Kerry Fosher, Ph.D.

Director of Research 

Contact Information

Phone: (703) 424-6904 (work)
Areas of Expertise: Barriers to DoD’s ability to leverage science, integration of social science , Biosecurity and public health, Fieldwork and qualitative methods, Military culture change and resilience, DoD outreach to academia


  • Ph.D. Anthropology, 2005, Syracuse University Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs
  • M.A. Anthropology, 2002, Syracuse University Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs
  • B.A. Anthropology, 1998, University of Massachusetts (Boston),
  • B.S. Organizational Communication, 1990, Keene State College


Kerry Fosher is the Director of Research at Marine Corps University. She is a socio-cultural anthropologist who focuses on the integration of social science in security institutions and activities. For the last 15 years she has conducted independent research and led team-based research projects on topics including homeland security, biosecurity, Marine stress and resilience, integration of culture in DoD education and training, Marine Corps culture, and barriers to DoD’s ability to effectively leverage social science. She currently directs the development and implementation of policy for research and sponsored projects at the university.

Previously, she was the Director of Research for the Marine Corps’ culture center where she led a multidisciplinary group of social scientists conducting research on Marines and Marine Corps organizations. She also has held positions at Marine Corps Intelligence Activity and Air University. Before working with DoD she was on the research faculty of Dartmouth Medical School where her research and applied work focused on biosecurity, public health, and homeland security. Her research has been sponsored by the National Science Foundation, the Program on the Analysis and Resolution of Conflict, and the Claudia de Lys Fund. From 2002-2004 she was a Fellow at the Belfer Center at Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government.

Selected Publications

  • 2021. Fosher, Kerry and Lauren Mackenzie, eds. The Rise and Decline of DoD’s Cultural Capabilities 2004-2020. Quantico, VA. Marine Corps University Press.
  • 2021. Fosher, Kerry and Eric Gauldin. “Cultural Anthropological Practice in U.S. Military Organizations.” Oxford Research Encyclopedia of Anthropology.
  • 2020. Fosher, et al. “Translational Research in a Military Organization: The Marine Corps Organizational Culture Research Project.” Annals of Anthropological Practice. 44(1):1-19.
  • 2018. Fosher, Kerry. “Implementing a Social Science Capability in a Marine Corps Organization.” Journal of Business Anthropology. 7(1):133-152.
  • 2015 Fosher, Kerry. “Patterns in Our Problems: U.S. Response to Health Crises.” Journal of Culture, Language, and International Security. 1(2):72-77.
  • 2015. Fosher, Kerry. “Reflections on Current Research: Science and Scientists in Military Organizations.” Journal of Culture, Language, and International Security. 1(2):45-59.
  • 2014. Fosher, Kerry. “Cautionary Tales from DOD's Pursuit of Cultural Expertise.” in Cultural Awareness in the Military: Developments and Implications for Future Humanitarian Cooperation. London: Palgrave Macmillan.
  • 2014. Fosher, Kerry. “Foreword.” Cross-Cultural Competence for a 21st Century Military. Allison Greene and Robert Sands eds. Lanham, MD: Lexington Books. xiii-xviii.
  • 2014. Fosher, Kerry. “Foreword.” The Best-Laid Schemes: A Tale of Social Research and Bureaucracy 2nd ed. Seymour Deitchman. Quantico, VA: Marine Corps University Press.
  • 2013. Fosher, Kerry and Frank Tortorello. “Considerations for Practicing Anthropology in Military Organizations.” in The Handbook of Practicing Anthropology. Riall Nolan ed. Malden, MA: Wiley-Blackwell.
  • 2012. Rubinstein, Robert, Kerry Fosher, and Clementine Fujimura, eds. Practicing Military Anthropology: Beyond Expectations and Traditional Boundaries. Sterling, VA: Kumarian Press.
  • 2010. Fosher, Kerry. Review Essay: “Anthropologists in Arms: The Ethics of Military Anthropology. George R. Lucas.” Journal of Military Ethics. 9(2):177-181.
  • 2009. “Yes, Both, Absolutely: A Personal and Professional Commentary on Anthropological Engagement with Military and Intelligence Organizations.” in Anthropology and Global Counterinsurgency. John D. Kelly et al. eds. Chicago: University of Chicago Press. 261-271.
  • 2008. Fosher, Kerry. Under Construction. Making Homeland Security at the Local Level. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.


  • Marine Corps Institutional Review Board
  • Marine Corps University Institutional Effectiveness Working Group
  • American Anthropological Association -Ethics Subcommittee
  • National Association for the Practice of Anthropology – Strategic Planning Committee

Professional memberships

  • American Anthropological Association
  • Inter-University Seminar on Armed Forces and Society
  • Public Responsibility in Medicine and Research
  • Society for Applied Anthropology
Marine Corps University