Michael D. Nelson is an Army Special Forces Lieutenant Colonel and currently serves as Professor of Military Science and Chair of the Military Science Department at George Mason University.
Previously, he served as the Deputy Director of the Commander’s Action Group at United States Central Command for General Joseph Votel. In this capacity he served as a direct adviser to the CENTCOM Commander and was responsible for coordinating all strategic communication between the CENTCOM Commander and political and military leaders throughout the Middle East and Central Asia.
Prior to that, Mike served as the Future Operations Director for Combined Joint Interagency Task Force – Syria and was one of the architects of the United States military’s initial efforts to counter ISIS.
He has extensive experience at the tactical, operational, and strategic levels throughout eleven deployments with the 82nd Airborne Division, the 5th Special Forces Group, and Joint Special Operations Command to Iraq, Afghanistan, Jordan, Qatar, and Kosovo.
He holds a Bachelor of Arts in History from the Virginia Military Institute and a Master of Science in Defense Analysis from the Naval Postgraduate School. He is the 2011 recipient of the Hans Jones Award for excellence in research in the field of irregular warfare. He has been published previously in several defense related journals including War On The Rocks and Real Clear Defense.