Paul Brister, Ph.D.

Dean Center for Naval Warfare Studies
Paul Brister faculty photo


Paul Brister joined the U.S. Naval War College in October 2022 as Dean, Center for Naval Warfare Studies. His areas of scholarly and professional expertise include security studies, deterrence, terrorism, strategy, international relations and special operations. For 21 years he served as a U.S. Air Force special tactics officer with multiple deployments around the globe, commanding two Air Force Special Tactics Squadrons and an expeditionary Special Tactics Group. Upon retirement, he worked in the Office of the Secretary of Defense for Policy, OSD – Cost Assessment and Program Evaluation, as an adjunct professor at George Washington University, and on the National Security Council staff.

Areas of Expertise

  • Deterrence
  • Foreign Policy
  • International Relations
  • Military Theory
  • National Security
  • Operational Warfare
  • Special Operations

Professional Highlights


Dean, Center for Naval Warfare Studies, U.S. Naval War College


Director for Defense Policy and Strategy, National Security Council


Operations Analyst, Office of Secretary of Defense Cost Assessment and Program Evaluation


Senior Plans Advisor, Office of the Under Secretary of Defense for Policy


Ph.D., Naval Postgraduate School, Security Studies

M.A., Naval Postgraduate School, Defense Analysis (Irregular Warfare)

B.S., U.S. Air Force Academy, Basic Sciences

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