Stephen J. Mariano, Ph.D.

Provost Office of the Provost
Stephen J. Mariano faculty photo


Provost Stephen Mariano, Ph.D. most recently served as the deputy commandant and dean of the NATO Defense College in Rome, Italy. He also served on the faculties of the School of International Service at American University, National Defense University, the Royal Military College of Canada and the U.S. Military Academy. He holds a B.A. in mathematics and economics from the University of California, Santa Barbara, an M.A. in national security affairs from the Naval Postgraduate School, and a Ph.D. in war studies from the Royal Military College of Canada.

Areas of Expertise

  • JPME
  • National Security

Professional Highlights


Dean and Deputy Commandant, NATO Defense College

Provided executive leadership, oversight, direction, and management of academic programs, student affairs, enrollment, outreach, engagement, and support services.

Professor and Associate Dean of Outreach and Research

Taught graduate level National Security Strategy core and elective courses at the National Defense University's National War College (NWC); Led and coordinated NWC outreach, engagement, and research programs.

Director, Secretary of the Army Strategies & Initiatives Group

Led a cross-functional, civilian-military team responsible for development of strategies, policies, and initiatives for the Secretary of the Army, the Honorable John McHugh.

Senior Fellow, Strategic Studies Group, Office of the Chief of Staff of the Army

Served as an inaugural member of the Chief of Staff of the Army’s (CSA) Strategic Studies Group (SSG).

Senior Army Fellow, Harvard University

Served as the Chief of Staff of the Army’s senior military officer on the Harvard campus and represented the U.S. Army to the faculty, students, and Harvard community.

Director of Strategic Plans, Policies and Assessments

Led a 25-person team in the development and analysis of strategic plans, policies, programs and assessments for SETAF/US Army Africa, the Army Component to US Africa Command (USAFRICOM).

Chief of Strategy, Plans and Assessments

Led a 13-person strategy, plans and assessment shop in the Multinational Security Transition-Iraq (MNSTC-I) headquarters during Operation Iraqi Freedom as it integrated Title 10 and Title 22 funds to conduct security force assistance operations at the height of the surge.

Assistant Professor, Department of Politics and Economics, Royal Military College, Ontario, Canada

Taught courses on government, politics and US Foreign Policy. Chaired conference panels and presented papers at academic conferences on NATO Transformation and NATO in Afghanistan.

Visiting Defence Fellow, Queen’s Center for International Relations, Queen’s University, Ontario, Canada

Served as the U.S. Army War College Fellow assigned to Queen’s University, Center for International Relations, Kingston, Ontario, Canada.

Military Advisor to NATO Senior Civilian Representative

Responsible for a multinational, 14-person, civilian-military office and provision of military advice to NATO Senior Civilian Representative, Minister Hikmet Çetin, in a combat zone.


Ph.D., Royal Military College of Canada, 2012, War Studies

M.A., Naval Postgraduate School, 1995, National Security Affairs

B.A., University of California, Santa Barbara, 1986, Mathematics and Economics

Research Contributions and Publications

"NDC@70: More Relevant than Ever"
Policy Brief 19, NATO Defense College, November 2021

"Strategic Foundations"
Research Paper 12, NATO Defense College, September 2020

"NATO’s Strategic Redirection to the South"
Policy Brief 12, NATO Defense College, June 2020

"NATO at 70: No Time to Retire"
Research Paper 8, NATO Defense College, January 2020

"Time for Minutemen is Past"
Co-authored with Julian "Jules" Tolbert
The Philadelphia Inquirer, June 2, 2013, p. C1.

"Forward in Africa: USAFRICOM and the United States Army in Africa"
Co-authored with William B. Garrett and Adam Sanderson
Military Review, January-February 2010, pp. 16-25.

"Civilian Advisors: Battalion Wise, Corps Foolish"
Operationalizing a Comprehensive Approach in Semi-permissive Environments, NATO Defense College Forum Paper 9, (NDC Research Division: Rome, IT, June 2009), pp. 88-104.

"US Army Africa: Smart Power in Action"
Co-authored with Charles O’Brien
Small Wars Journal, March 15, 2009

"The Art and Science of Assessing Iraqi Security Force Performance"
Co-authored with Keith Hauk
Chapter 8 in Measuring What Matters in Peace Operations & Crisis Management, (McGill-Queen’s University Press: Kingston, ON, & Montreal QC, 2009) pp. 169-175.

"“On Track in Iraq: Building and Professionalizing the Iraqi Security Force"
On Track, vol. 13, no 1, Spring 2008, pp.31-34.

"NATO Command Structure: Rearranging Deck Chairs?"
On Track, vol. 10, no 4, Spring 2008, pp. 8-11.

"Untangling NATO Transformation"
Martello Paper 32, Queen’s University Centre for International Relations, Kingston, Ontario, August 2007, pp. 58.

"NATO and Three Block Wars"
Chapter 6 in Helping Hands and Loaded Arms: Navigating the Military and Humanitarian Space, (Canadian Peacekeeping Press: Cornwallis, NS, 2007), pp. 141-159.

"Alternative Traditions for the US Army as Protector of the State"
The State of the State: Business as Usual? Chapter 4, Part II, Bison Paper 9, University of Manitoba, Centre for Defence and Security Studies, Winnipeg, Manitoba, December 2006, pp. 55-72.

"Ten Reasons to Stay in Afghanistan"
Co-authored with Ben Zyla
National Post, April 11, 2006, p. A14.

"NATO Response Force: Political Deftness, Economic Efficiency, Military Power"
Co-authored with Brendan Wilson
Center for Contemporary Conflict, April 1, 2003

"Transforming Joint Exercises and Readiness"
Joint Force Quarterly, Winter 2002/2003, pp. 96-101.

"Dieulouard Bridgehead Battle Analysis"
Quartermaster Professional Bulletin, Winter 1998, pp. 26-29.

Book Review of Ian Johnston’s "Aftermath of the Gulf War: An Assessment of UN Action"
Studies in Conflict and Terrorism, vol. 18, no 2, 1995, pp.147-149.

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