Dr. James H. Anderson currently serves as President of The Institute of World Politics.
Dr. Anderson came to IWP after a distinguished career in the military, government, and the academic world. He is a twice Senate-confirmed Presidential appointee. Most recently, he served in the Office of the Secretary of Defense as the Deputy Under Secretary of Defense for Policy (a 4-star equivalent), where he advised the Secretary of Defense and the Under Secretary of Defense for Policy on all matters pertaining to the development, execution, and assessment of U.S. national defense policy and strategy. For several months, he served as the Acting Under Secretary of Defense for Policy, the most important policymaking position after the Secretary of Defense. In November 2020, he received the Department’s highest honorary award for non-career Federal employees, the Defense Medal for Distinguished Public Service.
From 2018-2020, he served as the Assistant Secretary of Defense for Strategy, Plans, and Capabilities (also a 4-star equivalent), where he advised the Secretary of Defense and the Under Secretary of Defense for Policy on national security and defense strategy, the forces and contingency plans necessary to implement defense strategy, nuclear deterrence and missile defense policy, and security cooperation plans and policies.
Dr. Anderson also brings significant academic experience to his new role at the helm of IWP. At Marine Corps University, he served as Vice President of Academic Affairs from 2015-2018 and as the Dean of Academics and Deputy Director of the University’s War College from 2012-2015. During this time, he oversaw the professional education of 60,000 Marines (officers and enlisted) annually and spearheaded the first-ever Ph.D. program for elite Marine Officers.
He has also worked at the George C. Marshall Center for Security Studies in Germany; served as the director for International Security Affairs, Middle East Policy at the Pentagon; and worked as a Research Fellow with the Heritage Foundation. He served for three years on active duty as an intelligence officer in the United States Marine Corps, and nine years in the Individual Ready Reserve before receiving an honorable discharge as a Major.
Dr. Anderson holds a Ph.D. in International Relations and a Master of Arts in Law and Diplomacy from the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University. He graduated Phi Beta Kappa and magna cum laude with his B.A. from Amherst College.