Associate Professor of Teaching
Mark R. Jacobson has over twenty years of experience in the federal government, international organizations, and academia working on some of the most complex and politically sensitive national security issues facing the United States. He is a recognized expert on U.S. foreign policy and national security as well as the dynamics of international conflict and the use of military force. His time as a policymaker, diplomat, academic and armed forces veteran enables him to break down in clear terms how the U.S. develops foreign and defense policy, the role of Congress in these decisions, and how it all plays out in the international arena.
As a public servant Jacobson most recently held appointments as a Senior Advisor to the Secretary of Defense and Special Assistant to the Secretary of the Navy. Previously he served in Kabul, Afghanistan as the Deputy NATO Representative and Director of International Affairs at the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) and in these roles advised Generals David Petraeus and Stanley McChrystal on the international political dynamics of the mission. Earlier in his career Jacobson served at the Pentagon in multiple roles and was in his office on September 11, 2001 when American Airlines Flight 77 crashed into the wing where he worked. On Capitol Hill, Jacobson worked for Senator Carl Levin on the staff of the Senate Armed Services Committee where he participated in the inquiry into the treatment and interrogation of detainees in U.S. custody.
A combat veteran, his military service includes time as both an Army and Navy reservist including mobilizations to Bosnia in 1996 and to Afghanistan in 2006 – both times in support of the NATO mission. As an academic Jacobson focuses on military history, the use of propaganda, as well as the politics of U.S. national security policy. He was also one of the first to warn of the dangers of non-armed and cyber attacks as a strategic weapon in 1998 with the publication of “War in the Information Age: International Law, Self-Defense, and the Problem of ‘Non-Armed’ Attacks, “ in the Journal of Strategic Studies. Hecurrently teaches courses at Georgetown University’s Edmund Walsh School of Foreign Service as well as The George Washington University’s Elliott School of International Affairs and is writing a book on perceptions of the foreign and national security policy of the Carter Administration (1977-1981).
Jacobson has made over 100 live and taped television and radio appearances on major networks including segments as a commentator and subject matter expert on broadcast television, cable networks, and national and international radio stations. He has been quoted in major print and online publications and his commentary has appeared in the Washington Post, The Hill, Foreign Policy, The Daily Beast, and the Chicago Tribune. A native of Michigan, Jacobson grew up in the suburbs of Detroit and holds degrees from the University of Michigan, the King’s College, University of London and a PhD in Military History from The Ohio State University. He is a life member of the Council on Foreign Relations and a member of the Board of Advisors to Veterans in Global Leadership, a non-profit devoted to training and preparing veterans to be tomorrow’s global leaders. He lives with his wife and son in Washington DC and remains a rabid Michigan Wolverines fan.
Areas of Expertise: Carter Presidency (1977-81); the history of political warfare and propaganda; and the experience of veterans in modern warfare
- PhD (2005) The Ohio State University, History
- M.A. King’s College, London, Department of War Studies
- B.A. University of Michigan, History