Krulak Center Non-Resident Fellows Biographies


LtCol Leo Spaeder, USMC

LtCol Spaeder is a Logistics Officer who deployed to Iraq in 2008 with 1/4 and to to Afghanistan in 2010 with RC-SW. He served on I&I duty with MWSS-472 before transferring to CLR-2 and deployed to Liberia and served as a Logistics Advisor to the Armed Forces of Liberia's Logistics Command. After deployment, LtCol Spaeder took command of Motor Transport Company A, 2d Transportation Support Battalion before becoming the battalion operations officer. In June 2018, he gradated from the School of Advanced Warfare and then served as a planner at the Marine Corps Warfighting Lab and then Deputy Operations Officer in the LCE Integration Division at Capability Development Directorate. In these two roles, he spent most of his time enabling the wargaming for Force Design 2030 or leading the FD2030 implementation cell for logistics. He then spent a year at the MAGTF Staff Training Program as a MAGTF Logistics Instructor. He is currently the Commanding Officer of 3rd Transportation Battalion. He has been published in War on the Rocks and the Marine Corps Gazette and has graduate degrees from Villanova University, Naval Postgraduate School, and Marine Corps University.

Dr. Kelly Grieco

Expertise - US Grand Strategy, Defense Policy, Airpower, Coalition Warfare, China, Future War

Affiliations - Stimson Center, Georgetown, Walsh School of Foreign Service, Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Mr. Drake Long

Drake Long is a Pacific Forum Young Leader and an analyst with the Department of Defense, focused on examining territorial disputes. He previously covered maritime disputes in the South China Sea for Radio Free Asia, and still writes on the topic occasionally for such outlets as 9DASHLINE, the Diplomat, and the Center for International Maritime Security. He recently authored a chapter on new seabed disputes in the volume 'Maritime Cooperation and Security in the Indo-Pacific: Essays in Honor of Sam Bateman,' and is currently writing a book on emerging issues around the exploitation and weaponization of the seabed for MCUPress. He received his MA in Conflict Resolution from Georgetown University in 2020.

Dr. Elena Wicker

Dr. Elena Wicker is a Presidential Management Fellow at U.S. Army Futures Command. She completed her Ph.D. in International Relations at Georgetown University in 2022. Her dissertation “The Words That Matter: Terminology and Performance in the U.S. Army” focused on the history of U.S. military lexicography and the bureaucratic politics and power of jargon, terminology, and buzzwords. Dr. Wicker previously worked for the RAND Corporation and the Defense Intelligence Agency. Her work has been published in War on The Rocks, the Strategy Bridge, and Modern War Institute.

LtCol Zach Ota

Expertise - National Security Affairs, PME, Littoral Operations, Indo-Pacific, Allies & Partners, Security Cooperation, and Military History

Affiliations - Naval Postgraduate School, Marine Corps Tactics and Operations Group, Davis Defense Group Adjunct Faculty

Mr. Preston McLaughlin, Col USMC (Ret)

Mr. McLaughlin is a retired Marine colonel who helped stand up the Fleet Anti-Terrorism Security Company, spent time with IIIMEF, MARFORPAC, Joint War Fighting Center, and at Marine Corps University. He was the CO of Combat Assault Battalion and of the Marine Corps Security Force Regiment. After retirement, he has been part of the faculty at The Citadel, Daniel Morgan Graduate School, US Army War College, and Texas A&M University. He is also affiliated with the Irregular Warfare Center.

James "Pigeon" Fielder

Dr. James "Pigeon" Fielder joined CSU as an Adjunct Professor after retiring from the U.S. Air Force as a Lieutenant Colonel and Associate Professor of Political Science at the U.S. Air Force Academy. Dr. Fielder was also an intelligence professional with leadership experience ranging from U.S. Army electronic warfare squad leader to Numbered Air Force Division Chief. Dr. Fielder has taught a variety of international relations and comparative politics courses, the USAFA wargame design course, and a special topics course on analyzing fantasy and science fiction political systems using international relations theory. He researches interpersonal trust and emergent political processes through cyber-based interaction, and through tabletop, live-action, and networked gaming as natural experiments. He has over two decades of experience designing, executing, and assessing training exercises and wargames.

LtCol Austin Duncan, USMC

Expertise - PME, AI Applications, Intelligence, Communications Strategy, Technology Information

Affiliations - IMEF MIG, DARPA Service Chiefs Fellow, Davis Defense Group / MCU Adjunct Faculty

Mrs. Amparo Pamela Fabe

Expertise - WPS, Irregular Warfare, Counterterrorism, Terrorism Financing, INDOPACOM

Affiliations - Philippine Public Safety College, National Police College of the Philippines, and CEO Indo-Pacific Alliance Corps

Dr. Joanna Siekiera

Dr. Joanna Siekiera is an international lawyer, legal advisor, and Doctor of Public Policy from Poland. She works as a Subject Matter Expert for various military institutions, primarily the NATO Centers of Excellence. Dr. Siekiera did her postdoctoral research on legal consequences of ocean change in Oceania at the Faculty of Law, University of Bergen, Norway, and Ph.D. studies on Pacific regionalism at the Faculty of Law, Victoria University of Wellington, New Zealand. Her areas of expertise are law of armed conflict (lawfare, legal culture in armed conflict, NATO legal framework) and the Indo-Pacific region, Pacific law, maritime security. She is the author of over 100 scientific publications in several languages, 40 legal opinions for the Polish Ministry of Justice, the book “Regional Policy in the South Pacific”, the editor of 7 monographs on international law, international relations, and security.

LtCol Arun Shankar, USMC

Expertise - Operations Research, Tactical Communications, Operational Planning

Affiliations - Hoover Institution, Stanford University, George Mason University, Naval Postgraduate School, Military Operations Research Society 

Rosella Cappella Zielinski

Rosella Cappella Zielinski is an Assistant Professor of Political Science at Boston University who specializes in study of political economy of security with an emphasis on how states mobilize their resources for war. Her specific research interests include war finance, defense budgets, military spending and inequality, economics of alliances, and coalitions in battle. Her book How States Pay for Wars (Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press, 2016), is the winner of the 2017 American Political Science Association Robert L. Jervis and Paul W. Schroeder Best Book Award in International History and Politics. Her other works can be found in the Journal of Peace Research, Conflict Management and Peace Science, Security Studies, European Journal of International Relations, Journal of Global Security Studies, as well as Foreign Affairs, Texas National Security Review, and War on the Rocks. Her current research projects examine collective action among co-belligerents in wartime. Grown From War: Allied Economic Cooperation in World War I (with Paul Poast) explores how wartime coalition members coordinate supply, the institutions set up to facilitate coordination, and the legacies of these institutions one the war ends. We begin our story with World War I and unpack the legacy of allied economic cooperation. Belligerents in Battle (with Ryan Grauer) explores the conditions under which wartime coalition members fight together in battle. We argue that war aims, stakes of the immediate battle, and logistical capacity shape when coalition members share battle space and fight together. She can be readhed at: 

Marine Corps University