David Kohnen, Ph.D.

Associate Professor John B. Hattendorf Center for Maritime Historical Research
Cmdr., U.S. Navy, Retired
David Kohnen Photo


David Kohnen is the Captain Tracy Barrett Kittredge Scholar of War Studies and Maritime History. He earned his Ph.D. with the Laughton Professor of Naval History in the War Studies Department at the University of London, King’s College London. He subsequently served as the founding director of the John B. Hattendorf Center for Maritime Historical Research and as executive director of the Naval War College Museum. In his published works, Kohnen focuses upon the history of the British Empire and its influence upon American sea power.

Areas of Expertise

  • Civil-Military Relations
  • Command and Control
  • International Relations
  • JPME
  • Maritime History
  • Maritime Strategy
  • Military Planning
  • Operational Warfare
  • Peace Operations
  • United Nations

Professional Highlights


Capt. Tracy B. Kittredge Scholar for War Studies and Maritime History


Director, John B. Hattendorf Center for Maritime Historical Research

The John B. Hattendorf Center for Maritime Historical Research fosters academic partnerships among maritime historians worldwide. Educating practitioners and the public, the Hattendorf Historical Center conducts original documentary research on the influence of history upon "sea power."


Ph.D., University of London, King’s College, 2013, War Studies (Maritime and Naval History)

M.A., Naval War College, 2007, National Security and Strategic Studies

M.A., Old Dominion University, 1997, History

B.A., University of Iowa, 1993, History

Related Credentials

Outside of his scholarly work, Kohnen contributed to the award winning historic warship exhibits and remains involved with historic preservation efforts surrounding the former German submarine U-505 in Chicago and the battleship USS Wisconsin (BB-64) in Norfolk, Virginia. As a U.S. Naval Reserve sailor, he also completed two deployments afloat in Middle Eastern waters, two ashore in Iraq, and one supporting landlocked operations in Afghanistan. Kohnen presently serves as the Officer in Charge of the Reserve Faculty supporting the Executive Programs at the National Intelligence University in Washington, D.C.

Other Honors

Themed Entertainment Association, “Thea” Award for best Museum Exhibition, U-505

American Association of Museums, Excellence in Exhibition, U-505

American Association of Museums, Excellence in Museum Publications Design, U-505

North Atlantic Society of Oceanic History, Philip Chadwick Foster-Smith Award

External Memberships and Associations

Naval Order of the United States

North Atlantic Society of Oceanic History

Naval Institute

King's College London Alumni Association

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.