Elizabeth Stanley

Elizabeth Stanley
Associate Professor
214 Mortara

Associate Professor 

Elizabeth A. Stanley, Ph.D. is an associate professor of security studies with joint appointments in the Edmund A. Walsh School of Foreign Service and the Department of Government, where she is also the international relations field chair.

She has served as associate director of Georgetown’s Security Studies Program. Earlier in her career, she served as a U.S. Army intelligence officer in Asia, Europe, and on deployments to the Balkans, leaving service as a captain. She is the creator of Mindfulness-based Mind Fitness Training (MMFT), which has been tested through four neuroscience research studies with the U.S. military. She’s taught MMFT to thousands in civilian and military high-stress environments. Liz has extensive mind fitness experience and is a certified practitioner of Somatic Experiencing, a body-based trauma therapy.

She speaks, teaches, and writes widely on a variety of topics related to resilience, decision-making in stressful environments, civil-military relations, military effectiveness and innovation, and international security. Her book, Paths to Peace, won the 2009 Edgar S. Furniss Award for the best first book in the field of national and international security.

She has served on the National Security Advisory Board of the Sandia National Laboratories, the US Army Science Board, and the executive board of Women in International Security (WIIS). From 2009-2015, she was founder of the non-profit Mind Fitness Training Institute. She was a post-doctoral fellow at Harvard’s Olin Institute for Strategic Studies. Her research has been supported by grants from the National Science Foundation, the Smith Richardson Foundation, the G.D. Searle Foundation, the John Kluge Foundation, the Department of Defense Centers for Excellence for Psychological Health and Traumatic Brain Injury, the US Army Medical Research and Materiel Command, the Office of Naval Research, and Sandia National Laboratories.

  • PhD (2002) Harvard University, Government
  • MBA (1999) MIT Sloan School of Management, Technology Strategy/Organizational Behavior
  • BA (1992) Yale University, Soviet and East European Studies



Elizabeth A. Stanley. Paths to Peace: Domestic Coalition Shifts, War Termination and the Korean War. Palo Alto, CA: Stanford University Press, 2009.

Articles in Journals

Amishi P. Jha, Alexandra B. Morrison, Suzanne Parker, & Elizabeth A. Stanley.Practice is Protective: Mindfulness Training Promotes Cognitive Resilience in High-Stress Cohorts.” Mindfulness 7.1 (2016): 1-13.

Amishi P. Jha, Alexandra B. Morrison, Justin Dainer-Best, Suzanne Parker, Nina Rostrup, & Elizabeth A. Stanley.Minds “At Attention”: Mindfulness Training Curbs Attentional Lapses in Military Cohorts.” PLOS One (2015): DOI:10.1371/journal.pone.0116889.

Haase, Lori, Nathaniel J. Thom, Akanksha Shukla, Paul W. Davenport, Alan N. Simmons, Elizabeth A. Stanley, Martin P. Paulus and Douglas C. Johnson.Mindfulness-based training attenuates insula response to an aversive interoceptive challenge.” Social Cognitive and Affective Neuroscience (2015): DOI:10.1093/scan/nsu042.

Elizabeth A. Stanley.Cultivating the Mind of a Warrior.” Inquiring Mind 30.2 (2014): 16, 31.

Douglas C. Johnson, Nathaniel J. Thom, Elizabeth A. Stanley, Lori Haase, Alan N. Simmons, Pei-an B. Shih, Wesley K. Thompson, Eric G. Potterat, Thomas R. Minor, and Martin P. Paulus.Modifying resilience mechanisms in at-risk individuals: a controlled study of mindfulness training in Marines preparing for deployment.” American Journal of Psychiatry 171 (2014): 844-853.

Elizabeth A. Stanley, John M. Schaldach, Anastasia Kiyonaga, and Amishi P. Jha.Mindfulness-based Mind Fitness Training: A Case Study of a High Stress Pre-deployment Military Cohort.” Cognitive and Behavioral Pratice 18.4 (2011): 566-576.

Amishi P. Jha, Elizabeth A. Stanley, Anastasia Kiyonaga, Ling Wong & Lois Gelfand.Examining the Protective Effects of Mindfulness Training on Working Memory Capacity and Affective Experience.” Emotion 10.1 (2010): 54-64.

Elizabeth A. Stanley and Amishi P. Jha.Mind Fitness: Improving Operational Effectiveness and Building Warrior Resilience.” Joint Force Quarterly 55.4 (2009): 144-151.

Elizabeth A. Stanley and John P. Sawyer.The Equifinality of War Termination: Multiple Paths to Ending War.” Journal of Conflict Resolution 53.5 (2009): 651-676.

Elizabeth A. Stanley.Ending the Korean War: The Role of Domestic Coalition Shifts in Overcoming Obstacles to Peace.” International Security 34.1 (2009): 42-82.

Elizabeth A. Stanley.Technology’s Double-Edged Sword: The Case of US Army Battlefield Digitization.” Defense Analysis 17.3 (2001): 267-288.

Articles in Books

Elizabeth A. Stanley.Mindfulness-based Mind Fitness Training (MMFT): An Approach for Enhancing Performance and Building Resilience in High Stress Contexts.” The Wiley-Blackwell Handbook of Mindfulness. Ed. Amanda Ie, Christelle T. Ngnoumen, and Ellen J. Langer. London: Wiley-Blackwell, 2014: 964-985

Amishi P. Jha, Elizabeth A. Stanley, and Michael J. Baime.What does Mindfulness Training Strengthen? Working Memory Capacity as a Functional Marker of Training Success.” Assessing Mindfulness and Acceptance in Clients: Illuminating the Theory and Practice of Change. Ed. Ruth Baer. Oakland, CA: New Harbinger Press, 2010: 207-221

Elizabeth A. Stanley.Neuroplasticity, Mind Fitness, and Military Effectiveness.” Biologically-Inspired Innovation and National Security. Ed. Robert E. Armstrong, Mark D. Drapeau, Cheryl A. Loeb, and James L. Valdes. Washington DC: National Defense University Press, 2010: 257-279

Elizabeth A. Stanley.The Military Profession and Intangible Rewards for Service.” Filling the Ranks: Transforming the US Military Personnel System. Ed. Cindy Williams. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press, 2004: 93-118

Elizabeth A. Stanley.The Digital Battlefield: What Army Transformation Efforts Say about its Professional Jurisdiction.” The Future of the Army Profession. Ed. Don M. Snider and Gayle Watkins. New York: McGraw Hill, 2003.

Edited Books

Risa A. Brooks and Elizabeth A. Stanley, ed. Creating Military Power: The Sources of Military Effectiveness. Palo Alto, CA: Stanford University Press, 2007.


Elizabeth A. Stanley, International Perceptions of US Nuclear Policy, Sandia Report SAND2007-0903 (February 2007), 128 pp..

Elizabeth A. Stanley, Making Peace While Staying Ready for War: The Challenges of U.S. Military Participation in Peace Operations. Congressional Budget Office Paper, December 1999 (with editing by Lauri Zeman and Frances Lussier), 156 pp. .

Elizabeth A. Stanley, Evolutionary Technology in the Current Revolution in Military Affairs: The Army Tactical Command and Control System (Carlisle, PA: Strategic Studies Institute, US Army War College, 1998), monograph, 67 pp.