Dr. Russell Burgos

Associate Professor



  • Ph.D. Political Science, UCLA
    • Dissertation: Teaching Them to Elect Good Men: Ideological Determinants of Coercive Regime Change
  • M.A. Political Science, UCLA
  • M.A. Security Policy Studies, The George Washington University
    • Areas of concentration: military history, science, and technology policy
  • B.A. English, Loyola University Chicago
    • Minor: Education

Subject Areas

  • National security and foreign policy
  • Great Power competition
  • International political economy
  • Special Operations and irregular warfare
  • Political and information warfare
  • Military history of the Middle East
  • Popular culture and international politics
  • Wargaming / red-teaming
  • Critical thinking and writing instruction


Russell Burgos is an Associate Professor in the Joint Special Operations Master of Arts program at Fort Liberty, North Carolina. He joined NDU after more than 12 years as a professor at UCLA, the University of Southern California, Claremont McKenna College, and Pepperdine University.

In addition to extensive experience teaching core courses in American and international politics, globalization, Great Power competition, and political theory, Dr. Burgos has designed and taught seminar courses on U.S. national security, homeland security, globalization and international security, American foreign relations, the economics of globalization, the Iraq War, Middle East politics, and US foreign and military policy in the Persian Gulf. At UCLA, Dr. Burgos was also employed as a research assistant to the late political scientist James Q. Wilson and to former UCLA Chancellor Al Carnesale, for whom he conducted research on arms control and weapons and technology proliferation.

In addition to his classroom experience, Dr. Burgos directed a Department of Defense-funded Track II military diplomacy program for senior Middle East military and government agency officials, designing and executing two multi-day conferences each year to encourage dialog, share perspectives on current and emerging security challenges, and support U.S. confidence-building measures. With access to a wide network of think-tank subject matter experts and senior active duty and retired officers from the US and NATO allies, the program included presentations, small-group discussions, and tabletop exercises focusing on issues of regional concern, including the military balance, emerging technology and warfare, the effects of political changes on regional stability and security, border control, lawfare, military operations in urban terrain, anti-piracy and counter-terrorism operations, and pandemic disease response.

Dr. Burgos has written articles and book chapters on national security policy, US Middle East policy, strategy and policy in the Persian Gulf, the effects of Special Operations Forces on regional and global stability, the teaching of international politics, and academic techniques and best practices for Professional Military Education students.

He is a former Signal and Psychological Operations officer, an active wargamer, presents frequently at professional conferences, has appeared on radio, television, and podcasts and before community and service organizations in the U.S. and abroad to offer expert commentary on U.S. national security policy and strategy, and has served as a military technology and military history consultant for television and film productions.