05.05.2017 Deciding and explaining – U.S. foreign policy decision making and framing

The event will take place at the Faculty of Sociology and Social Work (Panduri Campus), Room 102, starting at 15:30.

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This talk will address a series of issues surrounding U.S. National Security Decision making and framing, based on a series of case studies taken from successful and unsuccessful U.S. military interventions since the end of the Cold War. The makeup of the national security council, interactions between its members and other policy influencers, and efforts to frame foreign policy decisions to the public will be discussed to determine when things worked well, when they didn’t, and when they didn’t work at all. A discussion of the current political situation will also be made in the context of the research presented.



Dr. Callahan received a Bachelor’s Degree in History, as well as Master’s and Doctoral degrees in International Studies (U.S. Foreign Policy and Conflict and Cooperation) from Old Dominion University in Norfolk, Virginia. His dissertation, which examined U.S. Foreign Policy and Strategic Communication, was completed in May, 2015.

John has been teaching for New England College in a variety of political science and social science courses since 2010. He has also served as an instructor at the Naval Postgraduate School and the Joint Forces Staff College. John is contributor to the UK Defence Forum’s “Defence Viewpoints,” focusing on EU enlargement, the rise of China, and strategic communication. His latest work, a chapter in the book “The Future of U.S. Warfare” was published in April, 2017.

Since 2007, he has served as a consultant to the Joint Public Affairs Support Element. In this role, John has worked as a public affairs and exercise planner as well as a media trainer and operations analyst focused on regional combatant command command post exercises. From 2008-2010 he worked for a time as a communication specialist and scenario planner/analyst for a variety of military and government clients.

Prior to this, John served as deputy spokesperson for the Office of Director of National Intelligence. Before that, he served as a Portfolio Press Officer at the American Embassy in Baghdad, Iraq, earning a meritorious honor award for his service in support of the Iraq parliamentary elections of February 2005. From 2000-2004, Dr. Callahan served as a government relations and public affairs officer for several well known educational non-profit organizations, and became a Competent Toastmaster during this time.

John is an avid historian, and frequently leads tours and staff rides to battlefields in the U.S. and abroad, particularly to Waterloo. He sits on several boards, and serves as the President for the National Ambassador Club of the United States.

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