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Dr. Sebastian Gorka

  • H-139 United States Capitol (map)

Sebastian L. Gorka, Ph.D. serves as the Vice President and Professor of Strategy and Irregular Warfare at the Institute of World Politics in Washington, DC. Previously, he was the Major General Matthew C. Horner Distinguished Chair of Military Theory at Marine Corps University where he provided courses and lectures on Irregular Warfare. Before that, he was Associate Dean of Congressional Affairs and Relations to the Special Operations Community at National Defense University.

He is an internationally recognized authority on issues of national security, irregular warfare, terrorism and democratization and has testified before Congress and briefed the CIA, ODNI, NCTC, NIC, and the Commandant of the Marine Corps. His website,, is a collection of his national security commentary and analysis. He served as a subject matter expert for the Office of the US Attorney in Boston for the Tsarnaev trial.

Dr. Gorka is an Adjunct Professor with USSOCOM’s Joint Special Operations University where he serves as Lead Instructor for the Special Operations Combating Terrorism (SOCbT) course, as well as the interagency and senior/executive counterterrorism courses. He is also an Adjunct Professor in National Security at Georgetown University’s McCourt School of Public Policy, and is a regular instructor with the US Army’s Special Warfare Center and School in Fort Bragg and for the FBI’s Counterterrorism Division.

Dr. Gorka has advised the Office of the Secretary of Defense regarding the draft guidance for US Strategic Communications and was consulted by USSOCOM during the drafting of the new Joint Operating Concept for Irregular Warfare. He is currently heading up a strategic support project for US Army Special Operations Command as part of Lt. General Charles Cleveland’s Army Special Operations Forces 2022 initiative. Dr. Gorka is a recipient of the Department of Defense Joint Civilian Service Commendation, awarded by US Special Operation Command.

Dr. Gorka currently serves as the Chairman of the Threat Knowledge Group ( based in McLean, VA, which provides high-level training and analysis at the strategic and operational level to those in the Defense, Intelligence, Law Enforcement and Homeland Security communities. He is the co-author of the public TKG reports, “ISIS: The Threat to the United States,” and “The Islamic State and Information Warfare: Defeating ISIS and the Broader Global Jihadist Movement.”

Previously, he served as the founding Director of the Institute for Transitional Democracy and International Security, the Director for the Center for Euro-Atlantic Integration and Democracy, and the Director and Military Affairs Fellow for the National Security Fellowship Program at the Foundation for the Defense of Democracies. He spent four years on the faculty of the Program on Terrorism and Security Studies at the George C. Marshall Center in Germany. Dr. Gorka worked as an analyst at the Rand Corporation and was a member of the Strategic Advisers Group on the Atlantic Council of the United States.

He has published in excess of 140 monographs, book chapters and articles, many for the JANES Group of the UK, and Special Warfare, the official publication of US Army Special Operations Command. Along with Dr. Chris Harmon and the late COL Nick Pratt (USMC), he was contributor and co-editor of Toward a Grand Strategy Against Terrorism (McGraw Hill). With Dr. David Kilcullen, he co-authored a study of Al Qaeda’s use of strategic communications for the Praeger title, Influence Warfare. His new book, Defeating Jihad: How America can win the war against radical Islam quickly and decisively using a secret Cold War strategy, will be published in 2016. He serves on the Board of Advisors for the Council for Emerging National Security Affairs (CENSA).

Dr. Gorka holds a Ph.D. in political science from Corvinus University in Budapest with his dissertation on “The Evolution of Terrorism: The Difference Between Cold War Political Violence and al Qaeda.” He was a Kokkalis Fellow at Harvard’s J. F. Kennedy School of Government focusing on public policy and international security, as well as an International Research Fellow at the NATO Defense College. He earned his Master’s degree in International Relations and Diplomacy at Budapest University and his Bachelor’s degree from the University of London.

Dr. Gorka was born in the UK to parents who escaped Communism during the Hungarian Revolution of 1956 and is fluent in Hungarian with working knowledge of German and French. In the UK, he served with 22 Company of the Intelligence and Security Group (V) of the British Territorial Army reserve but is now a proud American. He is married to Katharine Cornell Gorka, President of the Threat Knowledge Group as well as the Council on Global Security.

Earlier Event: September 16
Dr. Pat Fagan
Later Event: October 21
Pete Wehner - Postponed