Anna Simons, Professor of Defense Analysis, Naval Postgraduate School
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Anna Simons

Professor of Defense Analysis – Naval Postgraduate School

Anna Simons is a professor of defense analysis at the Naval Postgraduate School (NPS). Prior to teaching at NPS she was both an assistant and then an associate professor of anthropology at the University of California, Los Angeles, as well as chair of the Masters in African Area Studies Program.  She is the author of Networks of Dissolution: Somalia Undone and The Company They Keep: Life Inside the U.S. Army Special Forces. Most recently she is the co-author of The Sovereignty Solution: A Commonsense Approach to Global Security.

Simons’ focus has been on conflict, intervention, and the military from an anthropological perspective. Her work examines ties that bind members of groups together as well as divides which drive groups apart. Her articles have appeared in The American Interest, The National Interest, Small Wars & Insurgencies, Annual Review of Anthropology, Parameters, and elsewhere. Simons has also written for The Washington Post, The New York Times, The Los Angeles Times, and The Boston Globe.

Before attending graduate school, she worked as a reporter and as a presidential speechwriter, and spent several years traveling and working abroad (primarily in Africa). As a member of the Defense Analysis Department, Simons teaches courses in the anthropology of conflict, military advising, low intensity conflict in Africa, and political anthropology. She holds a PhD in social anthropology from Harvard University and an A.B. from Harvard College.

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