Brenda L. Connors

Professor College of Leadership and Ethics
Brenda L Connors profile image


Professor Connors is founder of the ALEADMOVE (A Leaders’ Movement) program, an interdisciplinary research initiative. ALEADMOVE tests the potential of decoded nonverbal behavior to understand and predict leaders’ decision-making processes and communicative styles. Recipient of a SECDEF Net Assessment 20-year research fellowship, Connors blends human movement analysis with political science, deception research, gender studies, decision and neuroscience methods. Validation and reliability findings published in peer-reviewed journals underpin this emerging field that offers those in the national security domain new tools for getting at how leaders and other major players make vital choices.

Contact Information

Areas of Expertise

  • Conflict Resolution
  • International Relations
  • Leadership
  • United Nations

Professional Highlights


Professor of Behavioral Research, Strategic Studies Group (SSG); Advisor,


Associate Professor, Behavioral Research Fellow, Chief of Naval Operations (CNO) Strategic Studies Group (SSG), Newport, Rhode Island


Associate Professor, Senior Fellow, Strategic Research Department (SRD), Center for Naval Warfare Studies (CNWS)


Political Officer, U.S. Permanent Representative to the United Nations (USUN): Middle East and UN portfolios, New York, NY.


Director of U.S. Protocol-New York, Office of the Secretary of State: (S/CPR) ; U.S. Mission to the United Nations (USUN), New York, NY.


Office of the Secretary of State: Executive Secretariat, Operations Center, (SSO), Washington, D.C.


Office of the Director, United States Information Agency, Executive Secretariat, Washington, D.C.


M.A., Tufts University School of Arts and Sciences, Political Science: International Relations, Thesis title: USIA- USICA: Public Diplomacy, Exclusion from Decision Making, A Study of the Bay of Pigs Crisis, (directed from the Edward R. Murrow Center of Public Diplomacy, Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University).

M.A., United States Naval War College, National Security and Strategic Studies

B.A., Jackson College for Women of Tufts University, Political Science

Related Credentials

Embodied Developmental Movement Teacher (EDMY), The School of Body-Mind Centering, New York, NY. 2013

Somatic Movement Educator (SME), The School of Body-Mind Centering, Kinesthetic Learning Center, Durham, NC, 2013

Certified Advanced Practitioner of Movement Pattern Analysis (MPA), Motus Humanus; The Warren Lamb Trust, 2012

Infant Developmental Movement Educator (IDME), The School of Body-Mind Centering, North Hampton, MA, 2008

Certified Movement Analyst (CMA), Laban-Bartenieff Institute of Movement Studies, New York, NY, 2000.

Faculty, Soloist for Medal of Freedom awardee, Erick Hawkins, American choreographer: Erick Hawkins School and Dance Company, New York, NY, 1986-2004

Research Contributions and Publications

Book Chapter: Movement Pattern Analysis (MPA): Decoding Individual Differences in Embodied Decision Making.
V. Zeigler-Hill, T. Shackelford (Eds.), the SAGE Handbook of Personality and Individual Differences.
May, 2018.

Beyond Self-Report: Emerging Methods for Capturing Individual Differences in Decision-Making Process.
Frontiers in Psychology.
March, 2016.

Who Is Making the Decision Matters – Conceptual, Methodological, Empirical and Applied Approaches to Individual Differences in Decision-Making.
Frontiers in Psychology (Research Topic).
June, 2013.

Behavioral Analysis of Leadership: No Leader Is Ever off Stage.
Joint Forces Quarterly, Issue 43, 4th Quarter.

Behavioral Cues to Deception vs. Topic Incriminating Potential in Criminal Confession.
Journal of Law and Human Behavior.
December, 2005.

Movement, Brain, Body, Cognition Conference, Harvard Medical School, Lecture: An Interdisciplinary Approach to Embodied Decision Making: Integrating

Movement and Cognition Conference, Harvard MEdical School: Movement Pattern Analysis, Cognitive Science, Political Science and Neuroscience; Lecture-Demonstration: Moving To A Decision: Movement Pattern Analysis (MPA), Boston, MA, July 2018

Movement, Brain, Body, Cognition Conference, Oxford University, Movement Pattern Analysis (MPA): Decoding Human Movement to Capture Cognitive Motivations Underlying Decision-Making Style, Oxford University, Oxford, UK. 2017

The Moving Mind Conference: A Dialogue Between the Arts and Sciences. Understanding Behavior through Movement Analysis. Oct, 2013, Pomona College, Ponoma, CA.

Motus Humanus Conference, Presentation to Movement Pattern Analysis (MPA) Focus Group: Human Movement Analysis and Decision Making Behavior: An Interdisciplinary Study. June 2012, Ponoma College, Pomona, CA

Harvard University, Davis Center for Russian and Eurasian Affairs, New and Complementary Behavioral Methods of Analysis for Political Science Consideration; Cambridge, MA. May, 2008

Awards and Decorations

Naval War College Civilian Faculty Research Excellence Award

Meritorious Honor Award
U.S. Department of State

Warren Lamb Trust Creativity, Leadership and Innovation Award
Validating Movement as Essential Component of Human Behavior

External Memberships and Associations

Women in International Security (WIIS)

International Society of Political Psychology (ISPP)

Psychologists in Security, Intelligence and Law Enforcement: (PASILE) Founding member of professional organization to raise consciousness among government officials of the US, UK, Australia and Canada about behavior in International Relations and issues of common concern.

Motus Humanus

Warren Lamb Trust

Material and external links contained herein are made available for the purpose of peer review and discussion and do not necessarily reflect the views of the Naval War College, Department of the Navy or the Department of Defense.