Janine Davidson

Member, Board of Editors - Orbis

Dr. Janine Davidson is Senior Fellow for Defense Policy at the Council on Foreign Relations. Her areas of expertise include defense strategy and policy, military operations, national security, and civil-military relations. From 2009-2012, she served as the Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Plans where she oversaw the development of guidance for military campaign and contingency plans and the review and assessment of plans. She also led policy efforts for U.S. global defense posture and international agreements related to U.S. forces stationed overseas, and was the co-chair for the U.S.-Australia defense posture working group. In 2012, she was awarded the Secretary of Defense Medal for Outstanding Public Service.

Dr. Davidson began her career in the United States Air Force, where she was an aircraft commander and senior pilot for the C-130 and the C-17 cargo aircraft. She flew combat support and humanitarian air mobility missions in Asia, Europe, and the Middle East and was an instructor pilot at the U.S. Air Force Academy. From 2006-2008, Dr. Davidson served as a Director in Office of the Assistant Secretary of Defense for Special Operations and Low Intensity Conflict. In that capacity, she oversaw the founding of the Consortium for Complex Operations, an innovative interagency project to enhance education, training, and performance in complex emergencies. In addition to her government and military experience, Dr. Davidson has also taught political science and international relations courses at Davidson College in North Carolina (2002), and also held positions as an Associate at DFI International in Washington D.C. (2003-2004), a research and non-resident fellow at the Brooking Institution (2003-2004; 2008), and as the Director for Counterinsurgency Studies at Hicks and Associates in Arlington, VA (2004-2005).

Dr. Davidson holds a PhD and a Master’s of Arts degree in international studies from the University of South Carolina and a BS in architectural engineering from the University of Colorado at Boulder. She is a Member of the Council on Foreign Relations and author of Lifting the Fog of Peace: How Americans Learned to Fight Modern War (University of Michigan Press, 2009).

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