Dr. M. Chris Mason
Assistant Professor of National Security
Dr. M. Chris Mason joined the faculty at the Strategic Studies Institute as a Professor of National Security Affairs in June 2014. He has worked in and on Afghanistan for the past 15 years. He retired from the Foreign Service in 2005 and worked as the South Asia desk officer for the Marine Corps’ Center for Advanced Operational Culture and Language for several years, where he wrote the Marine Corps deployer’s guide to Afghan culture and the guide to Operational Pashtunwali. He has deployed to and traveled to Afghanistan and Pakistan numerous times, beginning in December 2001, serving as the political officer on the Provincial Reconstruction Team in Paktika in 2005. Dr. Mason authored the first paper in the U.S. Government on the Afghan National Army (ANA) in October 2001, and worked for 5 years on ANA, Afghan National Police, and other security issues as the representative of the Bureau of Political Military Affairs to the Afghan Interagency Operations Group. From 1981 to 1986, he served as a regular U.S. Navy Officer on active duty, including tours as the Gunnery Officer on the USS John Young (DD973) and a Naval Gunfire Liaison Officer with 2d Battalion 12th Marines in Okinawa, Japan, and 2d Air Naval Gunfire Liaison Company (ANGLICO [Airborne]) at Camp Lejeune, NC. Dr. Mason was a Peace Corps Volunteer in rural development in South America from 1977 to 1979. Dr. Mason trained tens of thousands of deploying American and North Atlantic Treaty Organization military personnel on military and cultural aspects of the war in Afghanistan, and has published widely on Afghanistan and Pakistan in numerous publications over the past 10 years. Dr. Mason holds a bachelor’s degree with Honors from Carnegie Mellon University; graduated with Distinction from the resident Command and General Staff College course at the Marine Corps University, Quantico, VA; holds a master’s degree in military studies from the Marine Corps University, and a Ph.D. in military and Central Asian history from The George Washington University, Washington, DC.