Elizabeth Stanley


Associate Professor


Faculty - SFS
General profile



+1 202-687-2899




Office hours

M,T 3:30-4:30 pm


Elizabeth A. Stanley, Ph.D. is associate professor of security studies in the Edmund A. Walsh School of Foreign Service and the Department of Government. Liz is also the founder of the non-profit Mind Fitness Training Institute. Previously, she served as Associate Director of Georgetown's Security Studies Program and the Center for Peace and Security Studies. She served in Bosnia, Germany, Macedonia, Italy and Korea as a US Army military intelligence officer, leaving service with the rank of Captain.

Blending her military experience, research, training in body-based trauma therapies, and experience teaching mindfulness techniques, Liz created Mindfulness-based Mind Fitness Training (MMFT) to build resilience and optimize individual and team performance. She has taught MMFT to troops before deployment to combat and others in high-stress occupations. She has collaborated with neuroscience and stress researchers in four research projects, funded by the U.S. Department of Defense, to examine MMFT’s effectiveness. The fourth project, currently underway, is to examine the effects of embedding MMFT into a course in the U.S. Marine Corps School of Infantry-West. MMFT is the first mindfulness-based training program to have its beneficial effects with military populations documented in peer-reviewed scientific journals.

She has extensive experience with mind fitness techniques, including long-term periods of intensive practice in the United States and Burma (Myanmar). Liz has completed teacher training in Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction and has co-taught with MBSR’s creator, Jon Kabat-Zinn. She is also a Somatic Experiencing Practitioner (SEP), a body-based trauma therapy for helping individuals to re-regulate their autonomic nervous systems after stressful or traumatic experiences.

Liz has spoken and published widely on a variety of topics related to mind fitness, resilience, military effectiveness and innovation, and national security. Her book, Paths to Peace: Domestic Coalition Shifts, War Termination and the Korean War, won the 2009 Edgar S. Furniss Award for the best first book in the field of national and international security.

She has 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 a post-doctoral fellow at Harvard’s Olin Institute for Strategic Studies. Her research has been supported by grants from the National Science Foundation, 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.


  • PhD (2002) Harvard University, Government
  • MBA (1999) MIT Sloan School of Management, Technology Strategy/Organizational Behavior
  • BA (1992) Yale University, Soviet and East European Studies


  • French (read, write)
  • German (speak, read, write)
  • Russian (speak)