Our Team Members
Founder and CEO
Dr Ajit Maan
Ajit Maan, Ph.D. is a security and defense policy analyst and a specialist in narrative strategies in radicalization processes.
She is Professor of Practice at the Center for the Future of War and Member of the Brain Trust of the Weaponized Narrative Initiative at Arizona State University, as well as Affiliate Faculty at George Mason University's Center for Narrative Conflict Resolution.
She is the author of seven books including Internarrative Identity: Placing the Self, Counter-Terrorism: Narrative Strategies, Narrative Warfare, Plato's Fear and Co-Editor of Soft Power on Hard Problems: Strategic Influence in Irregular Warfare. Her articles have appeared in Foreign Policy, The Strategy Bridge, Small Wars Journal, Real Clear Defense, Stars and Stripes, The Indian Defense Review, Indian Military Review, Defense, Intelligence Norway, and other policy and military strategy journals
Senior Adviser on Civil-Military Affairs
Dr Howard Gambrill Clark
Colonel (Ret.) Christopher Holshek is an international peace & and security consultant and a senior civil-military advisor at Narrative Strategies, the Alliance for Peacebuilding, and as a U.S. Global Leadership Coalition “Veteran for Smart Power.” As such, he promotes transversal civil-military narratives on cross-cutting national and international peace and security issues through capacity and learning organization co-development and his writings. Much of this work draws from his National Service Ride project to empower citizenship and service to community and country to help move a divided nation forward, based on his book, Travels with Harley – Journeys in Search of Personal and National Identity. He is also a civil-military advisor for a NATO Partnership & Cooperative Security Committee research & development project on “Resilient Civilians in Hybrid and Population-Centric Warfare.” As a vice president for the Civil Affairs Association, he develops and organizes intellectual capitalization platforms for U.S. civil affairs force development and edits the Civil Affairs Issue Papers. A rare American with UN field mission service in civilian and military capacities in the Balkans and Africa, he is the principal author of the Peace Operations Training Institute’s course on civil-military coordination in peace operations, being updated. A retired U.S. Army Civil Affairs officer with over three decades of civil-military conflict management experience at multiple levels and settings across the full range of operations, his assignments included: command of the first Civil Affairs battalion deployed to Iraq in support of Army, Marine and British forces; Chief of Civil-Military Coordination for the UN Mission in Liberia; and European Command Military Representative at the U.S. Agency for International Development. For his services then and since, he was inducted as a Distinguished Member of the Civil Affairs Regiment (Corps) in 2017. He was also a senior associate with the Project on National Security Reform. In addition to his contributions to U.S. Army, Joint, NATO, and UN civil-military and peace & stability operations policy and doctrine, he has published in numerous formats on national strategy, civil-military, humanitarian, and peace & stability operations issues, including Foreign Policy, The Huffington Post, and Sicherheit & Frieden.
Dr. Clark served in the U.S. Marine Corps as an intelligence officer and multi-national/small-unit commander with multiple deployments to Iraq as well as Afghanistan and the Philippines.
After military service, he was presidentially appointed as DHS Chief Intelligence Officer's senior Special Assistant. Then, after serving as Senior Intelligence Analyst for DHS Counter-Radicalization, he was promoted to Senior Intelligence Officer for Homeland Security Operations (headquarters) before acting as consultant to Special Operations Command's Counter-Radicalization Branch.
More recently, Dr. Clark served as CEO of Stability Institute and Associate Professor of the National Defense College in Abu Dhabi (a DOD-sponsored security assistance mission). Full bio and publications.
Mr. Paul Cobaugh retired from the US Army as a Warrant Officer after a distinguished career in the US Special Operations CT community, primarily focused on mitigating adversarial influence and advancing US objectives by way of influence. Throughout his career he has focused on the centrality of influence in modern conflict whether it be from extremist organisations or state actors employing influence against the US and our Allies. Post military career he accepted the position of VP at Narrative Strategies, a US based Think-Do Tank which specializes in the non-kinetic aspects of conflict. He believes that Narrative Strategies' cutting-edge focus on leading with non-kinetic influence is the future of national security efforts.
He is the author of Modern Day Minutemen and Women or how to save the 2020 Elections. He has also co-authored, Narrative Warfare, Primer and Study Guide and Soft Power on Hard Problems, Hamilton Publishing, 2017.
Alan Malcher is a social and cultural analyst with interests in the cognitive components associated with asymmetric conflicts and non-linear warfare.
Lt. Col. (ret) Scott Mann is a US Army Green Beret who spent 18 of his 23 years of service in Special Forces. He was Interagency Task Force Leader, USSOCOM, and was one of the architects of the Afghan Village Stability Program, chronicled in his award winning book, Game Changers; Going local to Defeat Violent Extremists
One of the central themes of the book, and of Village Stability Operations generally, is the centrality of narrative to success on all operational levels. Lt. Col Mann has deployed to Ecuador, Columbia, Peru, Iraq, and Afghanistan. He is currently President of Mann-Up Leader Development.
Brian L. Steed
Brian L. Steed is currently an assistant professor of Military History and a retired US Army Middle East Foreign Area Officer. He served eight and a half consecutive years in the Middle East including an assignment as an officer in the Jordanian Armed Forces. He has written numerous books on military theory and military history and cultural awareness. His most recent published books include ISIS: An Introduction and Guide to the Islamic State and Bees and Spiders: Applied Cultural Awareness and the Art of Cross-Cultural Influence. Since returning from Iraq in March 2015 he has been speaking on understanding ISIS in their cultural and historical context. He is currently a PhD student at the University of Missouri-Kansas City (UMKC).
Senior Field Research Psychoanalytical Anthropologist
Dr Patrick Christian
Dr Patrick James Christian is a psychoanalytical anthropologist specializing in the psychopathology of violent ethnic and cultural conflicts. He is an adjunct professor at USSOCOM’s Joint Special Operations University and the managing partner of Valka-Mir Human Security R&D which is under contract with USASOC’s J.F.K. Special Warfare Center & School to research and develop advanced military social science programs that involve non-lethal targeting, field engagement and intervention applications for Army Special Forces, Civil Affairs, and Psychological Operations personnel and deployed teams. Dr Christian is a retired US Army Special Forces officer with field research and military engagement experience in Ecuador, Colombia, Guatemala, Somali-Ogadin and Oromo regions of Ethiopia, the Darfur region of Sudan, Chad, Niger, Kenya, Morocco, Libya, Yemen, Iraq, and Afghanistan.
THE NARRATIVE STRATEGIES
Dr Arturo Munoz
Dr. Munoz is a highly regarded former senior CIA officer, academic, and Subject Matter Expert. In the Directorate of Intelligence, Dr. Munoz contributed to National Intelligence Estimates: he wrote for President’s Daily Brief and National Intelligence Daily, and briefed congressmen, policymakers and military commanders.
Muñoz pioneered the application of anthropology to intelligence in groundbreaking intelligence assessments on insurgencies in Latin America. As a certified Case Officer in the CIA Directorate of Operations Muñoz recruited and handled assets covertly, producing disseminated intelligence reports. Munoz implemented U.S. Military projects in Central America as Special Advisor for Counterinsurgency and Psychological Operations detail at USSOUTHCOM. During his tenure with the CIA, Muñoz established successful counterterrorism, counterinsurgency and counter-narcotics programs, from initial HQS planning to full-fledged field operation.
In 2009, Muñoz retired overtly from the CIA and works in the private sector as a Senior Political Scientist for RAND Corporation specializing in al-Qaeda, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Intelligence, Covert Action, Psychological Operations , Counterinsurgency, and Counterterrorism. Muñoz's analysis and commentaries have been aired on international media, cable stations, national television, streamed all over the internet and cited by newspapers/magazines (C-SPAN, Reuters, PBS, London Times, Wall Street Journal, Asia Times Online, BBC, Washington Post, Associated Press, Newsweek, CBS, MSNBC,CNN Newsroom, New York Times, Financial Times, Voice of America, International Herald Tribune, Al-Jazeera, and other media venues).
Dr Montgomery McFate
Dr. Montgomery ‘Mitzy’ McFate is a cultural anthropologist who works on defense and national security issues. Currently, she is a professor in the Strategic and Operational Research Department at the US Naval War College in Newport, Rhode Island.
Dr. McFate received an AA from the College of Marin, a BA from University of California at Berkeley in Social Sciences, a PhD in Anthropology from Yale University, and a JD from Harvard Law School. Her PhD dissertation concerned British counterinsurgency in Northern Ireland, specifically the social and cultural conditions that created and reproduced ideological and material support for the Provisional IRA and the challenges the British government experienced in responding to the conflict between 1969 and 1982. She has received a variety of honors for her academic work, including a National Science Foundation Graduate Student Fellowship, a Smith Richardson International Security Grant, and a Yale Fellowship, among others.
Formerly, she was the Senior Social Scientist for the US Army’s Human Terrain System, where she helped build the program from a ‘good idea’ with no money attached to a program with over five hundred employees, 27 teams deployed in Iraq and Afghanistan, and $151 million dollar a year budget. She has held positions at a variety of think tanks, including RAND and the Institute for Defense Analysis. Between 2003-2005 she worked at the US Navy’s Office of Naval Research, where she was awarded a Distinguished Public Service Award by the Secretary of the Navy for her efforts to make socio-cultural knowledge relevant to the Navy and the Department of Defense. She was a Jennings Randolph Fellow at the United States Institute of Peace, served on the Army Science Board and was a consulting member on the Defense Science Board. Currently she serves on the Executive Board of the Federal Coordinating Committee for the Department of Homeland Security Study of Terrorism and Responses to Terrorism (START).
her site here
Dr Jennifer Bryson
Jennifer has a B.A. from Stanford University in Political Science, an M.A. from Yale University in History, and a Ph.D. from Yale in Arabic and Islamic Studies from the Department of Near Eastern Languages and Civilizations. While she was an undergraduate at Stanford, she studied Marxism-Leninism for two semesters at the Karl Marx University in the former East Germany.
Jennifer S. Bryson is Director of Operations and Development at the Center for Islam and Religious Freedom (CIRF) in Washington, DC.
From late 2001-2008 she worked for the U.S. Department of Defense. Her assignments included strategic outreach to media and civil society institutions in Egypt and Yemen, working at the Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA), and serving on the Policy staff of the Office of the Secretary of Defense. While working for DIA, she was an interrogator at Guantanamo from 2004-2006. From 2009-2014 she was Director of the Islam and Civil Society Project at the Witherspoon Institute in Princeton, New Jersey and from 2014-2016 she was founding Director at the Zephyr Institute in Palo Alto, CA.
She has been teaching part-time at the U.S. Army War College in Carlisle, PA since 2010. In 2012-2013 she was a Visiting Professor at the U.S. Army War College and she continues to teach part-time now as a Visiting Professor. She is a member of the Group of Friends Experts for the Convention against Torture Initiative 2024 (cti2024). She serves on the Advisory Council of the Center for Women, Faith, and Leadership at the Institute for Global Engagement.
her website here