Colonel Bob Cusick is a career Army Special Forces Officer originally from Clifton Heights, Pennsylvania. He commissioned into the Army upon graduation from West Virginia University in 2001. Bob has served in multiple command and staff positions over the course of his 22-year career including several operational deployments to Iraq and Afghanistan. He holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Sports Management from West Virginia University and a Master of Science in National Security and Strategic Studies from the Naval War College in Newport, RI. Bob and his wife, Jenn, have three children, Max, Jillian and Piper. His research interests include irregular warfare, the fall of governments and SOF operations in competition. Following his studies at Duke, Bob will return to Fort Bragg, NC to command a Psychological Operations Group.
Chaplain (Colonel) Primitivo Davis is a native of Philadelphia, PA. He is a graduate of Oakwood University, with a B.A. in Ministerial Theology, and Andrews University with a Master of Divinity. He has been a professional minister for over 28 years. He has served at every echelon of the Army from battalion to Headquarters Department of the Army staff, to include the 101st Airborne (Air Assault) Division, 3rd Special Forces Group (ABN), the United States Military Academy, and 10th Mountain Division. He served 4 combat tours (Iraq & Afghanistan) and most recently an operational deployment in support of the Ukraine/Russia conflict. Primitivo's research interests include how to effectively execute talent management in large organizations and defining, integrating and maintaining a diverse workforce. Chaplain Davis has been happily married to Shalita for over 24 years. Together they have 3 children, 2 in college and an 8th grader. Chaplain Davis enjoys golf, motorcycles, guns and competitive dog training.
Colonel Kenrick Forrester is a Special Forces Officer from Brooklyn, NY. He enlisted in the Army in 1996 and received his commission through OCS in 2002 as a Distinguished Military Graduate. He initially commissioned as an Infantry Officer and was selected for Special Forces in 2006. Since then, he has commanded Special Forces units as a Captain, Major, and Lieutenant Colonel. He has Special Operations experience throughout Latin America and the Middle East. His combat experience includes command and staff positions during multiple deployments to Iraq and Afghanistan. COL Forrester has acquired joint and inter-agency experience during his time in Special Forces, Joint and Army Staff. COL Forrester has earned a B.A. (Summa Cum Laude) in Business from Upper Iowa University, a M.A in Political Science from Kansas State University, and a M.A. (with Distinction) in Military Science from Marine Corps University. His research interests include Foreign Policy, National Security Policy, and Irregular Warfare.
Ben Hess is originally from North Carolina and serves as a career Foreign Service Officer with the U.S. Department of State. He has a bachelor’s degree from Bowdoin College and a master’s degree in International Peace Studies from the United Nations-mandated University for Peace in Costa Rica. Prior to joining the State Department in 2009, Ben worked in the fields of international development, communications, and education. Before coming to Duke, Ben served as Political Unit Chief at the U.S. Embassy in Chile. Previously, he worked in Afghanistan, Ecuador, Poland, Bolivia, and Washington, D.C. Ben is married with two children. His research interests include Strategic Competition, U.S. Counterterrorism Policy and Combatting Transnational Organized Crime, and Cybersecurity.
Lieutenant Colonel Amanda Hughes is a Military Intelligence Officer originally from Indiana. She commissioned from the Methodist College ROTC program in 2003 with a Bachelor of Arts in Criminal Justice and later returned to Methodist University to earn a Master’s in Justice Administration. She has broad experience working with Joint, Interagency, and international partners and has deployed multiple times throughout Southeast Asia, Central Asia, and the Middle East. Amanda is married with three children. Her research interests include national security policy development, operational-level mission command, effectively leveraging partners and allies, and the ethical application of cognitive behavior science to gain comparative advantage.
Colonel Eric Jnah is an Army Infantry Officer who is a native of Chicago, Illinois. Colonel Jnah earned his Bachelor of Science degree in International Business from Marquette University and holds a Master of Arts in International Relations with a focus on Trans-National Security Studies. Over his 20-plus year career, Colonel Jnah has extensive experience working in the interagency, and he has deployed on multiple occasions to Afghanistan, Iraq, Jordan, Europe and Africa. Eric is a first generation American who speaks French and Polish. He is married to Dr. Amy Jnah, who is faculty at UNC-Chapel Hill and East Carolina University. Together they have two children, Mya and Ryan, who both attend North Carolina State University. Eric’s research interests include counter-terrorism, strategic competition, and organizational leadership and development.
Brian Riordan is an Intelligence Analyst with the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI). Brian grew up in New Jersey and began his FBI career in 2014 as a Staff Operations Specialist (SOS) in the FBI Newark field office, where he supported counterterrorism investigations. While in the field, Brian provided national security briefings to FBI Newark’s executive management, members of the Joint Terrorism Task Force, and private sector partners. Brian also assisted with command posts on critical incidents in New Jersey to include major sporting events and presidential visits. In 2019, Brian became an Intelligence Analyst with FBI Counterterrorism Division in Washington, D.C., where he worked terrorism finance along with both international and domestic terrorism threats. Brian has also worked on projects to enhance the FBI’s HUMINT capabilities with various FBI field offices. In 2014 Brian graduated from Fordham’s Graduate School of Business with a Master of Science in Business Enterprise and in 2012 he graduated from the University of Scranton with a Bachelor of Science in Political Science and History. Brian’s research interests include ways to improve domestic human intelligence collection capabilities for law enforcement along with identifying ways to improve personnel retention within the intelligence community.