Sean McFate

Dr. Sean McFate is an author, novelist and expert in foreign policy and national security strategy.

Photo of Sean McFate

He is a professor at the National Defense University and Georgetown University’s School of Foreign Service. He is also a Senior Fellow at the Atlantic Council, a think tank in Washington DC. Recently, he was a Visiting Fellow at Oxford University’s Changing Character of War Program and the Israel National Defence College, where he also taught.

McFate’s career began as a paratrooper and officer in the U.S. Army’s storied 82nd Airborne Division. He served under Stanley McChrystal and David Petraeus, and graduated from elite training programs, such as the U.S. Army’s jungle warfare school in Panama.

After this, McFate became a private military contractor in Africa. Among his many experiences there, he dealt with warlords, raised small armies, worked with armed groups in the Sahara, transacted arms deals in Eastern Europe, and helped prevent an impending genocide in the Great Lakes region.

In the world of international business, McFate was a Vice President at TD International, a boutique political risk consulting firm with offices in Washington, Houston, Singapore and Zurich. Before this, he was a manager at DynCorp International, a consultant at BearingPoint (now Deloitte Consulting) and an associate at Booz Allen Hamilton. He was also a social scientist for the RAND Corporation.

McFate co-wrote the novels Shadow War and Deep Black (William Morrow), part of the Tom Locke series based on his military experiences. New York Times bestselling author Mark Greaney said: “I was blown away…. simply one of the most entertaining and intriguing books I’ve read in quite some time.”

He also authored the non-fiction book The Modern Mercenary: Private Armies and What They Mean for World Order (Oxford University Press) which details how war and world order are changing in the 21st century. The Economist called it a “fascinating and disturbing book.”

A coveted speaker, he has spoken at the British House of Commons, top universities and popular audience venues. He has appeared in the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Washington Post, MSNBC, Fox News, NPR, BBC, Economist, Vice/HBO, The Discovery Channel, American Heroes Channel and other outlets. He has published articles in Foreign Policy, The Atlantic, Politico, The New Republic, Daily Beast, Vice, Salon, War on the Rocks, Military Review and African Affairs. As a scholar, he has authored eight book chapters in edited academic volumes and published a U.S. Army War College monograph on how to raise foreign armies.

McFate holds a BA from Brown University, MPP from the Harvard Kennedy School of Government, and a Ph.D. in international relations from the London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE). He lives in Washington, DC. More here: http://seanmcfate.com