Sean McFate

Monday, July 13, 2020

Topic: Privatization of Warfare

Dr. Sean McFate is a foreign policy expert, author and novelist.   He is a Senior Fellow at the Atlantic Council, a Washington DC think tank, and a professor of strategy at the National Defense University and Georgetown University’s School of Foreign Service.  Additionally, he serves as an Advisor to Oxford University’s Centre for Technology and Global Affairs.

McFate’s career began as a paratrooper and officer in the U.S. Army’s 82ndAirborne Division.  He served under Stan McChrystal and David Petraeus, and graduated from elite training programs, such as Jungle Warfare School in Panama.  He was also a Jump Master.

McFate then became a private military contractor.  Among his many experiences, he dealt with warlords in the jungle, raised armies for U.S. interest, rode with armed groups in the Sahara, conducted strategic reconnaissance for the extractive industry, transacted arms deals in Eastern Europe, and helped prevent an impending genocide in the Rwanda region circa 2004.

In the world of international business, McFate was a Vice President at TD International, a boutique political risk consulting firm with offices in Washington, Houston, Singapore and Zurich.  Additionally, he was a manager at DynCorp International, a consultant at BearingPoint (now Deloitte Consulting), and an associate at Booz Allen Hamilton.

McFate’s newest book is The New Rules of War: Victory in the Age of Durable Disorder (William Morrow).  Admiral Jim Stavridis (retired), the former NATO Supreme Allied Commander, said: ”Stunning. Sean McFate is a new Sun Tzu.”  He also authored The Modern Mercenary: Private Armies and What They Mean for World Order (Oxford University Press) which explains how the privatization of war changes warfare.  The Economist called it a “fascinating and disturbing book.”

Upcoming Speakers

  • Monday, December 16, 2019
    Paul Mayewski
    Topic: Maine and Arctic Climate Change
  • Monday, January 13, 2020
    Deborah Bronk
    Topic: The Health of the World's Oceans
  • Monday, February 10, 2020
    Frank A. Rose
    Topic: Outer Space: Cooperation or Confrontation?
  • Monday, March 9, 2020
    Shuja Nawaz
    Topic: Pakistan
  • Monday, April 13, 2020
    Stacia George
    Topic: Corruption in Western Africa
  • Monday, July 13, 2020
    Sean McFate
    Topic: Privatization of Warfare
  • Monday, August 24, 2020
    Admiral James Stavridis (USN Ret)
    Topic: 21st Century Security: Challenges and Opportunities

Past Speakers