Helfont holds a PhD in Near Eastern Studies from Princeton University. Prior to moving to Monterey, he completed a three-year post-doctoral lectureship at the University of Pennsylvania. In addition to this academic background, Helfont served as an intelligence officer in the US Navy and Navy Reserve. An Iraq War veteran, he completed deployments both afloat and ashore in the Middle East. For more see: www.SamuelHelfont.com.