Dr. Phillip Petersen

Vice President, Studies

Dr. Phillip A. Petersen is Vice President for Studies at the Potomac Foundation.

Prior to joining the Foundation in 1991, he served as a United States Army officer, an intelligence analyst for the Defense Intelligence Agency, and a policy analyst in the Office of the Secretary of Defense and at the National Defense University.

He was a senior consultant to the President of the United States Industry Coalition for the Department of Energy’s Initiatives for Proliferation Prevention Program, and was a founding director of the not-for-profit Institute for Applied Science, which was dedicated to providing transparent and commercially self-sustaining employment to engineers and technicians formerly engaged in weapons of mass destruction work in the former Soviet Union.

At the Potomac Foundation, Dr. Petersen directed Security Policy in the Post-Soviet Republics project which lasted three years and included extensive travel through all fifteen of the former Soviet republics and interviews with 400 senior officials. Dr. Petersen has also lead Potomac Foundation-sponsored delegations from the U.S. Congress to Hungary, Poland, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, and Georgia to promote the membership of these countries in NATO.

Dr. Petersen has authored some 80 publications on international security issues, and has collaborated on investigative reports on the subject of nuclear materials smuggling with Time, Newsweek, “60 Minutes” of CBS, and Channel One Network.

areas of expertise:

Political-Military Relations


Cold War

Russian Military Doctrine, Strategy, Operations and Exercises

Military Terrain


Dr. Petersen earned his B.S. in Education with Political Science Major and History Minor from Central Michigan University in 1969; an M.A. in Political Science from  Western Michigan University in 1974; and a Ph.D. in Political Science from the University of Illinois in 1985, with dissertation on Images As Defense Policy Determinants In The Soviet-American Military Relationship Since 1945.