About Us

Janine Davidson (On Leave)

Assistant Professor

Photo of Janine DavidsonEmail: jdavids5@gmu.edu
Web: twitter-bird-blue-on-white_50@janinedavidson

3351 Fairfax Dr., MS 3B1
Arlington, Virginia 22201


Curriculum Vita
Recent Scholarship


Dr. Janine Davidson is an Assistant Professor in the School of Public Policy at George Mason University in Arlington, VA, where she teaches courses on national security policy making, strategy, civil-military relations, and public policy. From 2009-2012, she served as the Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Plans where she oversaw the development of guidance for military campaign and contingency plans and the review and assessment of plans. She also led policy efforts for U.S. global defense posture and international agreements related to U.S. forces stationed overseas, and was the co-chair for the U.S.-Australia defense posture working group. In 2012, she was awarded the Secretary of Defense Medal for Outstanding Public Service.

Dr. Davidson began her career in the United States Air Force, where she was an aircraft commander and senior pilot for the C-130 and the C-17 cargo aircraft. She flew combat support and humanitarian air mobility missions in Asia, Europe, and the Middle East and was an instructor pilot at the U.S. Air Force Academy. From 2006-2008, Dr. Davidson served as a Director in Office of the Assistant Secretary of Defense for Special Operations and Low Intensity Conflict. In that capacity, she oversaw the founding of the Consortium for Complex Operations, an innovative interagency project to enhance education, training, and performance in complex emergencies. In addition to her government and military experience, Dr. Davidson has also taught political science and international relations courses at Davidson College in North Carolina (2002), and also held positions as an Associate at DFI International in Washington D.C. (2003-2004), a research and non-resident fellow at the Brooking Institution (2003-2004; 2008), and as the Director for Counterinsurgency Studies at Hicks and Associates in Arlington, VA (2004-2005).

Dr. Davidson holds a PhD and a Master’s of Arts degree in international studies from the University of South Carolina and a BS in architectural engineering from the University of Colorado at Boulder. She is a Member of the Council on Foreign Relations and author of Lifting the Fog of Peace: How Americans Learned to Fight Modern War (University of Michigan Press, 2009).


Areas of Research
  • National and Global Security Policy and Analysis

SPP's faculty is deeply engaged in research that advances solutions to some of the most challenging problems facing the region, the nation, and the world. Faculty members are active as advisors to public, private, and non-profit sector organizations, where they take a hands-on approach to public policy formation and implementation.

SPP's research centers span diverse policy areas, including international security, economic development, energy policy, and emerging markets. The School frequently hosts seminars and workshops featuring practitioners and scholars from around the world as well as community events with public officials and candidates.

SPP's home is Founders Hall, the flagship building of Mason's Arlington campus, which opened in 2012. The campus is easily accessible from anywhere in the Washington DC area, only a block from the Virginia Square/GMU station on Metro's Orange Line and just minutes away from Interstate 66 and the George Washington Parkway.