Colin F. Jackson is the Chairman of the Strategic and Operational Research Department (SORD) at the U.S. Naval War College. He oversees the work of a range of research groups focused on contemporary functional and regional challenges in the maritime domain. These research groups include the China Maritime Studies Institute (CMSI), the Russia Maritime Studies Institute (RMSI), the Advanced Research Programs (Halsey A, Halsey B, Gravely, and Holloway), the Cyber and Innovation Policy Institute (CIPI), and the Brodie Group.
Jackson served as Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Afghanistan, Pakistan, and Central Asia (2017-2019), overseeing all strategy, security cooperation, budget oversight, and contingency planning. He also served as the senior DOD representative to the U.S.-Taliban peace talks. From 2006-2017, he was a Professor in the Strategy Department and later Director of the Advanced Strategist Program. He also taught courses in strategy and counterinsurgency at MIT and Columbia. In 2011, he deployed in uniform to Afghanistan as Executive Officer for Policy Planning for the Deputy Chief of Staff, Operations, USFOR-A. Before entering academia, he worked in private sector financial trading and power development.
Jackson holds degrees from Princeton University (BA, 1992), Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS) (MA, 1999), the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School (MBA, 1999), and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (PhD, 2008).