Leadership & Staff

Caroline Hecht

Caroline Hecht is a researcher and writer at the NSPC. Prior to joining Batten, she worked in security communications and analysis at the World Food Programme. Caroline holds a B.S. in International Politics and African Studies and an M.A. in Security Studies from Georgetown University’s School of Foreign Service. Her research interests include civil-military relations, secessionist movements and state recognition, international institutions, human rights, and political violence.

George Foresman

George Foresman brings four decades of leadership insights to UVA and the National Security Policy Center, from a career that spans government and business. He has served in confirmed cabinet positions at both the state and federal level, as Virginia’s homeland security secretary in the immediate aftermath of the September 11th attacks and then as under-secretary at the U.S. Department of Homeland Security.

Foresman’s leadership experience includes roles as the chief executive of a multi-billion-dollar organization with thousands of employees, heading 25 national working groups, co-chairing a five year congressionally established commission on U.S. security, participating in a project to reform the U.S. national security system, and he was picked to oversee seven “start-ups” in government and business. George’s bipartisan career includes appointed roles with five Democratic and Republican Governors, as well as three U.S. Presidents.

Foresman remains active in helping to shape U.S. national security policy.  He formally serves as a senior advisor and adjunct university professor for DoD on a broad range of national security topics. For over a decade George has been part of a select group to prepare senior military and civilian leaders to transition into top leadership positions, and separately to facilitate recurring U.S.-led multinational discussions around global and outer-space security.

At UVA Foresman’s teaching and research work focuses on contemporary national security leadership and policy issues. George combines his experience and current policy engagement to give students the knowledge, insights, and practical skills that position them to immediately navigate increasingly complex careers as they enter the workforce after graduation. Foresman also serves as a resource to faculty and staff across the university on a broad range of national security related initiatives.

Foresman is a graduate of Virginia Military Institute and the Virginia Executive Institute. He lives in Charlottesville with his wife, Gail.  They are the parents of two adult children.

Phil Potter

Dr. Philip Potter is a Professor of Politics and Founding Director of the National Security Policy Center in the Frank Batten School of Leadership and Public Policy at the University of Virginia. He is also a University Expert with the National Ground Intelligence Center, US Army INSCOM. Dr. Potter has published two books and articles in a wide array of peer reviewed and popular outlets. He has served on the editorial boards of the Journal of Politics and the Journal of Global Security Studies and is an Associate Principal Investigator for Time-Sharing Experiments in the Social Sciences (TESS). Professor Potter has been a fellow at the Modern War Institute at West Point, Harvard University, and the University of Pennsylvania.

Jennifer Ludovici

Jennifer Ludovici is the NSPC Director of Operations & Research Initiatives. She has over 18 years of experience in higher education administration in both the public and private sector. In her role at the NSPC, she focuses on faculty research collaboration, project coordination and program development as well as general operations and communications. Jennifer holds a post-graduate certificate in project management from UVA, and a BA/MEd in history and education from James Madison University.

Claire Oto

Claire Oto is a researcher and writer at the NSPC. She also coordinates the Center’s internship program. Prior to joining Batten, she was a communications specialist at the U.S. Department of Energy.  Claire earned an M.P.P in Space and National Security from George Washington University and holds a B.A. in Political Science from the University of California San Diego.

John Robinson

John Robinson is the NSPC’s Director of Academic Programs. He teaches undergraduate and graduate courses focused on national security, including Innovating for Defense, an experiential course that pairs student teams with sponsors from the Department of Defense (DoD) to solve real-world national security problems. His research interests include international security and naval affairs. John holds a Ph.D. in Politics from the University of Virginia, and a M.A. from the U.S. Naval War College.