Dr. Afshon Ostovar is an Assistant Professor of National Security Affairs at the Naval Postgraduate School with decade of experience working on Department of Defense and federally-funded projects related to national security and the Middle East. He was most recently a Research Scientist in the Center for Strategic Studies at CNA, a not-for-profit research organization in the Washington D.C. area. Previously, he was a Fellow at the Combating Terrorism Center at West Point and has taught at Johns Hopkins University. Dr. Ostovar’s research focuses on conflict and security issues in the Middle East, with a specialty on Iran and the Persian Gulf. His book, Vanguard of the Imam: Religion, Politics, and Iran’s Revolutionary Guards (Oxford University Press, 2016), examines the rise of Iran’s most powerful armed force—the IRGC—and its role in power politics, regional conflicts, and political violence.
Dr. Ostovar is a contributor to War on the Rocks and Lawfare, and his commentary regularly appears in Politico, Foreign Policy, Vox, The Guardian, and other popular media such as New York Times, Reuters, Bloomberg, and National Public Radio. He earned a B.A., summa cum laude, in Near Eastern Studies from the University of Arizona and a Ph.D. in history from the University of Michigan.