Thomas P.M. Barnett
Borah Symposium Keynote: Wednesday, April 8, 2015
Dr. Thomas P.M. Barnett
Global Affairs Expert and Best-Selling Author of Great Powers: America & the World After Bush
Thomas P.M. Barnett is a strategic planner who has worked in national security affairs since the end of the Cold War. In 2010, Tom became Chief Analyst for the Israeli start-up company, Wikistrat. He has also operated his own consulting practice (Barnett Consulting LLP) since 1998.
A New York Times best-selling author and a nationally-known public speaker who's been profiled on the front-page of the Wall Street Journal, Dr. Barnett is in high demand within government circles as a forecaster of global conflict and an expert of globalization, as well as within corporate circles as a management consultant and conference presenter. An award-winning professor, Dr. Barnett has written for Esquire, Wired, National Review, and the Washington Post, and has been interviewed by Rolling Stone, The Economist, Time, BBC World Service, CNN, Fox News and numerous foreign media. Tom Barnett has been described by U.S. News & World Report's Michael Barone as “one of the most important strategic thinkers of our time."
Dr. Barnett is best known as the author of Great Powers: America and the World After Bush (2009), Blueprint for Action: A Future Worth Creating (2005) and The Pentagon's New Map: War and Peace in the Twenty-First Century (2004). Described by Washington Post columnist David Ignatius as “a combination of Tom Friedman on globalization and Karl von Clausewitz on war,” the wide-ranging volumes have generated an enormous amount of reaction from around the world, leading to foreign editions in Japan, Turkey and China, as well as profiles in London's Daily Telegraph, Denmark's Borsen, and Switzerland's WeltWoche (among many others).
In addition to his speaking and consulting, Tom Barnett is a prolific blogger on current global events at his website, where he counts among his tens of thousands of readers representatives from all the major U.S. military commands, virtually all U.S. federal departments, numerous foreign governments, and major research and corporate entities the world over. Tom also blogs at Esquire's The Politics Blog and Time's Battleland.
Tom has been a contributing editor for Esquire magazine since the beginning of 2005, and he currently writes a weekly online column for World Politics Review.
From 2005 to 2009, Tom wrote a syndicated print column for Scripps Howards News Service, and served as a visiting scholar at the University of Tennessee’s Howard Baker Center for Public Policy and a visiting strategist at the Oak Ridge National Laboratory.
From 2005 to 2011, Dr. Barnett served as Senior Managing Director of the information technology firm Enterra Solutions LLC.
From 1998 through 2004, Prof. Barnett was a Senior Strategic Researcher and Professor in the Warfare Analysis & Research Department, Center for Naval Warfare Studies, U.S. Naval War College, Newport RI, where he taught and served—in a senior advisory role—with military and civilian leaders in the Office of the Secretary of Defense, the Joint Staff, Central Command, Special Operations Command, and Joint Forces Command. From November 2001 to June of 2003, Dr. Barnett was on temporary assignment as the Assistant for Strategic Futures, Office of Force Transformation (OFT), Office of the Secretary of Defense, where he worked with (then) OFT Director Vice Admiral Arthur K. Cebrowski (USN, ret.) on a cluster of strategic concepts that link change in the international security environment to the imperative of transforming U.S. military capabilities to meet future threats.
Dr. Barnett has published a number of articles explaining these strategic concepts, which he presents comprehensively in “what may be history's most famous Pentagon briefing,” declared syndicated columnist Jack Kelly. Dr. Barnett has delivered this brief well over a thousand times to a cumulative worldwide audience of more than several hundred thousand government officials, military officers, industry and think tank representatives and opinion leaders.
At the Naval War College, Dr. Barnett also served as Director of the NewRuleSets.Project, an ambitious effort to draw new “maps” of power and influence in the world economy. The project was conducted in partnership with the Wall Street broker-dealer firm Cantor Fitzgerald, which hosted three full-day “decision event” workshops atop World Trade Center 1 (at the Windows on the World restaurant). Prior to this study, Dr. Barnett directed the Year 2000 International Security Dimension Project.
Before joining the College in August 1998, Dr. Barnett served as a Project Director in both the Center for Naval Analyses and the Institute for Public Research, the two major divisions of The CNA Corporation (CNAC), a private research firm located in Alexandria, VA. His two major accomplishments during his CNAC career were:
- Serving as a member of the Naval Force Capabilities Planning Effort that developed the new strategic concepts eventually published in the Navy’s White Paper . . . From The Sea, the first draft of which he co-authored along with a handful of senior naval officers
- Pioneering and managing CNAC’s contractual relationship with the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID).
While at CNAC, he published several dozen reports, essays, and annotated briefings on a wide variety of subjects.
In the mid-1990s, Prof. Barnett penned, along with his spouse Vonne, a book-length manuscript entitled, The Emily Updates: A Year in the Life of a Three-Year-Old Battling Cancer (1998). The work is being published as a serial eBook (five volumes) in the fall of 2011. The Non-Integrated Gap highlighted.
Professor Barnett has a BA (Honors) from the University of Wisconsin with a double-major in Russian Language and Literature and International Relations (emphasis—U.S. Foreign Policy). At Wisconsin, he was elected to Phi Beta Kappa his junior year. Following Wisconsin, Dr. Barnett earned an AM in Regional Studies: Russia, Eastern Europe and Central Asia and a PhD in Political Science (major-International Relations; minor-Comparative Politics) from Harvard University. His dissertation was entitled “Warsaw Pact-Third World Relations, 1968-1987: Explaining the Special Roles of Romania and East Germany” and was subsequently published by Praeger.
Thomas Barnett is also a Green Bay Packer season ticket-holder, and as one of the stockholders of the franchise, he feels it is essential to check up on his investment on a regular basis. His seats are located in the historic “South End Zone” of Lambeau Field.
Thomas and Vonne Barnett live in Indiana with their six children: three “Old Core” biologicals (two Virginians, one Rhode Islander), one “New Core” adoptee (China) and two “Gap” adoptees (Ethiopia).