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Dr. Colin F. Jackson

Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Afghanistan, Pakistan, and Central Asia

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Colin F. Jackson was sworn in as Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Afghanistan, Pakistan, and Central Asia on August 28, 2017.  In this capacity, Dr. Jackson oversees all U.S. defense policy throughout the region, advancing U.S. national security interests through defense strategy development, security cooperation, contingency planning, and program oversight.

Prior to his appointment, Dr. Jackson served as the Director of the Advanced Strategist Program and a Professor in the Strategy and Policy Department of the U.S. Naval War College in Newport, RI.  He also taught a series of courses on strategy, counterinsurgency, counterterrorism, and security studies at MIT and Columbia University’s School of International and Public Affairs (SIPA).  Dr. Jackson is a Research Affiliate of MIT’s Security Studies Program. 

In 2011, Dr. Jackson deployed to Afghanistan where he served in uniform as the Executive Officer for Policy Planning for the Deputy Chief of Staff of Operations, International Security Assistance Force, Afghanistan.  In 2009, he served as a Senior Civilian Adviser to Task Force Mountain Warrior in Jalalabad, Afghanistan.  Prior to entering academia, Dr. Jackson worked for several years in the corporate sector in financial trading, telecommunications, transportation markets, and power development.  He continues to serve in the U.S. Army Reserve.

Dr. Jackson holds degrees from Princeton University’s Woodrow Wilson School (B.A., Public and International Affairs), the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School (M.B.A., Finance), Johns Hopkins’ School of Advanced International Studies (M.A., International Economics and Strategic Studies), and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (Ph.D., Political Science (Security Studies)).