduate School in Monterey CA and at the Naval War College in Newport RI. Professor Powers retired from the Pentagon in 2001, where he had served the Chief of Naval Operations in aviation and in analysis as a civilian Senior Executive for 16 years. Prior to that, he worked for Secretary of Defense Caspar Weinberger for 3 years. Earlier, he worked at three DoD think tanks: the Institute for Defense Analysis, the RAND Corporation, and the Center for Naval Analyses. At CNA, he served on five year-long assignments with operating forces, including 3 overseas.

At GWU, Mr. Powers teaches defense analysis courses. They take a case study approach to impart techniques and tools of analysis, stressing selection of measures of effectiveness, measuring costs, data identification and interpretation, succinct expression of analytical results, and focus on decision makers' needs.

Sarah Pray: Professorial Lecturer

Sarah Pray is a Senior Policy Analyst for Africa in the Open Society Foundations’ Washington DC office.  Sarah focuses on bringing the advocacy priorities of the four OSF African foundations to the Washington D.C. policymaker community, focusing on a diverse range of issues, including elections, human rights, rule of law and corruption. Since 2010, Sarah has been a lecturer at the George Washington University Elliott School of International Affairs teaching graduate skills courses on advocacy. Prior to joining OSF, Sarah was the coordinator of the Publish What You Pay United States coalition, advocating for transparency and accountability in the oil, gas and mining industries. Sarah has also worked at the Robert F. Kennedy Center for Human Rights as a human rights attorney promoting corporate responsibility and government accountability around the extraction of oil in Chad. Sarah serves on the Board of Directors of EG Justice, a human rights organization focusing on Equatorial Guinea.  She received a B.A. from the University of Michigan and a J.D. from Boston College Law School.

Ned Price: Lecturer

Ned Price

Ned Price served as a Special Assistant to President Obama on the National Security Council staff, where he also was the SpokespersonandSenior Director for Strategic Communications.Ned previously was an Assistant Press Secretary and Director for Strategic Communications on the National Security Council staff.Prior to serving at the White House, Ned was at the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), where he was a spokesperson and—prior to that—aPDB briefer and senior analystcovering a range of strategic and tactical issues. He publicly resigned from the Agency in February 2017 after more than a decade of service, citing the Trump Administration’s disregard for intelligence analysis. Prior to joining the CIA, Ned was an Associate at The Cohen Group, working under former Secretary of Defense William S. Cohen on a variety of public policy, non-profit, and business initiatives. He has also worked on several political campaigns.

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GW Making History

Elliott School faculty member James Foster, Professor of Economics and International Affairs, was impressed by our location from the start.