Dr. David H. Ucko

Professor and Department Chair, War and Conflict Studies

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Dr. David H. Ucko, is professor of international security studies at the College of International Security Affairs (CISA), National Defense University. He serves as Chair of the War and Conflict Studies Department and as director of the Regional Defense Fellowship Program (RDFP). In this capacity, he oversees the delivery of the RDFP curriculum and the international outreach efforts to build a network of practitioners engaged with counter-terrorism, counterinsurgency, and irregular warfare. 

Dr. Ucko’s research areas include political violence, irregular warfare, counterinsurgency, and war-to-peace transitions. He is the author of The Insurgent’s Dilemma: A Struggle to Prevail (Hurst 2022) and of four other books on irregular warfare, counterinsurgency and political reintegration. He has also published on the United Nations, NATO, countering violent extremism, and counterinsurgency in a range of peer-reviewed journals. 

Dr. Ucko is an adjunct professor at Johns Hopkins University, where he teaches social movement theory and mobilization into terrorism, insurgency, and gangs. He serves as a Visiting Senior Research Fellow at the Department of War Studies, King’s College London, where for many years, as a program coordinator and research fellow, he oversaw the Conflict, Security & Development Research Group (CSDRG). 

Prior to joining CISA, Dr. Ucko was a Transatlantic Post-Doctoral Fellow at the Stiftung Wissenschaft und Politik (SWP) in Berlin, Germany, and at the RAND Corporation in Washington DC. From 2001-03 he worked as Deputy Defence Analyst (Armed Conflict) at the International Institute for Strategic Studies (IISS) office in London, where he helped create and develop the Armed Conflict Database. 

Dr. Ucko obtained his Doctoral and Masters degrees at the Department of War Studies, King’s College London, and his B.Sc. in International Relations at the London School of Economics & Political Science.