Elizabeth Stanley


Associate Professor


(On leave 2017-2018)


Faculty - SFS
General profile



+1 202-687-2899





Elizabeth A. Stanley, Ph.D. is an associate professor of security studies with joint appointments in the Edmund A. Walsh School of Foreign Service and the Department of Government. She is currently on leave as a 2017-2018 fellow at the Wilson Center.

She has served as associate director of Georgetown's Security Studies Program. Earlier in her career, she served as a U.S. Army intelligence officer in Asia, Europe, and on deployments to the Balkans, leaving service as a captain. She is the creator of Mindfulness-based Mind Fitness Training (MMFT), which has been tested through four neuroscience research studies with the U.S. military. She’s taught MMFT to thousands in civilian and military high-stress environments. Liz has extensive mind fitness experience and is a certified practitioner of Somatic Experiencing, a body-based trauma therapy.

She speaks, teaches, and writes widely on a variety of topics related to resilience, decision-making in stressful environments, civil-military relations, military effectiveness and innovation, and international security. Her book, Paths to Peace, 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). From 2009-2015, she was founder of the non-profit Mind Fitness Training Institute. 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)