Elizabeth A. Stanley

Elizabeth A. Stanley, Ph.D. is an associate professor of security studies at Georgetown University, part of the core faculty of the Security Studies Program in the Edmund A. Walsh School of Foreign Service, as well as in the Department of Government.  She speaks, teaches, and writes on a variety of topics related to resilience, decision-making in stressful environments, learning and change in enacted systems, civil-military relations, military effectiveness and innovation, and international security.  She is the author of Paths to Peace: Domestic Coalition Shifts, War Termination and the Korean War, which won the 2009 Edgar S. Furniss Award for the best first book in the field of national and international security, and co-editor (with Risa Brooks) of Creating Military Power: The Sources of Military Effectiveness.  Her research has also been published in a variety of neuroscience, political science, psychology, organizational behavior, and security policy publications.

She is the creator of Mindfulness-based Mind Fitness Training (MMFT)®, which has been tested through four DoD-funded neuroscience research studies with the U.S. military, with efficacy of its beneficial effects published in many peer-reviewed scientific journals.  She’s taught MMFT to thousands in civilian and military high-stress environments, including to Members of Congress and senior leaders in the executive branch.  She has extensive experience with mind fitness techniques, including long-term periods of intensive practice in the United States and Burma (Myanmar), and she has co-taught with the creator of mindfulness-based stress reduction, Jon Kabat-Zinn.  She also has trained in a variety of body-based techniques for helping individuals to re-regulate their autonomic nervous systems after stressful or traumatic experiences, including clinical training as a certified practitioner of Somatic Experiencing (SEP).  From 2009-2016, she was also the founder of the non-profit Mind Fitness Training Institute.

She has served on the Board of Advisors for the Institute for the Study of Diplomacy, the National Security Advisory Panel of the Sandia National Laboratories, the U.S. Army Science Board, and the executive board of Women in International Security.  Her research has been supported by grants from the National Science Foundation, the Smith Richardson Foundation, the G.D. Searle Foundation, the John Kluge Foundation, the Department of Defense Centers for Excellence for Psychological Health and Traumatic Brain Injury, the U.S. Army Medical Research and Materiel Command, the Office of Naval Research, the U.S Naval Health Research Center, and Sandia National Laboratories.  

Earlier in her career, she served as the associate director of the Security Studies Program at Georgetown University, and she was a post-doctoral fellow at Harvard’s Olin Institute for Strategic Studies.  She served as a U.S. Army military intelligence officer in Korea, Germany, and on deployments to Macedonia and Bosnia, leaving active service as a captain.     

She holds a Ph.D. in Government from Harvard University, an M.B.A. focused on technology strategy and organizational innovation from MIT’s Sloan School of Management, and a B.A. in Soviet and East European Studies from Yale University.