Biography

Dr. Mackubin Thomas Owens is a research fellow at FDD’s Center for Military and Political Power (CMPP), focusing on Indo-Pacific military and naval affairs. He is also a Senior Fellow of the Foreign Policy Research Institute (FPRI) in Philadelphia, editor of Orbis, FPRI’s quarterly journal, and a member of the board of advisors for the Alexander Hamilton Society.  From August 1987 until September 2014, he was Professor of National Security Affairs at the US Naval War College in Newport, Rhode Island, including eleven years as Associate Dean of Academics for Electives and Directed research. From June 2015 until May 2018, he was the Dean of Academics and Professor of strategy at the Institute of World Politics (IWP) in Washington, DC.

Dr. Owens is the author of the FPRI monograph Abraham Lincoln: Leadership and Democratic Statesmanship in Wartime (2009), US Civil-Military Relations after 9/11: Renegotiating the Civil-Military Bargain (Continuum Press, January 2011), a second FPRI monograph, The Evolution of the Executive and Executive Power in the American Republic (2014), and coauthor of US Foreign and Defense Policy: The Evolution of an Incidental Superpower (Georgetown University Press, 2014). He is currently completing a history of US civil-military relations for Lynne-Rienner.

He has written widely on politics and national security affairs for such publications as The Wall Street Journal, The Boston Globe, National Review, The Weekly Standard, US Naval Institute Proceedings, Marine Corps Gazette, The Christian Science Monitor, The Los Angeles Times, The Jerusalem Post, and The Washington Times.

Before joining the Naval War College faculty, Dr. Owens served as National Security Adviser to Senator Bob Kasten, Republican of Wisconsin, and Director of Legislative Affairs for the Nuclear Weapons Programs of the Department of Energy during the Reagan Administration.  He has been a program officer for the Smith Richardson Foundation, a Senior Visiting Fellow at the Center for Naval Analyses and a consultant to the Los Alamos National Laboratory; Plans Division, Headquarters Marine Corps; and J-5 Strategy, the Joint Staff. Dr. Owens is also a Marine Corps veteran of Vietnam, serving as an infantry platoon and company commander in 1968-1969. He retired from the Marine Corps Reserve as a Colonel in 1994.

Dr. Owens earned his Ph.D. in Politics from the University of Dallas, his MA in Economics from Oklahoma University, and his BA from the University of California at Santa Barbara.  He has taught at the University of Rhode Island, the University of Dallas, Catholic University, Ashland University of Ohio, and the Marine Corps’ School of Advanced Warfighting (SAW).  He was also a visiting lecturer at Amherst College during the fall of 2011.

He is the recipient of the 2012 Andrew Goodpaster Prize for excellence in military scholarship for his book US Civil-Military Relations after 9/11 and was the 2013 Ira Eaker Distinguished Lecturer at the Air Force Academy.

Full Bio