Johns Hopkins SAIS names national security expert Mara Karlin Associate Director of the Strategic Studies Program

The Johns Hopkins University School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS) has named Mara Karlin Associate Professor of the Practice of Strategic Studies and Associate Director of the Strategic Studies Program. She will also serve as Executive Director of the Philip Merrill Center for Strategic Studies. 
 
“It is my pleasure to welcome Mara Karlin into the prestigious ranks of the Johns Hopkins SAIS community of experts and scholars. As an academic and former policymaker, she brings deep knowledge and understanding of the critical relationship between theory and practice. With defense policy experience that spans the globe, Karlin will play a critical role in advancing the academic excellence and student experience of the Strategic Studies Program,” Dean Vali Nasr said. “As an alumna of Johns Hopkins SAIS, she exemplifies all that we hope to achieve in our graduates and I am eager for our students to learn from a dedicated public servant who has had a front row seat to America’s most challenging national security problems.”

Karlin has served in national security roles for five U.S. Secretaries of Defense, advising on policies spanning strategic planning, defense budgeting, future wars, and regional affairs involving the Middle East, Europe, and Asia. 
 
Most recently, she served as the deputy assistant secretary of defense for strategy and force development. In that role, her office crafted strategies for navigating the future of international security and guided the U.S. military. She oversaw and implemented policy and strategy guidance that shapes the department’s more than $550 billion budget.
 
Karlin was a key architect of several mission-critical strategies including the 2014 Quadrennial Defense Review (QDR), the president’s 2015 National Security Strategy, the counter-ISIL strategy, two classified secretary of defense-signed strategies on long-term global challenges, and three Defense Planning Guidances.
 
Karlin has previously served in a variety of policy positions in the Department of Defense including special assistant to the under secretary of defense for policy, Levant director, and South Asia country director. In those roles, she formulated U.S. national security policy with a focus on terrorism, governability, security sector reform, and nonproliferation across the Middle East and South Asia. 
 
“Mara Karlin brings to the Strategic Studies Program a remarkable combination of energy, practical experience, and academic accomplishment,” said Eliot Cohen, Director of the Strategic Studies Program. “We are tremendously excited to have her on board.” 
 
Karlin has taught courses in Strategic Studies, Middle East Affairs, and U.S. Foreign Policy at Johns Hopkins University and Semester at Sea through Colorado State University. Her first book, Building Militaries in Fragile States: Challenges for the United States (University of Pennsylvania Press) will be published later this year.
 
She received her BA summa cum laude in Political Science from Newcomb College, Tulane University; MA with distinction in Strategic Studies, Middle East Studies, and Economics from Johns Hopkins SAIS; and PhD in International Relations from Johns Hopkins SAIS. Karlin has been recognized with numerous awards including the Department of Defense Medals for Meritorious and Outstanding Public Service.
 
Media Contact
Stacy A. Anderson
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Johns Hopkins SAIS  
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About Johns Hopkins SAIS
A division of Johns Hopkins University, the School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS) is a global institution that offers students an international perspective on today's critical issues. For nearly 75 years, Johns Hopkins SAIS has produced great leaders, thinkers, and practitioners of international relations. Public leaders and private sector executives alike seek the counsel of the faculty, whose ideas and research inform and shape policy. Johns Hopkins SAIS offers a global perspective across three campus locations: Bologna, Italy; Nanjing, China; and Washington, D.C. The school’s interdisciplinary curriculum is strongly rooted in the study of international economics, international relations, and regional studies, preparing students to address multifaceted challenges in the world today.
 
For more information, visit sais-jhu.edu or @SAISHopkins
 
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Date: 
Tuesday, June 27, 2017