Melissa A. Henriksen serves as Director of Operations and Research Initiatives in the National Security Policy Center. Drawing on 20+ years of experience overseeing a wide array of university research activities, many with a focus on national security and defense, she provides expertise in strategic planning, program and project management, research development, and education, training, and engagement. Melissa holds a Ph.D. in Biological Chemistry from the University of Pennsylvania, a B.A. in Chemistry from the College of the Holy Cross and is a certified project management professional.
Claire Oto is a policy 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 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.
George Foresman has over three decades of leadership experience in government and business. While serving as Virginia’s homeland security secretary, Foresman was confirmed by the U.S. Senate to serve as under secretary at the Department of Homeland Security.
He has led more than 25 national working groups, co-chaired a five year congressionally established commission on U.S. security, participated in a project to reform the U.S. national security system and overseen seven “start-ups” in government and business.
During his bipartisan career, Foresman has held positions with five Democratic and Republican Governors as well as two U.S. Presidents. In business, his experience ranges from creating strategy to reforming business and operating processes for small companies and Fortune 200 corporations.
Foresman continues to strengthen U.S. national security through on-going formal service to America as a DoD senior advisor and adjunct university professor on national security. As part of a select group, he prepares senior military and civilian leaders to transition into top leadership positions as well as guide U.S.-led multinational efforts on global and outer-space security.
Foresman is a graduate of Virginia Military Institute and the Virginia Executive Institute. He lives in Charlottesville with his wife, Gail, and their teenage children, Ryan and Shannon.
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