Aaron O’Connell joined the faculty of UT Austin from Washington D.C., where he served in the Obama Administration as Director for Defense Policy & Strategy on the National Security Council. Prior to working in the White House, Dr. O’Connell taught military history at the U.S. Naval Academy in Annapolis, Maryland, where he was named the Admiral Jay Johnson Professor in Leadership in Ethics in 2015. In addition to his academic career, Dr. O’Connell is also a Colonel in the Marine Corps Reserve, and in that capacity, he has served as a Special Advisor to the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, a Special Advisor to the Commander of U.S. Pacific Command, and a Special Assistant to General David Petraeus in Afghanistan. Dr. O’Connell holds a B.A. from Trinity College in Hartford Connecticut, an M.A. in American Literature from Indiana University, an M.A. in American Studies from Yale University, and a Ph.D. in American History from Yale University in 2009. When not reading or writing, he spends far too much time practicing the guitar.