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Wagner Group: The Privatization of the Instruments of National Power

Wed, Feb 28, 2024, 5:00pm - 6:00pm
Featuring: Dr. John McCarthy

You are cordially invited to attend an IN-PERSON lecture on the topic of

Wagner Group: The Privatization of the Instruments of National Power


Dr. John McCarthy
Senior Program Advisor, US Navy


Wednesday, February 28, 2024
5:00 – 6:00 PM EST


The Institute of World Politics
1521 16th St NW
Washington, DC 20036Commodore Barry Room – Marlatt MansionGetting to campus


This event is part of IWP’s Student Speaker Series.

About the Lecture

The Wagner Group has operated as a manifestation of Russian influence, supporting critical Russian interests in key domains across the globe. The organization, originally founded in 2014 by oligarch businessman Yevgeny Prigozhin as a private mercenary force, has become one of the more prolific instruments of power projection in the Russian geopolitical arsenal.

About the Speaker

Dr. John R. McCarthy is currently the Senior Program Advisor with the US Navy’s only explosives, weapons, and foreign materiel Technical Exploitation command. In 2006, John was recruited from the private sector by Naval Surface Warfare Center, Explosive Ordnance Disposal Technology Division and subsequently mobilized as a naval reserve officer to initiate programmatic, infrastructure, and organizational development for the newly established Technical Support Detachment (TSD), which was to specialize in investigating, exploiting, and attacking the improvised explosive device (IED) manufacturing network on the battlefields of Iraq and Afghanistan. The command, renamed Expeditionary Exploitation Unit ONE (EXU-1), now spans the globe working with Combatant Commanders, Special Operations Command and forces, and the Intelligence Community supporting technical exploitation, technical intelligence collection, counterterrorism, and irregular warfare activities.

Prior to his return to active-duty military and current federal service, John held a senior leadership position supporting business and financial operations at a non-profit healthcare organization and was a technical business development executive for a global specialty chemical manufacturer serving the industrial sector, for over 16 years. In addition, he has served as an adjunct professor and part time faculty of leadership & management and other business and intelligence disciplines for a number of universities, since 2004.

Educationally, Dr. McCarthy holds a Graduate Certificate of Intelligence Studies (Strategic Intelligence in Special Operations concentration), a Master of Science of Strategic Intelligence (MSSI) degree, a Master of Business Administration (MBA) degree, and a Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) in Organization and Management with a specialization in Leadership studies.

Always seeking to enhance and broaden his knowledge base, Dr. McCarthy remains engaged in continuous learning opportunities and is a currently enrolled in IWP’s Certificate of Graduate Study program focusing on Statecraft and National Security.

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