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IWP welcomes two Army Senior Service Fellows

IWP and the United States Army_220The Institute of World Politics is pleased to welcome two Army Senior Service Fellows for the 2011-2012 school year: LTC(P) Mike Eastman and COL Erik Gunhus. These fellows will participate in the academic life of the Institute, and share their experience with IWP’s faculty, students, and community.

LTC Mike Eastman holds a Bachelor of Science Degree in International Relations from the United States Military Academy at West Point, a Master of Science degree in Political Science from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, a Master of Military Art and Science degree from the Army’s Command and General Staff College, and a PhD (ABD) in International Relations and Security Studies from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. His research focus while at IWP deals with reforming military reconstruction operations based on lessons learned in Iraq and Afghanistan.

LTC Eastman has served in a variety of infantry and field artillery units in Hawaii, Texas and Germany. Upon completion of graduate school in 2001, he joined the faculty of the Department of Social Sciences at West Point as an Assistant Professor of Political Science and Executive Secretary of the Military Academy’s post-graduate scholarship committee, teaching courses in National Security, International Relations, and Critical Thought. In 2003, he served in Afghanistan as Special Assistant to the Commanding General, focusing on disarmament, demobilization, and reintegration policy. He next deployed to Iraq, serving as Operations Officer for the 1st Infantry Division Artillery during the early stages of the war, with duty in Bayji and Tikrit. Upon return, he was selected as Aide-de-Camp to the Deputy Commanding General of United States Army Europe, a position he held for 27 months. His most recent deployment was as commander of the 2nd Battalion, 29th Field Artillery of the 1st Armored Division. With forces spread across the four southern provinces of Iraq, he was responsible for military support to three Provincial Reconstruction Teams, managing more than 240 different projects, ranging from micro-business initiatives and women’s literacy classes to major road and bridge construction. LTC Eastman’s most recent assignment was as the Field Artillery representative to the Army Operations staff, managing force structure and organizational issues for the field artillery and electronic warfare communities.

LTC Eastman is the recipient of two Bronze Star Medals, six Meritorious Service Medals, and numerous campaign awards and decorations. A former term member of the Council on Foreign Relations, he has been inducted into the honor societies of Phi Kappa Phi and Pi Sigma Alpha.

LTC Eastman will be promoted to the rank of Colonel during a ceremony at the Institute in early December.

COL Erik Gunhus joined The Institute of World Politics as Senior Service Fellow in September 2011.  At IWP, he will do research on military commissions for alleged terrorists.  He has served in a wide range of command and staff positions over the past 24 years, including deployments to Afghanistan and Iraq, as well as service in Europe.

Early in his military career, COL Gunhus served in a variety of Air Defense Artillery and Special Forces units in Germany and Colorado. COL Gunhus’ military public affairs experience includes serving as the Deputy Chief, Media Relations and primary spokesperson for the US V Corps in Heidelberg, Germany and Public Affairs Officer and primary spokesman for the US Multi-National Brigade-East and Initial Entry Force into Kosovo.

After leaving Kosovo in June 2000, he served as the Public Affairs Officer for the 1st Infantry Division in Wuerzburg, Germany. COL Gunhus then moved to New York City, where he participated in the Training With Industry (TWI) Program at the NYC Public Relations Firm Fleishman-Hillard. Following TWI, he was the Director of the Pentagon’s satellite public affairs officer in NYC.

In January 2006, COL Gunhus deployed to Iraq and spent 18 months as a liaison officer to the Iraqi Ministry of Interior. He then volunteered to stay another 12 months and assumed duties as the Chief of Staff of the fledgling Law and Order Task Force. He left Iraq in June 2008 and was selected to be the personal public affairs officer for GEN Petraeus at US Central Command. In July 2010, COL Gunhus deployed with GEN Petraeus to Afghanistan and returned from Afghanistan with the command team in July 2011.

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