R. Nicholas Palarino

R. Nicholas Palarino
Visiting Professor of the Practice

Visiting Professor of the Practice

Security Studies Program

  • Over eight years experience teaching terrorism courses at Georgetown University;
  • Investigator in the US House of Representatives making over 30 trips to Middle East (25 of those to Iraq) and to Southeast Asia;
  • Country Director in Pakistan with the International Republican Institute coordinating efforts to build democratic institutions/political parties;
  • Over twenty years in the US Army as an artilleryman commanding military units, a helicopter pilot flying combat missions in Vietnam and an arms control negotiator; retiring as a lieutenant colonel;
  • Manager at a defense contracting company and national security consultant to the Departments of Defense and State and the intelligence community

  • The Catholic University of America Ph.D., World Politics 2002
  • The Catholic University of America M.A., International Affairs 1997
  • Command and General Staff College M.M.A.S., International Relations 1980
  • Western Kentucky University B.A., Political Science/History 1976

Civilian Work Experience

Deputy Staff Director
US House of Representatives Committee on Homeland Security 2012 – 2014
• Acted as the Chairman’s policy advisor and prepared Chairman for media on foreign policy and national and
homeland security issues.
• Developed, managed and orchestrated Full Committee hearings.
• Oversaw and participated in multiple investigations (including the Boston Marathon Bombings) and oversight
of national security related issues.
• Implemented Committee objectives, strategies, investigative and oversight of government agencies related to
national and homeland security issues.
• Developed and conducted numerous Congressional Delegations to overseas locations to include the Middle East
and Southeast Asia.

Staff Director
Subcommittee on Oversight, Investigations and Management
US House of Representatives Committee on Homeland Security 2011-2012
• Supervised a staff that investigated and provided oversight of government agencies involved in homeland security.
• Developed, managed and orchestrated Subcommittee hearings.
• Developed and conducted numerous Congressional Delegations to overseas locations to include the Middle East
and Southeast Asia.
• Coordinated activities and meetings between the Subcommittee Chairman and Members.

Senior Investigator
Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Government Affairs 2010-2011
• Conducted a comprehensive investigation of how government agencies coordinate counter terrorism efforts.
• Oversaw the Committee’s international affairs operations and intelligence functions.

Country Director
International Republican Institute (IRI) in Pakistan 2009
• Developed and implemented the strategy for Pakistan IRI programs.
• Responsible for managing political and civil polls of Pakistanis.
• Identified key players and partners inside and outside of the Pakistani Government, and developed strategies for
political party capacity-building, coalition-building, political polling and voter education activities.
• Managed a 10-person Pakistani Staff assisting in the implementation of IRI objectives.

Senior Policy Analyst, Staff Director, and Senior Investigator
US House of Representatives Committee on Oversight and Government Reform 2000-2008
• Reviewed government agencies and programs including the Departments of Defense, State, and Homeland Security
and Central Intelligence Agency focusing on national security issues such as homeland security, counterterrorism,
Iraq and Afghanistan reconstruction, arms control, technology transfer, and force protection.
• Developed and supervised over 75 congressional oversight hearings related to international relations and
national security programs.
• Planned and participated in over 30 Congressional Delegation visits to the Middle East and South East Asia,
including 22 trips to Iraq.
• Supervised a 7-person staff.

Director of Policy, Security, and Technology Analysis
Veridian/Pacific-Sierra Research Corporation 1988-2000
• Managed a 15-member staff and provided consulting services to Departments of State and Defense and
the Intelligence Community.
• Provided consulting services focused on the broad spectrum of national security issues including counter proliferation,
arms control policy, treaty implementation and countermeasures, counterterrorism, and technology transfer.

Military Service

Deputy Special Adviser to the President and Secretary of State
for Arms Control Matters 1986-1988
• Developed policy and strategy and directly participated in US USSR summit and ministerial meetings.
• Conducted diplomatic consultative visits to Tokyo, Beijing, Seoul, and several European capitals explaining and
promoting US policy.
• Engaged in negotiations with representatives of the former Soviet Union during the third 5-year review conference of
the Anti-ballistic Missile Treaty.

Strategic Policy Planner Joint Chiefs of Staff (JCS) 1984-1986
• Formulated US policy and official instructions for US delegations and was a member of the
Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty (INF) delegation.
• Participated in discussions with representatives of the North Atlantic Treaty Council and the Federal Republic
of Germany on the Nuclear and Space Talks.
• Presented concept analysis studies on related security issues.

Special Assistant to the Deputy Director for International Negotiations JCS 1983-1984
• Evaluated and made recommendations for US participation in arms control negotiations, including the
INF negotiations, the Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (START) negotiations, the Conference on Security
and Cooperation in Europe (CSCE), the Chemical Weapons negotiations, and the Mutual and Balanced Force
Reduction (MBFR) negotiations.

JCS Representative to the CSCE 1980-1983
• Analyzed and formulated US and North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) positions.
• Participated in discussions with foreign representatives of the 35-nation forum and advised the US Ambassador to
the CSCE on national security requirements.

US Army 1966-1988
• Drafted into the military and after one-year attended Artillery Officer Candidate School.
• Served in a variety of command and staff positions during a 22-year career.
• In the Republic of Vietnam was assigned to the 101st Airborne Division and served as the
Executive Officer/Platoon Commander for a combat assault helicopter company and the Operations Officer
for a helicopter battalion engaged in counterinsurgency combat operations.
• While serving on the Joint Chiefs of Staff participated in and was on the team negotiating with the former
Soviet Union on the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Agreement.
• Retired at the rank of Lieutenant Colonel.

Academic Work Experience

Georgetown University Professor of Practice 2008-Present
• Teach Undergraduate, Masters and Ph.D. students the curriculum, “Understanding Terrorism and Terrorists.”
• The course focuses on international relation’s theories, the history of terrorism, current threats and
the future of terrorism.
• The course required students to read a number of books and articles related to international theory
and terrorism, develop briefings on terrorist groups, participate in exercises related to terrorism and
a 30 page paper on an issue related to terrorism.
• Mentor graduate students in the development of their thesis on foreign policy and national security issues
and provided final approval of the document.

University of Maryland Adjunct Professor 2008-2010
• Taught Undergraduate students courses on government and politics and terrorism.
• The government and politics course focused on the three branches of government and their operations
and interactions. The purpose of the course was to teach students the intricacies of our Government
and the difficulties of branch interaction.
• The terrorism course focused on the history of terrorism, current threats and the future of terrorism.


Harvard Law School Program on Negotiations: 113th Congress.
Senior Stennis Congressional Staff Fellow: 109th Congress.
US Army Command and General Staff College: 1980 Graduate.
Security Clearance: Top Secret/SCI (pending recertification)



Jihadist Movements and Their Terrorist Tactics Have No End, The Hill, July 13, 2016

Lone Wolf Terrorists, The Foreign Policy Institute, July 2015.

The Spread of Islamic Fundamentalism: An Existential Threat to the United States, The Potomac Institute, June 2015.

Meeting with Obama, Congress Members Must Broach Pakistan, The Hill, December 2009.

Domestic Influences on United States Arms Control Verification Policy, UMI, February 2007.

In Search of Priorities, Leadership, and Strategy, US Army War College, April 2001.

Defense Intelligence Agency Counterproliferation Plan (U), June 1998.

Foreign Ownership, Control, and Influence (FOCI) Technology Transfer Risk Assessment, PSR Report 2522, February 1996.

Treaty Technology Transfer Model, PSR Report 2448, April 1994.

“The Evolution and Ramifications of the US Decision to Advocate the CWC Challenge Inspection Regime,” paper presented at the Fourth Annual Arms Control and Verification Conference, Dallas, Texas, October 1993.

Foreign Acquisition Strategy Model, PSR Report 2358, April 1993.

The Chemical Weapons Negotiations (U), PSR Report 2091, May 1991 (Classified).

The Implications of the Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty on Space Launch Operations (U), PSR Report 2089, February 1991 (Classified).

“Can an INF Strategy Apply to SNF?” Defense News, 20 July 1990.

Arms Control Negotiations (U), PSR Report 2009, November 1989 (Classified).

“Arms Control Hinges on Consensus,” Defense News, 20 March 1989.

“The Future of the Strategic Defense Initiative,” paper presented at the International Herald Tribune European Conference, Paris