• Michael E. Garrison, Acting Director

    Acting Director

    Colonel Mike Garrison, U.S. Army (ret)

    Mr. Mike Garrison became Acting Director of the Africa Center for Strategic Studies (ACSS) in September, 2012, after 28 years of active duty in the U.S. Army and more than a decade of leadership in African political and military affairs.

    Prior to assuming his current role, Mr. Garrison was Deputy Director of the Africa Center, serving as its chief operating officer and principle advisor to the Director for strategic planning, policy analysis and the development and execution of Africa Center programs to support the United States security policy goals within Africa.

    A former African Foreign Area Officer and aviator with over 2800 rotary and fixed-wing flight hours, Mr. Garrison has held several Army and Joint command and staff positions in Germany, Africa, the Middle East and the United States. Immediately prior to his retirement as an Army Colonel, he served as the Regional Director for Southern Africa in the Office of the Secretary of Defense for African Affairs. There he managed all aspects of bilateral and multilateral defense strategy and policy development for the nine southern most African countries on the continent.

    Mr. Garrison’s other African political/military assignments include commanding the Multinational Force and Observers Aviation Unit in Sinai Egypt, Political/Military Affairs Officer (southern Africa), J5 Plans, U.S. European Command, Defense and Army Attaché to the Republic of Kenya, the Republic of South Africa, and the Kingdoms of Lesotho and Swaziland; and Defense Liaison Officer in Khartoum, Sudan.

    He is the recipient of numerous Department of Defense awards and decorations including the Office of the Secretary of Defense Identification badge and the U.S. Army Master Aviator badge.

    Mr. Garrison holds a Bachelor of Science Degree in Criminal Justice from Arizona State University; a Master of Science degree in Aerospace Management from Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University; and a Master of Science degree in Strategic Studies from the U.S. Army War College. He is an alumnus of the U.S. Army War College and the U.S. Army Command and General Staff College, an Honor Graduate of the U.S. Army Rotary Wing Aviator Qualification Course, and a Distinguished Graduate from the U.S. Army Armor Officers Basic Course.

    Areas of Expertise

    Political-military affairs for Southern and Eastern Africa, Aviation Security, Department of Defense and U.S. Embassy Country Team operations, Africa Contingency Operations Training and Assistance Program (ACOTA), U.S. Security Assistance programming


    Mike Garrison

  • Dr. Raymond Gilpin, Dean

    Academic Dean

    Dr. Raymond Gilpin is the Academic Dean at the Africa Center for Strategic Studies. In this capacity he directs the design, development and implementation of the Center’s programs, and provides leadership on all academic matters. Prior to joining the Africa Center he served as director of the Center for Sustainable Economies at the United States Institute of Peace (in which capacity he also chaired the taskforce on business and peace, managed the web-based International Network for Economics and Conflict, and taught courses on economics and conflict at the USIP Academy); academic chair for defense economics at the Africa Center for Strategic Studies; director for international programs at Intellibridge Corporation (now part of Eurasia Group); senior economist at the African Development Bank Group; research director at the Central Bank of Sierra Leone; and economist at the World Bank.

    His research interests include Africa’s security challenges, energy and security, resource management and conflict dynamics, financial management in Africa’s security sector, and public-private partnerships and peace. Dr. Gilpin is a regular blogger and featured media commentator on African affairs, U.S.-Africa policy, energy and security, and economic dimensions of peace. Recent publications include: “Economic Drivers of Conflict,” in Pamela Aall, Chester Crocker and Fen Hampson, eds., Conflict Management and Global Governance in an Age of Awakening (forthcoming 2013); “Tackling Energy Infrastructure Vulnerability in Violence-Prone Zones” (2013); “Using Entrepreneurship to Promote Stability in Fragile Regions” (2012); “Trade and Resource Management: A Development Perspective,” in Joanna Spear and Paul Williams, eds., Nexus Between Security and Development (2012); and “China in Africa,” in Terry Buss, Joseph Adjaye, Donald Goldstein, and Louis Picard, eds., African Security and the African Command: Viewpoints on the US Role in Africa (2011).

    Dr. Gilpin holds a doctorate in development economics from Cambridge University in the United Kingdom and an executive certificate in international finance and capital markets from Georgetown University.

  • Dr. Joseph Siegle, Director of Research

    Director of Research

    expert_siegleDr. Joseph Siegle is the Director of Research at the Africa Center for Strategic Studies. In this capacity, he directs the Center’s research program with the aim of generating practical, evidence-based policy analysis that can contribute to addressing ongoing and over-the-horizon security challenges in Africa. Dr. Siegle also oversees the Center’s Fellows program that aims to enrich understanding of Africa’s strategic and security priorities by providing an international platform for African scholars and analysts.

    Prior to joining the Center, Dr. Siegle has served in a variety of scholar and practitioner roles. He was the Douglas Dillon Fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations, a Senior Research Scholar at the Center for International and Security Studies at the University of Maryland (CISSM), a Senior Advisor for Democratic Governance at the international consulting firm DAI, a Country Director with the international NGO World Vision, and a Peace Corps Volunteer in Liberia. He has worked in some 40 countries around the world including numerous conflict-affected contexts in Western, Southern, and Eastern Africa.

    Dr. Siegle’s research focuses on Africa-wide security challenges and trends; the linkages between political governance, development, and security; post-conflict reconstruction and the stabilization strategies for fragile states; redressing the natural resource curse; and strengthening institutions of accountability. He has published widely in leading journals and newspapers and is co-author of The Democracy Advantage: How Democracies Promote Prosperity and Peace (Routledge, revised edition 2009). Dr. Siegle earned his Ph.D. from the University of Maryland’s School of Public Policy (International Security and Economic Policy) and holds an M.A. in Agricultural Economics (African food security) from Michigan State University.


    Areas of Expertise

    Post-conflict Reconstruction, Security and Development, Africa Security Challenges, Democratization, Stabilization of Fragile States, Natural Resources and Conflict, Trans-Africa


    Joseph Siegle

  • Professor Thomas A. Dempsey

    Assistant Professor and Academic Chair, Security

    Assistant Professor and Academic Chair, Security Studies


    TomDempsey1wColonel Thomas Dempsey, U.S. Army (retired) is the Africa Center for Strategic Studies (ACSS) Chair for Security Studies. Professor Dempsey specializes in security sector reform, rule of law, post-conflict transitions and peace operations.  He served as the Professor of Security Sector Reform with the U.S. Army Peacekeeping and Stability Operations Institute (PKSOI) in Carlisle, Pennsylvania, from 2007 to 2009. Professor Dempsey joined PKSOI after returning from eight months in Monrovia, Liberia, where he directed the reconstitution and training of the Liberian Ministry of National Defense as part of the joint U.S.-Liberian Security Sector Reform Program.

    Colonel Dempsey served as Director of African Studies in the Department of National Security and Strategy at the U.S. Army War College from 1999 through his retirement in August of 2006. His 31-year military career as an Infantry Officer and African Foreign Area Officer included service as the Chief of Africa Branch at the U.S. Defense Intelligence Agency Defense HUMINT Services, and as Defense Attaché in Liberia and Sierra Leone.

    Professor Dempsey edited and was a contributing author to Civil Power in Irregular Conflict (2010), authored a monograph entitled Counterterrorism in African Failed States (2006), and has published articles in Brassey’s Defense Analysis.

    Professor Dempsey has a B.A. in History from Wichita State University, an M.A. in African Area Studies from UCLA, and an M.M.A.S. in Theater Operations from the School of Advanced Military Studies at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas. He is currently a Doctoral Candidate in Public Administration at Penn State Harrisburg.

    Areas of Expertise

    Security Sector Reform, Rule of Law, Post-conflict Transitions, Peace Operations

  • Colonel Patrick de Vathaire

    Senior French Representative

    expert_vathaireColonel Patrick de Vathaire became the Senior French Representative at the Africa Center for Strategic Studies in August 2011. Following his graduation from the “Officer Candidate School,” promotion of 1983, Colonel de Vathaire joined the « Troupes de Marine ». He subsequently gained an impressive depth of operational knowledge of Africa during his numerous visits to the Continent. In addition to participating in operations in Chad, the Ivory Coast, Rwanda, Gabon and Togo, he has also spent time at the heart of various African armed forces as both an instructor and military advisor. He commanded the 43rd Infantry Battalion from 2005 until 2006, based in the Ivory Coast. In between his African commitments, Colonel de Vathaire also served in Afghanistan in 2002 when he was the Operations Officer for the French Army Special Forces Regiment. Following 18 months at the Army War College and the Joint Advanced Staff College, he was firstly posted to the Joint Staff as Chief J3 Land from 2003 to 2005 then again as Chief J5 Africa in the Joint Operational Planning Centre (Centre de Planification et Conduite des Opérations) from 2008 to 2011. It is in this last role where his African expertise has come to the fore: he has been responsible for the strategic oversight and anticipation of potential crisis within sub-Saharan Africa. He has had oversight of the French participation in the European EUFOR mission, the deployment of the U.N. mission to Chad, the crisis in Côte d’Ivoire, piracy off the Somalia coast and he has been actively involved in the study to reshape French participation in Africa.

    He holds the rank of Chevalier of the Legion of Honour, is an officer of the National Order of Merit, holds “la croix de la valeur militaire” with 2 stars, and is an Officer of the Rwandan National Order of Peace.

  • Dr. Miguel Ferreira da Silva

    Senior Portuguese Representative

    Dr. Miguel F. daSilvaDr. Miguel Ferreira da Silva became the Senior Portuguese Representative at the Africa Center for Strategic Studies in March 2012. Following his graduation in Law from the University of Lisbon he completed post graduate studies in Juridical-Political Sciences, at the same University, and in Political Science and International Relations at the Portuguese Catholic University. He also holds specializations in Security and Intelligence, as in Terrorism.

    After developing a career in Legal Advising to the Public Sector, both at local and national levels, Miguel returned to academia where he taught Portuguese language and culture at the University of Nottingham, where he also completed his PhD. in cultural studies (legitimacy discourse of international criminal courts).

    Still a Senior Legal Advisor with the Portuguese Media Authority, he also became an advisor to the Portuguese Government, particularly in matters related to Africa.

    His main research interests are linked to Democracy, the rule of law, freedom of the press and post conflict cultures. Miguel is also a member of the International Consortium for the Study of Post Conflict Cultures. Born in Porto, Portugal, he fluently speaks Portuguese, English and Spanish; he also speaks French.

  • Dr. Carolyn Haggis

    Assistant Professor, Regional Peace and Security Initiatives

    Dr. Carolyn Haggis

    Dr. Carolyn Haggis is Assistant Professor of Regional Peace and Security Initiatives at the Africa Center for Strategic Studies. In this capacity, Dr. Haggis develops curriculum for programs and workshops focused on advancing multilateral solutions to security challenges on the African continent.

    Her areas of specialization include the African peace and security architecture (APSA), regional peacekeeping, humanitarian intervention, and the “responsibility to protect” (R2P).

    Dr. Haggis holds a doctorate (D.Phil) in International Relations from the University of Oxford (Nuffield College), an M.Phil in International Relations, also from Oxford, and a B.S. in International Relations from the Edmund A. Walsh School of Foreign Service, Georgetown University.


    Carolyn Haggis

  • Colonel Daniel L. Hampton

    Senior Military Advisor

    Colonel Daniel L. HamptonColonel Hampton is a military instructor assigned to the faculty of the Africa Center for Strategic Studies, National Defense University. Prior to this assignment, Colonel Hampton served as the United States of America Senior Defense Official and Defense Attaché to the Republic of South Africa and the Kingdoms of Lesotho and Swaziland.

    Colonel Hampton is a career infantry officer and has served multiple assignments with the 4th Infantry Division (Mechanized) and the 10th Mountain Division (Light Infantry). From June 2009 to June 2010 Colonel Hampton commanded a multi-national task force in Kandahar, Afghanistan responsible for the institutional training and resourcing of all Afghan National Army and Afghan Police forces in southern Afghanistan.

    Colonel Hampton’s secondary specialty is as a sub-Saharan Africa Foreign Area Officer. He has served previously as the Defense Attaché to Zimbabwe and as the Defense Attaché to Malawi. Colonel Hampton has held several key political-military affairs staff positions to include ACOTA program manager for the Geographic Combatant Commander, and principal advisor to the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs on the Horn of Africa region.

    Colonel Hampton holds a Bachelor’s degree in History from Wake Forest University, a Master’s degree in African Studies from the University of Illinois, and a Master’s of Strategic Studies from the U.S. Army War College. His military education includes the Infantry Officer Basic and Advanced Courses, United States Army Command and General Staff College, Zimbabwe Staff College, Joint Military Attaché School, Defense Language Institute (French), and the Defense Institute of Security Assistance Management.

    Colonel Hampton is the recipient of numerous Department of Defense awards and decorations to include the Bronze Star, Defense Superior Service Medal, Defense Meritorious Service Medal, Afghanistan Campaign Medal, NATO ISAF Medal, Expert Infantryman Badge, Parachutist Badge, and the coveted Ranger Tab.

    Areas of Expertise

    Political-Military affairs for Southern, East and Horn of Africa; Peace Support Operations; National Security Strategy; Department of Defense and U.S. Embassy Country Team operations; and U.S. Security Assistance planning and execution.

  • Dr. Assis Malaquias

    Professor and Academic Chair, Defense Economics and Resource Management

    expert_malaquiasDr. Assis Malaquias is the Academic Chair for Defense Economics at the Africa Center for Strategic Studies. In this capacity, Dr. Malaquias oversees curriculum and program development in the area of defense economics focusing on sound practices for the management of security sector resources in Africa, the relationship between security strategy and the allocation/utilization of national resources, and appropriate budgeting and procurement models in Africa. Prior to this position, Dr. Malaquias served as Associate Dean of International and Intercultural Studies and Professor of Government at St. Lawrence University in Canton, New York. He was Extraordinary Associate Professor of Political Studies at the University of Western Cape in South Africa and a visiting Professor at Stellenbosch University in South Africa.

    He holds a Master’s degree in Economics and a Ph.D. in Political Science from Dalhousie University, Canada. His areas of specialization include International Relations, International Security, International Political Economy, and African Politics. Dr. Malaquias’ current research focuses on the political economy and security in central and southern Africa. His most recent publications include Rebels and Robbers: Violence in Post-Colonial Angola (Uppsala: Nordic Africa Institute, November 2006); “Angola: How to Lose a Guerrilla War,” in Morten Boas and Kevin Dunn, eds., African Guerrillas: Raging Against the Machine (Boulder: Lynne Rienner, 2007); “Thirsty Powers: The United States, China and Africa’s Energy Resources,” in Manuela Franco, ed., Portugal, os Estados Unidos e a Africa Austral (Lisbon: Instituto Português de Relações Internacionais, 2006).


    Areas of Expertise

    Maritime Security, Political Economy of Security, Defense Economics, Lusophone Africa


    Assis Malaquias

  • Dr. Benjamin P. Nickels

    Associate Professor and Chair, Transnational Threats and Counter-Terrorism

    Nickels_picture_expert Benjamin P. Nickels, Ph.D., is Associate Professor of Transnational Threats and Counter-Terrorism. In this capacity, Dr. Nickels oversees curriculum and program development in the area of transnational threats focusing on effective practices that promote civil-military cooperation, respect for democratic values, and safeguard of human rights.

    Prior to joining the Africa Center, Dr. Nickels was a faculty researcher at the National Consortium for the Study of Terrorism and Responses to Terrorism (START), a U.S. Department of Homeland Security Center of Excellence at the University of Maryland College Park.

    At START, Dr. Nickels conducted research on the effectiveness and impacts of counter-terrorism measures. His work included case studies on counter-terrorism measures against al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM) and the threat of homegrown Islamist terrorism in the United Kingdom.

    Dr. Nickels holds a Ph.D. in History from the University of Chicago. He has served as a Fulbright Scholar in Morocco, as well as a Chateaubriand fellow and Centre national de la recherche scientifique (CNRS) researcher in France. He has taught courses on counter-terrorism, political violence, and Muslim intellectual history. Dr. Nickels also has worked as an analyst and supervisor for a defense contractor in the U.S. Department of the Army.


    Areas of Expertise

    Counter-Terrorism, Countering Extremism, Irregular Warfare, Identity Conflict, North Africa

    Contact Dr. Nickels

  • Davin O’Regan

    Research Associate

    Davin O'ReganDavin O’Regan is a Research Associate at the Africa Center for Strategic Studies. His research and field work focuses on transnational organized crime and narcotics trafficking, social media, and the impact of information and communications technology on democratization and security in Africa. He is a regular panelist on these topics at inter-agency and congressional briefings, academic conferences, and think tank working groups. His analysis and commentary has appeared on various media outlets, including the BBC, the International Herald Tribune, and the New York Times.

    Prior to joining the Africa Center, Mr. O’Regan worked with the Civil-Military Initiative of the Office of the U.S. Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for African Affairs. He has also worked on research projects for the Open Society Institute, the IBM Center for the Business of Government, Partners for Democratic Change, the Center for Strategic and International Studies, and Congressional Research Service. Mr. O’Regan began his professional career working as an Assistant Managing Editor at He earned a Master’s degree in international affairs from Columbia University and a Bachelor’s degree from Reed College.


    Areas of Expertise

    Transnational organized crime, narcotics trafficking, information and communications technology, Guinea-Bissau.


    Davin O’Regan