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null Erik Dahl, Ph.D.


Contact Info

(831) 656-3168
Office Address:
Glasgow Hall, Room 356

Associate Professor

Expertise: Intelligence, Terrorism, Homeland Defense and Security, IR Theory


Erik Dahl joined the faculty of the Department of National Security Affairs in September 2008, and he is currently an Associate Professor of National Security Affairs. He is also on the faculty of the Center for Homeland Defense and Security at NPS.

Before joining NPS, from 2006 to 2008 Dahl was a pre-doctoral research fellow at the Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs at Harvard's Kennedy School of Government. He received his Ph.D. from the Fletcher School of Tufts University, from which he also received a Master of Arts in Law and Diplomacy. In addition, he holds master's degrees from the Naval War College and the London School of Economics, and a bachelor's degree from Harvard.

His research focuses on intelligence, terrorism, homeland defense, and homeland security, and his book, Intelligence and Surprise Attack: Failure and Success from Pearl Harbor to 9/11 and Beyond, was published by Georgetown University Press in 2013. His latest book is The COVID-19 Intelligence Failure: Why Warning Was Not Enough, published by Georgetown in 2023. Dahl's work has been published in Political Science Quarterly, Studies in Conflict and Terrorism, Intelligence and National Security, The International Journal of Intelligence and Counterintelligence, Strategic Studies Quarterly, Homeland Security Affairs, The Journal of Strategic Studies, Defense Studies, The Journal of Policing, Intelligence and Counter Terrorism, and The Naval War College Review among others.

Dahl retired from the U.S. Navy in 2002 after serving 21 years as an intelligence officer. From 1999 to 2002, he served on the faculty of the Naval War College in Newport, Rhode Island. He is a former Chair of the Intelligence Studies Section of the International Studies Association. 

Teaching Interests:

Intelligence for Homeland Defense and Security

Introduction to International Relations