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Colonel Ann P. Knabe, Ph.D., is the Dean of Students and Assistant Professor at the College of International Security Affairs (CISA) at National Defense University (NDU), and serves as the NDU’s Reserve Component Chair. As Dean of Students, Colonel Knabe serves as an advocate, advisor and mentor for the CISA student body including Counterterrorism Fellows, South and Central Asia Program students, Afghanistan-Pakistan Hands, Homeland Defense Fellows, and students completing their Joint Special Operations Master of Arts degree. She is also responsible for directing the Reserve Component National Security Course at NDU, and serves as the chair for all Reserve issues at the university. As a professor, teaches JPME II courses for international counterterrorism fellows, DOD and interagency civilians, and other senior leaders.
Colonel Knabe previously served as an Individual Mobilization Augmentee for the Chief of Media and Opinion Leader Engagement for the Secretary of the Air Force Public Affairs located in the Pentagon in Washington, D.C. She was responsible for strategic communication planning in the areas of opinion leader engagement, public affairs messaging, defense education forums, media relations and other public affairs outreach and engagement activities. Colonel Knabe is a 2013 National Defense University graduate of the Eisenhower School for National Security and Resource Strategy, formerly called the Industrial College of the Armed Forces (ICAF). Her master’s of science degree focuses on national security issues, defense resourcing and acquisitions, with additional research in strategic communication, social media and terrorism recruitment via the Internet.
She is a 2012 graduate of Marquette University, Milwaukee, where she earned an interdisciplinary Ph.D. in social psychology, distance learning and public relations, and holds a second master’s degree in mass communication from University of Wisconsin – Milwaukee in 1995, and bachelor’s degree in public relations and communication and rhetorical studies from Marquette University in 1990. Previous to her current Pentagon assignment, Colonel Knabe served in Reserve Strategic Communications at the Pentagon. Prior to that, she served as chief of public affairs for the 440th Airlift Wing based at Pope Air Force Base, N.C., and Gen. Mitchell Air Reserve Station, Wis.
Colonel Knabe’s most recent deployment was in 2012 during an Air Expeditionary Flight tour as a senior communications planner in support of U.S. Central Command at MacDill Air Force Base, Fla. As a deployed reservist, she oversaw CENTCOM’s public affairs roles in exercises for more than 20 countries, and managed public affairs guidance for the CENTCOM area of responsibility to include Afghanistan and the Middle East. She has also completed several overseas contingency operation tours in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom, Operation Enduring Freedom, and Combined Joint Task Force – Horn of Africa. In 2006 and 2007, she served as wing chief of public affairs for the 379th Air Expeditionary Wing located at Al Udeid Air Base, Qatar, and was responsible for public affairs programs affecting 10,000 servicemembers in Southwest Asia. In 2009, she served as the Pentagon’s War Court spokeswoman for the Office of Military Commissions, co-located in Arlington, Va., and Guantanamo Bay Naval Base, Cuba. Colonel Knabe was a first-responder for Hurricane Katrina media operations, and escorted media in Operation Uphold Democracy and Operation Provide Promise. Colonel Knabe is a member of NATO’s Interallied Confederation of Reserve Officers (CIOR), and has served on CIOR’s communication and public affairs commission for more than a decade.
While serving in her current Active-Guard-Reserve position, Colonel Knabe is on military leave from her civilian job at University of Wisconsin – Whitewater where she teaches public relations, social media and strategic communication. She is one of 30 U.S. military officers accredited in public relations with a military emphasis, and serves as an i-Mentor for students and businesses at the Whitewater University Technology Park Innovation Center. She also owns a small business specializing in crisis communication.
1990 Bachelor of Arts degree in Public Relations, Marquette University, Milwaukee, Wis.
1995 Master of Arts degree in Mass Communication, University of Wisconsin – Milwaukee, Wis.
1998 Squadron Officer’s School, Maxwell Air Force Base, Ala.
2007 Air Command and Staff College, Maxwell Air Force Base, Ala.
2012 Air War College, Maxwell Air Force Base, Ala.
2012 Ph.D. in Social Psychology, Distance Learning and Public Relations, Marquette University
2013 Master of Science degree in National Security and Resource Strategy, Eisenhower School for National Security
and Resource Strategy, National Defense University, Washington, D.C. (JPME II Qualified)
2014 Reserve Component National Security Course (RCNSC), National Defense University, Washington, D.C.
1. March 1986 – Sept. 1989, medical technician, 440th Tactical Medical Squadron, General Mitchell IAP, Wis.
2. Sept. 1989 – May 1992, public affairs specialist, 440th Airlift Wing, General Mitchell IAP, Wis.
3. May 1992 – Oct. 2003, public affairs officer, 440th Airlift Wing, General Mitchell IAP, Wis.
4. Nov. 2004 – March 1997, assistant wing chief, public affairs, 440th Airlift Wing, General Mitchell IAP, Wis.
5. April 1997 – May 2007, wing chief, 440th Airlift Wing, General Mitchell IAP, Wis.
6. June 2007 – Aug. 2009, wing chief, 440th Airlift Wing, Pope AFB, N.C.
7. Aug. 2009 – Aug. 2010, public affairs officer – communication strategist, Air Force Reserve, Strategic
8. Aug. 2010 – May 2015, public affairs officer, Engagement Division, Secretary of the Air Force Public Affairs,
9. May 2015 – present, dean of students, Reserve Component chair, assistant professor, College of International
Security Affairs, National Defense University, Fort McNair, Washington, D.C.
SUMMARY OF JOINT TOURS
1. November 2008 – June 2009, Pentagon Spokeswoman for Office of Military Commissions, Guantanamo Bay War
Court, Washington, D.C., as a major
2. December 2011 – June 2012, Senior Communications Planner, U.S Central Command, Tampa, Florida, as a
MAJOR AWARDS AND DECORATIONS
Meritorious Service Medal, one oak leaf cluster
Joint Service Commendation Medal
Air Force Commendation Medal, two oak leaf clusters
Joint Service Achievement Medal
Air Force Achievement Medal, two oak leaf clusters
Meritorious Unit Award
Air Force Outstanding Unit Award, three oak leaf clusters
Air Reserve Forces Meritorious Service Medal, one oak leaf cluster
National Defense Service Medal, one oak leaf cluster
Armed Force Expeditionary Medal
Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary Medal
Global War on Terrorism Service Medal
Humanitarian Service Award
Air Force Expeditionary Service Ribbon with Gold Border, one oak leaf cluster
Air Force Longevity Ribbon, four oak leaf clusters
Armed Forces Reserve Medal, two oak leaf clusters
Air Force Training Ribbon
EFFECTIVE DATES OF PROMOTION