top of page

Rebecca D. Patterson, PhD


Dr. Patterson holds a PhD from The George Washington University in National Security Policy, a M.S. in Engineering Management from Missouri University of Science and Technology, and a B.S. in Economics from the United States Military Academy at West Point.  She is a life member of the Council on Foreign Relations.


Rebecca D. Patterson is the Associate Director of the Center for Security Studies and the Security Studies Program at Georgetown University and Professor of the Practice of International Affairs in the Edmund A. Walsh School of Foreign Service. Dr. Pattterson is also a retired Army Lieutenant Colonel with more than 22 years on active duty. Most recently, she served as the Deputy Director in the Office of Peace Operations, Sanctions, and Counter Terrorism at the Department of State.  Dr. Patterson’s previous jobs include: Strategic Advisor in the Commander’s Initiatives Group, Headquarters, International Security Assistance Force, Afghanistan; Associate Professor and Associate Dean at the National Defense University; economic advisor to the 1st Armored Division while deployed to Iraq; Assistant Professor of Economics and Comparative Politics, Department of Social Sciences at West Point; and CFR International Affairs Fellow at the Ewing Marion Kauffman and the World Bank’s Independent Evaluation Group. She also served in overseas assignments in Thailand, Korea, Iraq, and Afghanistan.


UN Peacekeeping, Civil Military Relations and Conflict Economics. 


The Challenge of Nation-Building: Implementing Effective Innovation in the U.S. Army from World War II to the Iraq War, 2014. (Rowman & Littlefield).

“Rule of Law Development in Afghanistan, 2001-2014,” with Abigail Linnington in Our Latest Longest War, ed. Aaron O’Connell, Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2017.

“A Case for Reflection: On the Ground in Iraq, Afghanistan, and Detroit,” Small Wars Journal, November 2014. 

“Why Military Officers Should Study Political Economy, “Joint Forces Quarterly, National Defense University, October 2014. 

"The Commander as Investor: Changing CERP Practices to Promote Entrepreneurship, Economic Growth and Security." Prism, National Defense University, March 2011.

“Traditional Approaches to American National Security,” in American National Security textbook, ed. Amos A. Jordan, William J. Taylor Jr., Michael J. Meese, and Suzanne C. Nielsen, Baltimore: Johns Hopkins Press, 2009.


Her research and teaching interests include civil-military relations, nation-building, peacekeeping, and post-conflict economics.  

bottom of page