She has served as associate director of Georgetown's Security Studies Program. Earlier in her career, she served as a U.S. Army intelligence officer in South Korea, Germany, and on deployments to the Balkans, leaving service as a captain. She is the creator of Mindfulness-based Mind Fitness Training (MMFT), tested through four neuroscience research studies with the U.S. military. She’s taught MMFT to thousands in civilian and military high-stress environments. She's also is a certified practitioner of Somatic Experiencing, a body-based trauma therapy.
She speaks, teaches, and writes widely on a variety of topics related to resilience, decision-making in stressful environments, civil-military relations, military effectiveness and innovation, and international security. Her book, Paths to Peace, won the 2009 Edgar S. Furniss Award for an exceptional contribution to the field of national and international security.
She serves on the advisory board of the Institute for the Study of Diplomacy, and has also served on the National Security Advisory Board of the Sandia National Laboratories, the US Army Science Board, and the executive board of Women in International Security (WIIS). She was also the founder of the non-profit Mind Fitness Training Institute.
Her research has been supported by grants from the National Science Foundation, the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars, the Smith Richardson Foundation, the G.D. Searle Foundation, the John Kluge Foundation, the Department of Defense Centers for Excellence for Psychological Health and Traumatic Brain Injury, the US Army Medical Research and Materiel Command, the Office of Naval Research, and Sandia National Laboratories.