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Army War College selects new Provost to be chief academic officer

The next Provost for the U.S. Army War College has been selected by an executive search committee to serve as the chief academic officer for the dual mission of strategic education and strategic ideas at the Army’s senior service college and the Army’s Center for Strategy Education.  

James G. Breckenridge, Ph.D., will become the 2nd Provost of the U.S. Army War College in summer 2017. He will succeed retired Brig. Gen. Lance Betros, Ph.D., who served as Provost since 2012.

Dr. Breckenridge is currently dean of the Ridge College of Intelligence Studies and Applied Sciences, at Mercyhurst University; and executive director of the college’s research arm, the Institute for Intelligence Studies, both in Erie, Pa.

“I am extremely confident that he will help take the Army War College to the next level in leader and idea development, as well as our support to the wider Army and Joint Force,” said Maj. Gen. Bill Rapp, USAWC Commandant.

“I sought this position at the Army War College in order to contribute my leadership, knowledge and experience in American higher education to advancing the mission of producing our next generation of strategic leaders,” said Dr. Breckenridge. “The Army is where I began my career, and deeply influenced my development as a leader, citizen-soldier and teacher. I am profoundly honored by this appointment and look forward to interacting with the outstanding faculty and students at the Army War College.”

Dr. Breckenridge’s career in academic leadership is marked by increasing scope, responsibility, and innovation. He will contribute military practitioner experience and two decades of teaching and administrative experience in the multidisciplinary field of intelligence analysis and interagency collaboration.

Since 2013, Dr. Breckenridge established the School of Intelligence Studies, and developed it into the Ridge College of Intelligence Studies and Applied Sciences, Mercyhurst University, Erie, Pennsylvania. As the Ridge College Dean, he created an interdisciplinary program incorporating intelligence studies, forensic science, business, math, computer science, criminal justice, political science, sociology and communication. The evolution of the college was paralleled by innovations in delivering education through both residential and distance, online learning.  Applying the Ridge College emphasis on interagency work, he developed effective partnerships with the Department of State and networks of experts in national security policy, business strategy, and law enforcement.

Previously, as Dean of the Walker School of Business and Chair of the Intelligence Studies Department, he initiated the interdisciplinary business-intelligence program that is now the hallmark of the Ridge College. In 2010, he founded and served as the chief organizer for the biennial Global Intelligence Forum, held in Dungarvan, Ireland.

Dr. Breckenridge served in the U.S. Army, retiring as a lieutenant colonel in 1998 after assignments in Europe, the Middle East and the United States, including service at the U.S. Military Academy, 1987-1990, as course director of the World History Program.

Dr. Breckenridge has published in multiple forums about the field and practice of intelligence, and has presented extensively at academic and practitioner conferences about the essence of expertise in intelligence application, e.g., the 2013 OSINT and Non-Proliferation Workshop of the International Centre for Security Analysis at King’s College, UK.

Dr. Breckenridge is a tenured full professor with a doctorate in Organizational Learning and Leadership, and a master’s in Business Administration at Gannon University.  He holds master’s and bachelor’s degrees in History from the University of Virginia and Virginia Tech.

Dr. Breckenridge has been honored with the Legion of Merit, among numerous military awards, and was selected as a Foundation for Defense of Democracies Fellow in 2011 for the study of Middle Eastern security issues. He serves as a member of the Mercyhurst University Provost’s Council.

Dr. Breckenridge and his wife, Mary ‘Missy’ Breckenridge, Ed.D.,will reside at Carlisle Barracks. The Breckenridges have three adult daughters -- Army Maj. Catherine Crombe, Annemarie Depue, and Army veteran Christine Schwartz – and four grandchildren.