Image credit: CNAS

December 17, 2020

CNAS Defense Program Announces Six New Adjunct Fellows

By Cole Stevens

Washington, December 17, 2020—The Center for a New American Security (CNAS) is pleased to announce six new adjunct fellows to its Defense Program. Joining as Adjunct Senior Fellows: General Mike “Mobile” Holmes, USAF (Ret.), Senior Advisor at The Roosevelt Group; Nina Kollars, Associate Professor in the Cyber & Innovation Policy Institute (CIPI) at the Naval War College; Jenny McArdle, Product Strategist at Improbable LLC; and Tom Shugart, former Military Advisor in the Office of Net Assessment at the U.S. Department of Defense. Joining as Adjunct Fellows: Erik Lin-Greenberg, Assistant Professor of Political Science at MIT, and Rachel Tecott, Predoctoral Fellow at the Institute for Security and Conflict Studies at George Washington University. These fellows join a distinguished list of experts affiliated with the Gaming Lab at the Center for a New American Security.

“I’m proud to welcome Mike, Nina, Erik, Jenny, Tom, and Rachel to the Center,” said Susanna Blume, Director of the CNAS Defense Program. “As our team continues to tackle some of the most demanding challenges for U.S. defense leaders using innovative methods like gaming, we are thrilled to be joined by these remarkable military leaders and national security experts who will lend invaluable contributions to our work.”

General Mike Holmes (retired) departed active duty in the Air Force in 2020 and joined The Roosevelt Group as a Senior Advisor. He completed his Air Force service leading the transformation of Air Combat Command (ACC), a global organization operating and sustaining over 1000 aircraft and 11 Air Force bases with an annual operating budget of $7.4B. Previously, as the Air Force’s Deputy Chief of Staff for Strategic Plans and Programs, Holmes led a team that shifted Air Force strategy to respond to a new national security environment and built and defended the USAF‘s input to three $600B Five Year Defense Plans with the Department of Defense and U.S. Congress. In previous roles, he served as Deputy Commander of Air Education and Training Command, USAF Assistant Deputy Chief of Staff for Operations and Requirements, and as Principal Director for Middle East Policy in the Office of the Secretary of Defense. Before assuming his strategic roles, he commanded Air Force teams at the squadron, group, and wing level, including a year in command of Air Force forces in Afghanistan. Holmes graduated from the US Naval War College National Security Strategy program with highest honors and completed both the US Air Force’s School for Advanced Air and Space Power Studies program and the Fighter Weapons Instructor Course. He was the Graduate of the Year in the University of Alabama’s MA in History program, and received a BS in Electrical Engineering from the University of Tennessee. He is a fighter pilot with over 4000 hours in the F-15 and T-38, including over 500 combat hours.

Dr. Nina Kollars is Associate Professor in the Cyber & Innovation Policy Institute (CIPI) at the Naval War College. Kollars is a scholar of future warfighting, military technological change, innovation, cybersecurity, and cyber warfare/information operations. She also provides analysis on cyber wargaming and education. She holds a PhD in Political Science from The Ohio State University, an MA in International Affairs from the Elliott School at George Washington University. Kollars has served as a fellow at a number of military institutes to include: Brute Krulak Center at Marine Corps University, the Special Operations Journal, and the Modern War Institute at USMA. She is a senior analyst for the Congressional Cyber Solarium Commission, and manages the CIPI Gravely Directed Research Program at the Naval War College. Kollars is a published security studies scholar, a public speaker, and writer. She has spoken at: DefCon hacking conference, SXSW, the National Security Council, CyCon, TEDx, and RUSI.

Dr. Erik Lin-Greenberg is an Assistant Professor of Political Science at MIT, where he is an affiliate of the Security Studies Program. His research examines how emerging military technology affects conflict dynamics and the regulation and use of force. In his book project, he leverages experimental methods, archival research, elite interviews, and surveys to study how remote warfighting technologies like drones and cyber warfare shape crisis escalation. In other ongoing projects, Lin-Greenberg explores how technology and public opinion influence alliance politics and decisions on the use of force. His work has appeared in a variety of academic and policy outlets including Security Studies, Journal of Peace Research, International Peacekeeping, The Washington Post, Foreign Policy, and War on the Rocks. He previously held fellowships at the University of Pennsylvania and Stanford University. He completed his PhD in Political Science at Columbia University, and an MS and BS in Political Science from MIT. Before entering academia, he was as an active duty officer in the United States Air Force and continue to serve on the Joint Staff as a member of the Air Force Reserve.

Jennifer McArdle is a Product Strategist at Improbable LLC, an emerging global leader in distributed simulation technology for military planning, training, and decision support. Her research focuses on military innovation, readiness, and synthetic training. She currently serves as an expert member of a NATO technical working group that is developing cyber effects for the military alliance's mission and campaign simulations. McArdle’s work has been featured in Real Clear World, The Cyber Defense Review, National Defense Magazine, and War on the Rocks, among others. McArdle previously served as an Assistant Professor of Cyber Defense at Salve Regina University where she lectured on the relationship between national security and disruptive technologies. While in RI, she served on Congressman James Langevin's cyber advisory committee. She has also held positions at the Potomac Institute for Policy Studies, the American Association for the Advancement of Science, and the U.S. National Defense University, in addition to working in New Delhi, India as a Visiting Fellow at two defense research institutions. McArdle is a PhD candidate at King’s College London in War Studies and the recipient of the RADM Fred Lewis (I/ITSEC) doctoral scholarship in modeling and simulation. She holds a MPhil in Politics from the University of Cambridge and a BA in Political Science, summa cum laude, from the University of New Hampshire.

Tom Shugart is an Adjunct Senior Fellow with the Defense Program at CNAS. His research focuses on undersea warfare and maritime competition, military innovation and acquisition, and the broader military balance in the Indo-Pacific. Shugart served for over twenty-five years in the U.S. Navy, where he last worked in the Defense Department’s Office of Net Assessment. He served as a submarine warfare officer during his military service, deploying multiple times to the Indo-Pacific region and commanding the nuclear-powered fast attack submarine USS Olympia (SSN 717) from 2013 to 2016. Following his submarine command tour, he served on the Navy Staff as the principal officer providing oversight of the Columbia Class SSBN Program, the Navy’s highest-priority acquisition effort. Over the course of his military career, he served aboard both fast attack and ballistic missile submarines as well as at shore headquarters; he also served on the Joint Staff as the principal officer responsible for nuclear strike planning, advising of senior Defense Department leaders on nuclear weapons employment plans, and the training of Presidential military aides and command center personnel on nuclear command and control. Mr. Shugart is a graduate of the U.S. Naval War College, where he holds an MA in National Security and Strategic Studies. During his time there, he served as a full-time member and Red Force commander of the Halsey Alfa Group, gaming near-future operational-tactical warfighting in East Asia. He is also a graduate in Mechanical Engineering of the University of Texas at Austin, and received postgraduate training in nuclear engineering from the U.S. Naval Nuclear Propulsion Program. He is an instrument-rated Commercial Pilot and FAA-Certified Flight Instructor.

Rachel Tecott is a PhD Candidate in Political Science at MIT, a member of MIT’s Security Studies Program, and a 2020-2021 Predoctoral Fellow at the Institute for Security and Conflict Studies at George Washington University's Elliot School of International Affairs. Tecott’s current book project examines U.S. efforts to build militaries in partner states, and focuses in particular on the evolution of the U.S. Army’s efforts to teach, persuade, coerce, and command reticent partner leaders to build militaries that can fight. As an adjunct researcher for RAND Corporation, Rachel has helped to inform U.S. security cooperation and security force assistance efforts around the world. More broadly, Tecott studies alliance politics, decision-making in conflict, and military operations. Her work defining the method of campaign analysis for the study of military operations is forthcoming in International Security. Before MIT, Rachel worked in political risk consulting and studied nuclear proliferation. She holds a BA from Wesleyan University, where she graduated Phi Beta Kappa.

For more information or to request an interview with CNAS experts, contact Cole Stevens at or call 202-695-8166.


  • Cole Stevens

    Former Communications Officer

    Cole Stevens is a former Communications Officer at the Center for a New American Security (CNAS). In this role, he led the Center's press and public affairs strategy to advanc...