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Julia McClenon

Faculty Associate - Research
Defense Analysis



Julia McClenon is a cultural and behavioral ethnographer (anthropologist) and sociolinguist, with a focus on Asia, China, and specific diaspora in Asia and America. She is an interagency civil servant with experience in both the Department of Defense and the Department of State. She was previously commissioned as a Foreign Service Officer of the U.S. diplomatic corps. For State Department, she was Chair of the Consul General's Civil-Society Working Group on Religion in China.
She earned her M.A. in Religious Studies from the University of California, Santa Barbara on research and teaching fellowships as a member of the cognitive science REMLab group, where she conducted ethnographic and sociolinguistic research on Chinese worldviews, calendrical systems, and CCP cultural narratives.
In 2010, her team earned official commendation from the Assistant Secretary of Defense for Special Operations and Low-Intensity Conflict.

Julia is interested in interdisciplinary and inter-industry research opportunities.
She is also available to speak at community events on cross-cultural understanding; intercultural dialogue; culture shock and reverse culture shock; her experiences as a student and diplomat in China; and emergency preparedness.
She has spoken for a variety of community groups including the Unitarian Universalist Church's series on worldviews; the Great Decisions speakers series; International Relations fraternal orders; Cross-Cultural Understanding & Communication for student groups; Culture Shock for educators and international students; challenges of working overseas; and more.

Separate from her role at NPS, she is Co-Host and Deputy Director of the Irregular Warfare Initiative Podcast.

Julia can neither confirm nor deny that she is also a pseudonymous food writer.

She is a proud volunteer of the American Red Cross.
NPS Experience
  • 2021 - current: Faculty Associate - Research
Research Interests
Multi-disciplinary and cross-functional research projects excite me most. Please reach out any time.