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