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Heather S Gregg

Phone: (831) 656-3689


Heather S. Gregg is an associate professor at the Naval Postgraduate School’s Department of Defense Analysis, where she works primarily with Special Operations Forces. Prior to joining NPS she was an associate political scientist at the RAND Corporation. In addition to academic experience, she has spent time in several regions of conflict including Palestine/West Bank, and the former Yugoslavia.

Dr Gregg earned her PhD in Political Science in 2003 from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Her dissertation work was on historic and contemporary causes of religiously motivated violence. Dr. Gregg also holds a Master’s degree from Harvard Divinity School, where she studied Islam, and a BA in Cultural Anthropology from the University of California, Santa Cruz.

Dr. Gregg is the author of The Path to Salvation: Religious Violence from the Crusades to Jihad (Potomac 2014). She also has published articles and book chapters on Al Qaeda, including “Fighting the Jihad of the Pen: Countering Al Qaeda’s Ideology,” (Terrorism and Political Violence, 2010); and “Crafting a Better Grand Strategy to Fight the Global War on Terror: Lessons from the Early Years of the Cold War,” (Foreign Policy Analysis, 2010), in addition to co-editing and contributing to The Three Circles of War: Understanding the Dynamics of Modern War in Iraq (Potomac, 2010).
Other Experience
  • 2003 - 2006 Associate Political Scientist, RAND Corporation, Santa Monica Office.
Research Interests
Religiously motivated violence
Political ideologies,
Population Centric Warfare,
Long term solutions to irregular warfare
Teaching Interests
Religiously motivated violence
Political ideologies
Counterinsurgency tactics and strategy
Foreign Internal Defense


  • 2017 - Hamming Award for Achievement in Teaching, NPS
  • 2003 - Dissertation Completion Grant, Energy, Technology and International Affairs Grant (MIT)
  • 2002 - MacArthur Grant for Security Studies Research
  • 2001 - Mellon Foundation Grant
  • 2000 - MacArthur Grant for Security Studies Research
  • 1997 - Scholarship Recipient, Harvard Divinity School Academic
  • 1996 - Scholarship Recipient, Harvard Divinity School Academic

Boards, Memberships, & Certifications

Professional Memberships
  • Term Member, Council on Foreign Relations
  • Women in International Security