Lieutenant Colonel Matt L. Cavanaugh

Associate Fellow

Lieutenant Colonel Matt L. Cavanaugh PhD is an active duty US Army Strategist with experience in eleven countries and assignments ranging from Iraq to the Pentagon and South Korea to New Zealand. He is a Professor of Practice with the Arizona State University School of Politics and Global Studies, a co-founder of and Senior Fellow with the Modern War Institute at West Point, has been the youngest recipient of the Army Strategist Association’s professional award – the Order of Saint Gabriel the Archangel (2015), in addition to earning West Point’s faculty-wide Apgar Award for Excellence in Teaching (2014), and being named the US Army’s Athlete of the Year (2009).

He served on the Wounded Warrior Project’s Advisory Council from 2014 to 2016, was a Term Member with the Council on Foreign Relations from 2014 to 2018, and a co-founding Member of the Military Writers Guild in the US. His writing has been featured in the New York Times, the Washington Post, the Wall Street Journal, the Los Angeles TimesUSA Today, the Chicago Tribune, and at He was also the lead editor and writer for Strategy Strikes Back: How Star Wars Explains Modern Military Conflict (Potomac, 2018) and Winning Westeros: How Game of Thrones Explains Modern Military Conflict (Potomac, 2019). 

Matt earned his Master’s in Strategic Studies at Victoria University in Wellington, New Zealand, and his PhD in International Relations under Professors Colin Gray and Beatrice Heuser at the University of Reading.