Command and Staff College
Lauren Mackenzie, Ph.D.

Dr. Lauren Mackenzie is Marine Corps University’s Professor of Military Cross-Cultural Competence. She earned her MA and PhD in communication from the University of Massachusetts Amherst and has taught intercultural and interpersonal communication courses throughout the DOD for the past 15 years. Dr. Mackenzie’s research is devoted to the impact of cultural differences on difficult conversations, and she has written a range of articles and book chapters pertaining to end-of-life communication, relationship repair strategies, and, most recently, the role of failure in education. She is the co-editor with Dr. Kerry Fosher of the 2021 book, Rise and Decline of U.S. Military Culture Programs: 2004-20 and the co-editor with LTC Dana Perkins of the 2022 edited volume, Women, Peace & Security in Professional Military Education. Dr. Mackenzie was the 2020 civilian recipient of the Marine Corps University Rose Award for Teaching Excellence.


  • Ph.D. Communication, University of Massachusetts

  • M.A. Communication, University of Massachusetts

  • B.A. Communication and Spanish, University of Maryland

Areas of Expertise

  • Intercultural communication, cross-cultural competence, interpersonal conflict management, social/relational resilience, cultural metacognition, Women, Peace & Security, the role of failure in teaching and learning.

Selected Publications 

Mackenzie, L. & Tenzek, K. (forthcoming). Marines’ Reflections on End-of-Life Communication: Connecting Resilience and Difficult Dialogue. International Journal of Collaborative-Dialogic Practices.

Mackenzie, L., Metelits, C. & Wineman, B. (2023). Marine Corps University’s Women, Peace, and Security Scholars Program: An Inaugural Year in Review. Marine Corps Gazette: March: 79-82.

Mackenzie, L., Metelits, C., & Hunter, K. (2023). Efforts by Defense Civilians to Integrate Women, Peace, and Security Considerations into Professional Military Education.” In I. Goldberg (ed.) Total Defence Force in the 21st Century: Collaboration and Integration in the Military Domain. Kingston, Ontario: MacGill University Press.

Mackenzie, L. & Perkins, D. (2022). Advancing Women, Peace & Security Principles in Professional Military Education. Quantico, VA: Marine Corps University Press.

Mackenzie, L. (2021). The Role of Dialectical Tensions in Making Sense of Failures in Teaching and Learning. Transformative Dialogues: Teaching and Learning Journal, 14 (1):

Fosher, K. & Mackenzie, L. (2021). The Rise and Decline of U.S. Military Culture Programs: 2004-20. Quantico, VA: Marine Corps University Press.

Khachadoorian, A., Steen, S. & Mackenzie, L. (2020). Metacognition and the Military Learner. Pedagogical Considerations for Teaching Senior Officers in Professional Military Education. Journal of Military Learning, April, 3-18.

Mackenzie, L. & Post, K. (2019). Relationship Repair Strategies for the Military Professional: The Impact of Cultural Differences on Expectations and Applications. Marine Corps University Journal, 10 (1): 128-141.

Mackenzie, L. & Tenzek, K. (2018). Cultural Variation in End-of-Life Conversations: Using Cultural Discourse Analysis as a Tool to Analyze Case Studies Designed for Professional Military Education. In (M. Scollo & T. Milburn, Eds.) Engaging and Transforming Global Communication through Cultural Discourse Analysis (P. 91-110). Teaneck, NJ: Farleigh Dickinson University Press.

Steen, S., Mackenzie, L. & Buechner, B. (2018). Incorporating Cosmopolitan Communication into Diverse Teaching and Training Contexts: Considerations from Our Work with Military Students and Veterans. In (D. Becker & J.D. Wallace, Eds.) Handbook of Communication Training: A Best Practices Framework for Assessing and Developing Competence. (P. 401-413). New York: Routledge.

Fosher, K. & Mackenzie, L. (2017). Culture General Guidebook for the Military Professional. Quantico, VA: Center for Advanced Operational Culture Learning.

Mackenzie, L. (2017). The Sights and Sounds of Rapport-Building Across Cultures. In (Seiter, J. S., Peeples, J., & Sanders, M. Eds.) Communication in the Classroom: A Collection of Great Ideas for Teaching Students (P. 247-250). Boston, MA: Bedford/St. Martin’s.

Mackenzie, L. & Miller, J. (2017). Intercultural Training in the Military. In (Y.Y. Kim & K. McKay-Semmler, Eds) International Encyclopedia of Intercultural Communication. (P.1411-1420) Malden, MA: Wiley Blackwell.

Mackenzie, L. & Wallace, M. (2015). Intentional Design: Using Iterative Modification to Enhance Online Learning for Professional Cohorts. In T. Milburn (Ed.) Communicating User Experience: Applying Local Strategies Research to Digital Media Design (P. 155-182). Lanham, MD: Lexington.

Mackenzie, L. (2014). Strategic Enablers: How Intercultural Communication Skills Advance Micro-Level International Security. Journal of Culture, Language & International Security. 1 (1): 85-96.

Mackenzie, L. & Wallace, M. (2014). Cross-Cultural Communication Contributions to Professional Military Education: A Distance Learning Case Study. In (R. Greene-Sands & A. Greene-Sands, eds.) Cross-Cultural Competence for a 21st Century Military: Lanham, MD: Lexington.

Mackenzie, L., Fogarty, P. & Khachadoorian, A. (2013). A Model for Military Online Culture Education: Key Findings and Best Practices. EDUCAUSE Review. 48:4 July/Aug.


● Co-Chair, Interagency Language Roundtable Culture Committee

● Co-Chair, Marine Corps University Women, Peace & Security Committee

● Secretary, Communication & the Military Division of the National Communication Association

● Adjunct Professor, Uniformed Services University of Health Sciences

Professional memberships

● National Communication Association

● Southern States Communication Association

● InterUniversity Seminar on Armed Forces & Society

Marine Corps University