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Derek Reveron

Lecturer in Extension and Faculty Affiliate, Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, Harvard University

  • Education

    PhD, University of Illinois at Chicago

Derek Reveron

Professor of National Security Affairs, Naval War College

Why I teach Government at Harvard Extension School

The students make teaching at HES worthwhile. Whether a student is a recent high school graduate or someone recently retired, HES provides a venue for people to formally study an area of interest. They are engaged and curious; their questions give me insight into how national security is perceived in the world.

I didn’t grow up in a military family or formally study national security in graduate school, but I have always had an interest in defense issues. I can remember sketching aircraft in Kindergarten, building rockets in Primary School, and debating the utility of the Falklands War in the Sixth grade. I did join the Navy Reserves when I was 18 and served concurrently with college and graduate school. I suppose the two aspects of my life eventually merged when I found academic explanations inadequate to understand why and how the president used military forces.

Student Collaborations

There is nothing more rewarding for a teacher than learning form one’s students. I’ve had several occasions to invite former students who have gone on to work professionally on cybersecurity and national security.

Through the national security capstone program, I connect the class to contemporary challenges facing the U.S. defense community. Recent projects have explored the challenges authoritarian states pose to open societies, the importance of allies and partners to promoting international security, and ways to frame and address national security challenges.

More about Derek

Dr. Derek S. Reveron is chair of the National Security Affairs Department at the US Naval War College in Newport, Rhode Island, and is a faculty affiliate at the Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs at the Harvard Kennedy School. He specializes in strategy development, non-state security challenges, and US defense policy. He served as a governor-appointed commissioner on the Rhode Island Cybersecurity Commission.

He has authored or edited 13 books that include Human and National Security, the Oxford Handbook of U.S. National Security, and Exporting Security: International Engagement, Security Cooperation, and the Changing Face of the US Military.

He served over 32 years in the Navy Reserves with assignments with the Joint Staff, Supreme Headquarters Allied Powers Europe, and NATO Training Mission-Afghanistan. He commanded units in support of US Southern Command, Naval Forces Central Command, US Pacific Command, and US European Command.

Before joining the Naval War College faculty in 2004, Reveron taught political science at the US Naval Academy. During graduate school, he formulated, implemented and evaluated democracy promotion programs for the NGO Heartland International. He graduated from the College of Naval Command Staff through the College of Distance Education Fleet seminar program and completed the maritime staff operators course at the Naval War College.

He received an MA in political science and a PhD in public policy analysis from the University of Illinois at Chicago.

Harvard recognized Dr. Reveron for teaching through Petra Shattuck Excellence in Teaching Award and the ABLConnect Teaching Innovator Award.